A recent survey from ECS international ranked Shanghai and Beijing as Asia’s 3rd and 4th most expensive cities for expats, respectively, meaning that our fair city has taken over China’s capital as being the priciest destination in China for workers abroad, according the the same survey from the end of last year.
The latest Cost of Living survey by ECA International from March found that out of the 257 cities surveyed, Caracas, Venezuela was the most expensive destination for expatriates, 40 percent more so than second-placed Oslo, which slipped from last year’s number one spot. The Chinese cities may not have hit the world’s top ten ranking, but they’ve definitely been leaping up on the list.
According to ECA:
Just five years ago Shanghai and Beijing were barely in the top 50 now they rank 18th and 20th respectively. Prices have risen over the past 12 months in contrast to last year when prices of items in ECA’s shopping basket for Chinese locations increased little or even fell. In terms of currency, while the renminbi has fallen over the year against the euro and sterling it has strengthened against the US dollar.
Tokyo, formally known as the most expensive city for expats, got knocked off the global top 10 list for the first time in a decade last year and has now only clocked up a global ranking of 11. In spite of this it still remains Asia’s most expensive location for expatriates.ECA explains its global drop through “the yen’s continued depreciation against major currencies over the year”.
Second on the list in Asia and 16th in the world was the South Korean capital Seoul, with Shanghai and Beijing following and placing as 18th and 20th globally. Japan’s Nagoya came in 23rd in the world but rounds off the top 5 of Asia’s most expensive cities for expats.
Yokohama came in as Asia’s 6th most expensive city for expats (24th globally), Osaka came in 7th (26th globally) and, surprisingly, Hong Kong and Singapore lagged behind at 8th and 9th (29th and 31st globally, respectively) with Guangzhou rounding out Asia’s top 10 list (at 34th place globally).
The ECA base their calculation on “cost of living indices” from annual surveys that look at the cost of typical day-to-day goods, such as:
Food: Groceries; dairy produce; meat and fish; fresh fruit and vegetables
Basic: Drink and tobacco; miscellaneous goods; services
General: Clothing; electrical goods; motoring; meals out
Here’s the global top 25 list:
By Sophie Regan