Results of the most recent Economist Intelligence Unit survey have been published, confirming that Shanghai has the second highest cost of living in China—outdone only by Hong Kong. Singapore topped the list again, retaining its mantle as the most expensive city to live in the world.
The Worldwide Cost of Living survey is described by the Economist as:
a twice yearly Economist Intelligence Unit survey that compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.
It must be noted that the survey does not take into account the price of real estate or income taxes, but it does factor in consumption taxes (such as sales duties and levies on alcohol and tobacco). The survey covers 133 cities across the globe.
The results of this most recent survey rank Shanghai 24th in the world with 99 index points —the baseline of the index is New York at 100 points, meaning that the cost of living in Shanghai is 1 percent less than in New York. This is to be compared with the 2014 survey, in which Shanghai was ranked the 21st most costly city to live in the world.
Across China, Shenzhen jumped 11 places to become the 28th most expensive city in the world (97 index points); while Beijing remained stable at 46th in the world (86 index points), only one spot higher than in 2014. Hong Kong remained the most expensive city to live in China, rising to become the 9th most expensive globally—up from 13th in 2014. China Daily suggests that cost of living in Chinese cities is expected to remain stable or decline as consumer demand weakens.
Shanghai also ranked the costliest of Chinese cities on last year’s Cheap Date Index. Indeed, the high cost of living may be becoming unbearable for some foreigners, and is perhaps to blame for twice as many expats moving out of the country than arriving in 2014.
However, residents in Shanghai continue to be paid the highest salaries in the country, and the city is still rated the most attractive for expats in China.
By Liam Bourke