Hong Kong, The Most Expensive City

Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive city to live in and it has maintained this tag for the second consecutive year in a row. New York and Geneva took second and third place in the rankings, according to a recent report published by ECA International.

“Although Hong Kong has been impacted by rising global inflation less than other regional and global locations in the past year, it nonetheless remains the most expensive location in the world, ” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia at ECA International.


Many locations in Asia have witnessed above-trend rates in inflation in the past 12 months, the findings noted. The location that has seen the fastest rate of price growth in the past year has been Colombo in Sri Lanka, causing it to rise 23 places in ECA’s rankings to 149 globally. Quane said that shortages of supplies for some essential items prompted by lack of foreign currency resulted in price increases of more than 15% at the time of the survey when compared to the previous year. Many mainland Chinese cities have continued to rise in the rankings, with four cities now included in the 15 most expensive cities globally. Shanghai is also now the most expensive city in Asia after Hong Kong and Tokyo. The report maintained that the reason for their rise in the rankings was because of the strength of Chinese yuan against other major currencies, due to China’s relatively strong economic performance during the survey period which makes these cities more expensive relative to other locations.

Singapore’s ranking remained unchanged in 2022 despite significant price rises in the past 12 months, with housing rental costs, utilities and petrol prices seeing particular growth. The study said that this was because Singapore dollar weakened against other regional currencies, such as the yuan, and the US dollar, mainly because of a share slowdown in manufacturing and exports during the latter part of the survey period.

Tokyo dropped three places to fifth in the global rankings, while other Japanese cities featured in the rankings have also dropped.


Most locations within the EU dropped in rankings after an unsteady period for the euro, with Paris falling out of the global top 30 and cities such as Madrid Brussels and Rome all falling too. Moscow is down one place to 62nd in the rankings, while St Petersburg is unchanged at 147th.


ECA International is a market leader in the provision of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.


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