Japan dominates most expensive cities for expats

Japan has been ranked one of the most expensive countries for expats after four of its cities took up top spots in the latest global charts.
By: | December 14, 2019

Japanese cities are ranked one of the most expensive places in the world for expats, with Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka taking up second, eighth, 10th and 11th places respectively in the global charts, according to the latest survey by ECA International.

Topping the charts for the second year running was Ashgabat in Turkmenistan while Hong Kong came in sixth, Singapore 13th, Seoul 16th and Shanghai 22nd. Zurich, Geneva and Basel took up third to fifth places respectively.

Asian cities Global Ranking
Ashgabat 1
Tokyo 2
Hong Kong 6
Yokohama 8
Nagoya 10
Osaka 11
Singapore 13
Seoul 16
Macau 18
Shanghai 22

Hong Kong saw no change in its rankings despite the pro-democracy protests and unrest that have rocked the country’s economy. Regional director for Asia of ECA International Lee Quane said “Inflation (there) remains high relative to many other locations that occupy the upper reaches of our rankings.”

The survey took into account the cost of living in cities for non-local employees based on a basket of consumer goods and services such as groceries, clothing and leisure activities.

However, house rents, cars and school fees are not part of the consideration as they are usually paid for by employers and do not affect expats’ spending power.