Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris have been named the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates to live in, according to a survey of 133 cities released on Tuesday by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
This is the first time in the history of the survey that three cities share the title of the world’s most expensive city, according to EIU.
Hong Kong and Paris were ranked fourth and second respectively last year, with Singapore ranking as the world’s most expensive city in the past five years.
EIU’s 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey compares the prices of more than 400 items across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, as well as private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.
The twice-yearly survey is meant to help companies calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travelers.
According to the report, Singapore and Hong Kong are both 7% more expensive than New York. In comparison, the South Korean city of Seoul is on par with New York in joint seventh place.
There are four Asian cities in the top ten global ranking this year, with Osaka in Japan and Seoul joining Singapore and Hong Kong. Other cities making up the top 10 include Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen, New York, Tel Aviv and Los Angeles.
It added that while Asia is home to some of the world’s most expensive cities, it also has many of the world’s cheapest cities, with India’s Bangalore, Chennai and New Delhi, as well as Karachi in Pakistan, featuring among the ten cheapest locations surveyed.
The report noted that economies with appreciating currencies, such as the US, climbed up the ranking significantly.
“These movements represent a sharp increase in the relative cost of living compared with five years ago, when New York and Los Angeles tied in 39th position,” it said.