Moving to a different city for education or work is an entirely different experience altogether. The city’s cuisine, including the native food and beverages, its historic sites, incredible architecture, museums, shopping arcades, and much more, are all worth exploring leisurely. However, to traverse through the popular spots of a city, one must also be willing to open their wallet wide. In order to determine the expenditure of living, the average price of rent, utilities, food and groceries, transportation, and more, is calculated by conducting surveys amongst the general population. After compiling this information, the mean cost of living is computed. According to several such surveys conducted recently, a list of the most expensive cities in the world has been compiled. Following is a guide that will help you plan your expenditure, while also keeping in mind the scope that each city holds.
|Sr. No.||City||Country||Average rent (1BHK)||Average cost of living|
|1.||Hong Kong||China||1,955.43 USD||3,040 USD|
|2.||Geneva||Switzerland||2,011.79 USD||3,485 USD|
|3.||Zurich||Switzerland||1,993.91 USD||3,677 USD|
|4.||Basel||Switzerland||1,326.98 USD||3,032 USD|
|5.||Bern||Switzerland||1,120.71 USD||2,700 USD|
|6.||Tel-Aviv||Israel||1,442.71 USD||2,570 USD|
|7.||New York||United States||3,144.35 USD||4,580 USD|
|8.||Tokyo||Japan||859.56 USD||1,880 USD|
|9.||Beijing||China||887.79 USD||1,600 USD|
Hong Kong is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world due to its expensive housing market. This stems from the overpopulation in the city and scarce land, which increases the competitive demand and the prices as well. The developable land is under the control of the government and is resold at extremely high prices, making the housing market ruthless.
Not only that, but also the recreational nightlife, numerous markets and sights are some of the amazing incentives the city has to offer, which make it a wonderful place to live in. Hong Kong attracts some of the world’s wealthiest and most successful businessmen and expatriates.
Famous for its Jet d’Eau, that is the world’s largest water fountain, Geneva is one of the most international cities in the world since about 40 per cent of people living there do not hold a Swiss passport. The city hosts a ton of luxury cafes and shopping places where the shopping spree could last for days. The constant comfort and elegance that the city offers are what entices people to relocate to Geneva, even though it is one of the most expensive cities in the world.
The splendour of this city also costs just as much, with the average monthly expense being $3,500, including just rent, transportation, and food. Despite the high cost of living, Geneva being the lovely city it is, people still choose to immigrate there.
An absolutely sumptuous city, Zurich is situated on the northern end of Lake Zurich and looks like royalty. It is famous for its waterfront esplanades, well-crafted chocolates, high-end shopping arcades, fine dining restaurants and much more. Indisputably, Zurich is on the list of the most expensive cities in the world. It is also the most extravagant Swiss city to rent in, with an average rent cost of about $2000 for a single person. However to balance it out, the net pay is also equally high, and the city is welcoming to tourists and immigrants.
Switzerland’s oldest university city, Basel, is situated along the banks of the Rhine river. With the most vivacious art scene, it hosts the world’s largest art fair every June. The historic buildings and beautiful architecture truly make Basel a lovely city to live in. It is predominantly a green city that hosts an array of events, activities, sports, and relaxation games all year round. However, the elegance of living here comes at an expensive cost. The average estimated cost is around $3000.
Bern, the capital city of Switzerland, is another Swiss city that dominates the list of the most expensive cities in the world. It is popular for its mediaeval architecture, fountains, rich history and for also being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although it’s not as expensive as other Swiss cities like Geneva and Basel, Bern still costs an average of $2,500 monthly, including the rent and daily expenses of a single person. Even though this city gives off cosy small-town vibes, a good selection of housing options both within the city and within the surrounding metropolitan area would still be pricey.
Tel-Aviv is Israel’s largest city and is popular all over the globe as a diverse and tourist-friendly location. It has all kinds of world-famous restaurants, exciting nightlife, pristine beaches and much more. Undoubtedly, the city is also one of the most desirable locations for people looking to move. However, one needs to have a hefty pocket for that, since the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom comes out to $1,725. The real estate market in Tel-Aviv is extremely competitive, resulting in sky-high prices.
New York City is the only North American city that made its way to the compilation of the most expensive cities in the world. One of the most popular cities on the globe, NYC is known to harbour the dreams and aspirations of millions of people. It has a ton of entertainment options, and the city never lets a dull moment pass by. At its heart is Manhattan, a densely populated borough that is amongst the world’s major cultural, financial and commercial centres. Unquestionably, New York is extremely expensive to live in.
Average rent prices have skyrocketed, with one-year lease rates increasing by 3.25% and two-year leases seeing a 5% or more increase, the sharpest peak in almost a decade. Rent touched an average cost of $4,000 for the first time in May 2022 and then about $5,000 in June 2022.
Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, blends the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples. The nation is renowned for its cutting-edge advancements in science and technology. As a thriving Asian city that inhabits millions of people, Tokyo is bound to make the list of the top 10 most expensive cities in the world, consistently year after year. Residents spend the most money on sky-high rent prices, followed by car ownership and transportation and commute expenses come in last.
Although Beijing isn’t necessarily as expensive as the priciest cities in the West, it is the cultural and political centre of China, and the fast-growing and developing population prefers to migrate to the capital. Because of this, it is one of the highest costing cities in China. The population alone is the major reason for an increase in expenses and why the rent of a one-bedroom apartment has doubled in a decade from around $360 to $700.
Contrary to most Chinese cities, Beijing costs roughly the same as most European capitals, specifically for the expats who believe they are accustomed to a level of luxury and insist on using only imported products. Also, the foreigners in Beijing earn well, increasing the overall cost of living. However, accommodation near the outskirts of the city is significantly cheaper.
Singapore, Copenhagen, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul and London are some of the other most expensive cities in the world. Although the cost of living is high in these cities, in the end, it depends on the person and their individual decision. If the expense is compensable by the income and the standard of living maintained in that particular city, then the decision of moving there is worth undertaking.
Q1. Which are the most expensive cities in the world?
Ans: Hong Kong, Zurich, Geneva, Bern, Basel and Tel-Aviv are some of the most expensive cities in the world.
Q2. Which city has the best life in spite of having a high cost of living?
Ans: According to the Monocle Survey conducted in 2022, the world’s most livable city was Copenhagen, followed by Zurich, Lisbon and Helsinki.
Q3. What are some ways to lessen your expenses in any of these cities?
Ans: There are several ways that students or settling professionals can adapt in order to budget their expenses. Some of the best ways are to get a roommate to share the cost of accommodation, to carpool or shorten the commute, to reduce the use of unnecessary energy and most important of all, to budget the savings effectively.
Q4. Which city in the world has the highest rent?
Ans: San Francisco has the highest rent in the world. The median rent in December 2022 was recorded to be around $2,975, while in December 2020, it was roughly $2,668. The total per cent change was about 12%.
Q5. Which is the costliest city in India?
Ans: Mumbai, the financial centre of India, is the most expensive Indian city to live in.
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