Hong Kong loses top spot as world’s most expensive city for expatriates


7th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong has lost its position as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates for the first time in four years, according to a survey conducted by human capital firm ECA International. The study, which was released on Wednesday, revealed that New York has dethroned Hong Kong, which is now ranked second, followed by Geneva in third place and London in fourth.

The annual rankings are based on data gathered by the firm in March, including the cost of food, household goods, recreational goods and services, clothing, meals out, alcohol, and tobacco. In September 2020, ECA International began taking into account accommodation and utilities, which caused Hong Kong’s 2019 rank to go from No. 4 to No. 1.

The decline in Hong Kong’s ranking is due to lower accommodation costs, which have been falling steadily. Meanwhile, New York’s prices have been rising faster than those in Hong Kong. In Asia, Singapore has gained eight spots and is now ranked fifth, while Seoul has moved up one spot to ninth place. The soaring property prices in both cities have driven up their rankings.

In mainland China, the weak performance of the yuan and lower inflation rates have caused all cities to drop in the rankings. Shanghai and Guangzhou remain the most expensive cities in mainland China, but both have fallen out of the global top 10, with rankings of 13th and 14th, respectively.