Top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the World
The list of top ten most expensive cities in the world to live in may surprise you. As it shatters the commonly held belief that western cities are expensive. Its not New York or London. In fact, they are not even in the top 10 list. It is Hong Kong that takes the top spot. Before starting with the list, you must know that what makes a city expensive. It’s actually:
Must Read: Richest Cities of the World
- High real estate prices and also high apartment rents
- Expensive meals
- Expensive things like healthcare, transport, recreational places,etc.
- Location in one of the richest countries.
Let us have a look!
#1. Hong Kong – The Most Expensive City in the World
Skyrocketing housing prices and a increase in local living costs have pushed Hong Kong to the top of the rankings, making it the most expensive city in the world. Spendings on food, housing, personal care and entertainment will set you back by thousands of Hong Kong Dollars. The city has its own rich Chinese history and also legacies of British colonialism. Now, it is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of China, the other being Macau. The political system of HK is different from that of China and under the principle of “one country, two systems”, the city-state is autonomous except in military and foreign affairs which are looked after by People’s Republic of China.
#2. Luanda, Angola – The Most Expensive City in Africa
Lying on the western coast of Africa, Luanda is a port city and also, the largest city in Angola. The city is flocked by foreign expatriates who come to work in oil and gas companies of Luanda. As a matter of fact, Angola is the second largest exporter of oil in Africa, the first being Nigeria. On one hand, Luanda ranks second on the list of world’s most expensive cities, and on the other, more than two thirds of Angolans live in slums and are poverty stricken. Angola was approached by its former colonial master Portugal during its debt crisis. Since the end of Angolan Civil War in 2002, the city has witnessed tremendous economic growth and export surplus. In the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, Angola is ranked 168th out of 178. This is due to frauds committed by those in power. In fact, Isabel Dos Santos, the daughter of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is the richest person in Angola and also one of the richest black woman .
#3. Zurich – The Most Expensive City in Europe
If you are going to ask “which is the most expensive city in Europe to live in”, then Zurich is your answer. It has ranked consistently in top 10 since past few years. Its economy is dominated by the service sector which employs nearly 80% of the working population. Also, it has the highest quality of life, as per consulting firm Mercer, and as a result, is one of the best cities in the world for work, housing, leisure and work. The fourth largest stock exchange, Swiss stock exchange, is also loacted in this expensive city.
Known for its ease of doing business, Singapore is the second most expensive city in Asia after Hong Kong. It has a population of ~5.5 million and is known for its social indices. Singapore ranks well on key indicators like health, education, human resource development and life expectancy. Due to being a regime of low taxation, Singapore headquarters many billion dollar companies of the world. A highly developed economy with a very high per capita income, Singapore also ranks consistently in top 10 richest cities of the world. It sits at the entrance of Straits of Malacca and thus, it has a strategic location as ~40% of the world trade passes through the Straits of Malacca. It is also one of the Four Asian Tigers.
#5. Tokyo, Japan
Though it is a city, still it has an economic output of ~2 trillion USD. had it been a country then Tokyo would have ranked in the list of top 10 countries having the highest GDP. At one point of time till 2006, Tokyo ranked as the most expensive city in the world for 14 years in a row. It is also the city of third largest stock exchange of the world i.e. the Tokyo Stock Exchange. A major international financial centre of the world, Tokyo is known for ts electronics and automobile industries.
#6. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
It is the largest city of DRC and it is situated on the banks of river Congo. It was once known for its fishing activities, however, now it is an urban area plagued with social issues like children crime and orphaned street children. It is also the receiver of various aid from UN under its various developmental programs. It is the largest francophone city in the world. The cost of a lunch meal in this city is comparable to those in London and New York.
The most populous city of China, Shanghai was transformed and developed by the Communist party of China from 1949 till 1970s. It is marked by fusion of tradition with modernity in not only infrastructure but also in lifestyle. This expensive city of China stands out amongst other cities for its clean air quality and iconic skyscrapers like Oriental Pearl Tower and Jinmao Tower. The Bund, a waterfront in Shanghai, is a great place to hang out and for taking a stroll. With a high safety index and good health care system, the city is a place to live in and settle.
Referred to as the ‘Peace Capital’, Geneva is the worldwide center for diplomacy. It houses headquarters of several notable international organizations like United Nations, Red Cross,etc. The city is very compact and has a majority of French-speaking population. It is also know as the city of super rich and a city of conspicuous consumption. The residents and tourists alike are obsessed with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and expensive watches like Rolex. Real estate and the cost of living is very high over here.
#9. N’Djamena, Chad
The capital and the largest city of Chad, N’Djamena has witnessed French intervention and also the Libyan occupation in the past. If you are a tourist and plan to visit Chad then a visit to the Chad National Museum is a must for sightseeing. Despite rapid growth in population and also in economy, mud huts continue to dominate the landscape of this city. Souk al Kabir, Grand Marche is also a great place to visit. The city is home to a cathedral and many mosques and also the people over here are known to be very generous and kind.
#10. Beijing, China
Being the capital and the second largest city in China by population, Beijing ranks tenth in this list of most expensive cities in the world to live in. It is located in northern China near to the port of Tianjin. It is China’s educational, economic, political and cultural capital. Some of the place for sightseeing in Beijing are the Tianamen Square and the Forbidden city. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial capital from the year 1420 until the First Chinese Revolution in 1912. Being a culturally rich city, you can find people making crafts, playing musical instruments and dancing on the street. Rising housing prices, pollution of not only air but also water, massive migration and overpopulation are some of the issues plaguing the capital city.
The most surprising thing is that no city from the USA made it to the list. Though cities in USA are expensive but they do not make it to the top 10.