New study ranks the top 10 most expensive cities for expats

Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world for expats, according to a recent survey by Mercer, a global consultancy headquartered in New York. Expat is an abbreviation for expats, those who live outside their country of birth.

The annual survey includes data based on research conducted twice a year and evaluates more than 200 goods and services from categories such as food, housing, personal care and more. Over the world, high inflation is a growing concern for governments, businesses, workers and families.

Here are the top 10 most expensive places for expats to live and work abroad:

Daily life in Hong Kong
Central Hong Kong skyline at night, in Hong Kong, China, on October 17, 2021.

Marc Fernandes/NurPhoto via Getty Images


  1. Hong Kong, SA

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and is consistently listed as one of the world’s most expensive places to live. Known for its iconic skyscrapers and sweeping skyline views, this business center costs expats a hefty amount to call home.

Zurich during the coronavirus pandemic
ZURRICH, SWITZERLAND – JULY 12: An aerial view of Zurich city center, River Limmat, Lake Zurich and Grossm√ľnster Church during the coronavirus pandemic on July 12, 2020 in Zurich, Switzerland. Switzerland has largely lifted most of its corona measures and has registered about 33,000 infections so far.

Christian Ender / Getty Images


2. Zurich, Switzerland

This year, Switzerland dominates the top ten, with four cities on the list. Zurich is the most populous city in Switzerland and is known as a global center for banking and finance.

Daily life in Geneva
GENVE, SWITZERLAND – JUNE 6: A view of the city as citizens and tourists enjoy the sunny day in Geneva, Switzerland on June 6, 2022.

Omer Faruk Yildiz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


3. Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva follows Zurich not only in the cost of living category, but also as the second most populous city in Switzerland. The city is home to a large number of headquarters for various international organizations.

Public transport.  Basel.  Switzerland
Public transport. Basel. Switzerland.

Public transport. Basel. Switzerland. (Photo by: Giovanni Mereghetti/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)/Public transportation. Basel. Switzerland. (Photo by: Giovanni Mereghetti/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)


4. Basel, Switzerland

Basel is the third most populous city in Switzerland. It is best known for its architecture and has a popular art scene. The city hosts Art Basel, an annual international art exhibition.

SWITZERLAND-WORLD HERITAGE-RHAETIAN RAILWAY-ALBULA-BERNINA
Photo taken on May 22, 2022 shows a view through the window of a train running on the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina countryside in Switzerland. The Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina landscape was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008.

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5. Bern, Switzerland

Switzerland does not technically have a capital, but Bern is considered the de facto capital. The Swiss city offers scenic views and is currently the seat of the country’s federal government.

Tel Aviv skyline on the beach, Tel Aviv, Israel
Israel, Tel Aviv – March 10, 2018: Skyline of Tel Aviv on the beach seen from the Marina

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6. Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel, Aviv, the coastal city in Israel, is world famous for its nightlife, beautiful beaches and more Bauhaus-style buildings than any other city.

TOPSHOT-US-TOURISM-TRAVEL-SKYLINE
TOPSHOT – The Manhattan skyline can be seen at sunrise from the observatory on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building on April 3, 2021 in New York City. – The Empire State Building, a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, opened during the Great Depression on May 1, 1931.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images


7. New York City, USA

New York City, also known as the Big Apple, is by far the most populous city in America. While there is no exact count, some experts believe that New York is home to as many as 800 languages, making it the perfect place for international travelers, but not necessarily for their wallets, as it ranks eighth on the list, and the most expensive city to live in the US

Changi Jewel Airport Sample
SINGAPORE – APRIL 11: The skytrain travels past the Rain Vortex at the Jewel Changi Airport on April 11, 2019 in Singapore. Officially opened on April 17, Singapore’s Changi Airport Jewel includes a 40-meter indoor waterfall under a steel and glass dome reportedly built for SGD 1.7 billion.

/ Getty Images


8. Singapore

The island city-state of the Malay Peninsula is in this year’s top ten and has become not only one of the world’s most important financial centers, but also one of the greenest. According to the government, nearly half of Singapore’s land area is green.

Japan, Tokyo City
Japan, Tokyo City, Akihabara District, Electric city.

Japan, Tokyo City, Akihabara District, Electric city. (Photo by: Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)/Japan, Tokyo City, Akihabara District, Electric town, . (Photo by: Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)


9. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, has a mix of traditional and ultra-modern architecture, with neon-lit buildings and historic temples dazzling the skyline. The city also has one of the busiest train stations in the world, Shinjuku Station, which receives an estimated 3.6 million commuters per day.

Daily life in Beijing
BEIJING, CHINA – JULY 07: Tourists visit the Forbidden City on July 7, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images


10. Beijing, China

Beijing, the capital of China, is located in the northeast of the country and is the second largest city in China in terms of population. Beijing is home to many well-known attractions, such as part of the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.