These are the most expensive cities in the world in 2019

Jun 26 2019, 4:36 pm

In an age where many careers can be done online or abroad, the world is full of destinations that could be potential offices. The cost of living is a determining factor in where digital nomads and expats choose to set up shop.

Global health, wealth, and career consulting firm Mercer has released its 2019 Cost of Living Ranking, with the main goal of helping multinational organizations compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.

The rankings demonstrate how currency fluctuation and shifts in the prices of goods and services can affect the purchasing power of expatriate employees. Mercer assessed 500 destinations across the globe to provide a city-to-city comparison on how much each will break the bank.

The report measured cost of living based on the following factors:

  • Food
  • Clothing and footwear
  • Personal care
  • Home services
  • Domestic supplies
  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Recreation and entertainment
  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Transportation

Hong Kong has topped the list, with eight cities in Asia landing in the top 10 spots for most expensive locations for working abroad.

The top 10 most expensive cities in Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Ranking are as follows:

Rank City Country/Region
1 Hong Kong Hong Kong (SAR)
2 Tokyo Japan
3 Singapore Singapore
4 Seoul South Korea
5 Zürich Switzerland
6 Shanghai China
7 Ashgabat Turkmenistan
8 Beijing China
9 New York United States
10 Shenzhen China

The report ranks categories from the cost of men’s blue jeans to a cup of coffee to a Big Mac across various cities. Another comparison shares the cost of a date night in select cities:

cost of living

Cost of date night. (Mercer)

Visit the complete lists on Mercer’s Cost of Living Ranking here.