Cities With the Highest Cost

50 Cities With the Highest Cost of Living Around the World

Discovering cities with high costs of living is simple with Mercer’s analysis of expenses for housing, transport, food, clothes and more in 2022. Cities like Paris; Shanghai; China and Boston Massachusetts come at a financial cost; however visiting them allows visitors to observe architecture museums cuisine culture of these popular tourist spots. So whether looking for an exciting vacation or simply curious check out Mercer’s list of world’s most expensive cities.

1. Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland Geneva is best-known for the iconic Jet d’Eau water fountain; however, there are also a host of expensive bistros and stores within its boundaries that boast expensive menu items as well as their respective prices. According to professionals, an individual’s monthly expenditure typically ranges between $3,500-3,750 including rent payments, food, transportation expenses etc.

2. The Hague, Netherlands

The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague, Netherlands

Tourists visiting The Hague in Netherlands will pay up to $149 a day without including hotel accommodation and transport – but locals would say the experience is well worth the cost! With its collection of Dutch institutions, galleries, factories and more; The Hague makes for an enjoyable holiday or visit.

3. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore, Singapore
Singapore, Singapore

Since 2014, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey has named Singapore as one of the world’s most expensive cities on six occasions from 2014-20. Due to the small size and scarcity of land available for development in Singapore, real estate market competition is fierce; lacking natural resources means Singapore relies heavily on port importation for water supply as well as natural gas generation to generate electricity.

4. Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong, China

One reason Hong Kong is so expensive is due to its high population density. Living costs don’t simply stem from rent alone – competing for housing can add extra expenses while its many attractions such as markets and nightlife add even further expense.

5. Yokohama, Japan

Yokohama, Japan
Yokohama, Japan

Yokohama is one of the world’s most expensive cities with residents spending an estimated average monthly living expense cost of $1,4886. Travelers flock here for its world-renowned attractions like Sankeien Gardens, Yokohama Landmark Tower Sky Garden, dining options and bar hopping; daily expenses in this regard average around $112.

6. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois mes A study by GOBankingRates discovered that Chicago surpasses the national average in terms of cost of living. Travelers visiting this “Windy City” can enjoy attractions such as Chicago Riverwalk, Navy Pier, Wrigley Field and its world-famous deep-dish pizza. Monthly rentals begin at approximately $1826 while renting in neighborhoods such as River North or Streeterville typically set renters back around $2,500 monthly.

7. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia

GoBankingRates reported that in order to live comfortably in Atlanta, Georgia you will require at least an annual income of $121,170 due to rising living costs including housing and transportation that are 5% more expensive than average in this city.

8. Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy
Milan, Italy

Milan is an industry powerhouse and major business hub that makes the city financially sustainable. Additionally, due to its safe neighborhoods with excellent medical care services and reputation as a tourist spot; Milan ranks as one of the top 10 most expensive European cities to live in.

9.  Los Angeles, California

 Los Angeles, California
 Los Angeles, California

People living in Hollywood must spend a substantial sum to maintain a lavish lifestyle. Los Angeles’ location has an impactful influence on its real estate market and home to approximately 10 million residents; residents must bear high taxes for residents as well as a 9.5% sales tax which makes the area extremely costly; in January 2020 alone this rate of tax was nearly double than what would typically be seen nationwide for rental apartments.

10. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan mes Tokyo is an energetic metropolis often listed among the 10 most costly cities worldwide. Residents must pay exorbitant rent as well as owning and commuting costs to the city – as Japan is known for having high living costs.

11. Bangui, Central African Republic

Bangui, Central African Republic
Bangui, Central African Republic

Bangui, located in central Africa, has flourished into an economic powerhouse due to its harbour and maritime links with other nations. Though housing may not be cheap here, basic services like Internet access, cell phones, furniture, and home appliances tend to be more costly than average.

12. Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium
Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium With a rich history dating back to medieval times and serving as the hub for European Union operations, Brussels is widely recognized for being a vibrant and densely-populated city in Belgium’s Brussels-Capital region. A monthly cost estimate for living for four persons would be $3,055, not including rent.

13. Libreville, Gabon

Libreville, Gabon
Libreville, Gabon

Libreville stands out as a prime center for education in Gabon due to the presence of libraries, research facilities, and an esteemed college. However, daily costs such as rent and food can be prohibitively costly due to limited resources and increased demand.

14. Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany
Munich, Germany

Due to the competitive real estate market, Munich is considered one of Europe’s costliest cities. A single person would likely need to shell out almost $1,000 every month just in rent alone without accounting for utilities, transportation costs or health insurance premiums.

15. New York City, New York

New York City, New York
New York City, New York

Busan is South Korea’s second-largest metropolitan area after Seoul, making it an alluring tourist destination located on Yellow Sea’s shoreline. Renowned for its beautiful beaches, mountains and temples as well as low crime levels and welcoming atmosphere – Busan offers something to please every visitor to this bustling South Korean metropolis.

16. Busan, South Korea

 Busan, South Korea
 Busan, South Korea

Busan is South Korea’s second-largest metropolitan area after Seoul, making it an alluring tourist destination located on Yellow Sea’s shoreline. Renowned for its beautiful beaches, mountains and temples as well as low crime levels and welcoming atmosphere – Busan offers something to please every visitor to this bustling South Korean metropolis.

17. Kinshasa,The Democratic Republic Of The Congo

Kinshasa,The Democratic Republic Of The Congo
Kinshasa,The Democratic Republic Of The Congo

Leasing prices in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo may start at around $20,000 annually — an exorbitant sum in a country where 72% of its inhabitants live off less than $1.90 daily. Kinshasa is home to 17 million people and frequently experiences traffic congestion resulting in higher rent costs; unfortunately however, only those who can afford such extravagant costs or foreign nationals typically possess the means necessary for renting apartments here.

18. Nagoya, Japan

Nagoya, Japan
Nagoya, Japan

Living costs can be prohibitively expensive without rent; an average family of four requires an expenditure of $3,172 every month while rent usually ranges between $357 and $731. Nagoya is famous for its skyline as well as being home to Toyota and Mitsubishi factories which make living here even more costly.

19.  Luxembourg, Luxembourg

 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
 Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Luxembourg, Luxembourg According to a global residential area ranking survey, Luxembourg ranks in the top two percent. Luxembourg is known as one of the wealthiest nations and for producing quality wines; while its capital Luxembourg boasts notable passages under its city and banking institutions. According to estimates, renting an apartment with two bedrooms costs approximately 25,000 dollars annually without factoring in extras such as public transport costs – due to a growing population, rising housing costs, and limited supply, living costs in this costly city continue to skyrocket.

20. Basel, Switzerland

 Basel, Switzerland
 Basel, Switzerland

Basel, Switzerland Each June, Basel – an esteemed university metropolis situated on Switzerland’s borders with France and Germany – hosts one of the year’s premier art shows. Residents in this region pay around $3000 monthly rent in this diverse community of historical buildings, contemporary designs, vibrant artistic culture and much more.

21. Seattle, Washington

 Seattle, Washington
 Seattle, Washington

Study results released in 2016 revealed that Seattle, Washington requires an annual salary of $72,092 to live comfortably. This city on Puget Sound boasts one of the highest living costs in America due to its high sales tax rates and presence of many companies making Seattle their headquarters.

22. Qingdao, China

Qingdao, China
Qingdao, China

Tourism to Qingdao, China Tourists travel from all around the globe to experience Qingdao’s alluring beaches, skyscrapers, parks and attend the Qingdao International Beer Festival each year. Qingdao is considered one of China’s most prosperous cities due to its 177 ports – yet visitors can make the journey relatively affordably as visiting costs an estimated daily total of just $49 for full year residents compared to living costs within Qingdao itself.

23. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates consists of seven emirates, with Dubai as one of its prominent examples. Dubai is an economic powerhouse and lively nightlife center; yet due to its financial activities it can also be quite expensive for living here; an average family would likely incur costs totalling approximately $3,000 monthly to cover necessities like healthcare, education, commuting costs and traveling – in addition to rent.

24. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

According to an Economist Survey of 2020, Dublin ranks as one of Europe’s costliest cities to reside. Dublin is known for its lively pubs and numerous tourist sites such as Jameson Distillery, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Spire of Dublin – making this city unique with a rich history, entertainment options as well as castles, woods and alpine scenery just outside its boundaries – this may explain why living here may cost over $2000 monthly for rent homes.

25. Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen, China
Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen, China Shenzhen is an energetic metropolis known for being the home of many young adults in China, boasting an average age of 32.1 and one of the youngest populations nationwide. Although accommodations and food tend to be costly here, utilities and internet prices remain reasonable.

26. Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau is home to many attractions for tourists visiting the Bahamas, such as the Nassau Straw Market and National Art Gallery; Atlantis Paradise Island; Blue Lagoon Island and Ardastra Garden & Wildlife Conservation Centre are among them. A single person vacation can cost as much as $1055 without accommodation costs included while for four-member families renting for one month can exceed $4625 without utilities added in.

27.  Nouméa, New Caledonia

 Nouméa, New Caledonia
 Nouméa, New Caledonia

Noumea, New Caledonia Noumea, the capital of luxurious New Caledonia, is among the world’s most expensive cities with an average monthly living cost of $1,618. However, with careful planning and budgeting one can spend between $2,000 to $5,000 daily while visiting this Pacific-based island nation.

28. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands Its Amsterdam is a vibrant hub of culture and boasts an enthralling past that is immortalized through its picturesque canals, distinctive design features, vibrant nightlife scene, and art galleries. Of Europe’s ten most costly cities to live in, Amsterdam ranks high on that list – families needing four living in Amsterdam require an average monthly income of $4800 in order to experience full enjoyment in this vibrant city.

29. Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China
Shanghai, China

Forbes announced in 2021 that Shanghai, China was the world’s most expensive city, boasting a rapidly-expanding economy and boasting numerous billionaires. China’s most populous city and global financial center attracted many individuals due to its spectacular skyline, historic cultural heritage, and more – yet living and working there can come with some high costs – an average monthly living expense being around $1,453.

30. Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria Even though Lagos has fallen from 19th to 55th most expensive city rankings, it still holds 5th position globally and remains Nigeria’s 5th largest city with its own import industry and film and music industries. Housing remains costly due to population pressures and limited land availability which makes purchasing property at a more reasonable cost difficult.

31. Shenyang, China

Shenyang, China
Shenyang, China

Shenyang is the capital of Liaoning province in China and boasts an estimated population of nearly 9 million people. As it serves as an industrial, commercial, and trading hub, living expenses such as rent, groceries, utilities and other costs tend to be relatively high for residents living here.

32.  Djibouti, Djibouti

 Djibouti, Djibouti
 Djibouti, Djibouti

With poverty on the rise and costs for goods and services reaching more than double what would normally be spent globally per person per year, Djibouti stands out as Africa’s priciest nation despite only accounting for roughly one half of global average spending per person per year on average.

33. San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California

Full House was set in San Francisco during the late ’90s due to the high costs of rent on the West Coast. Since 2021’s start, house prices in San Francisco have seen an approximate 10% rise and now cost approximately $1.5 million on average; renters must make at least an annual salary of $100k to ensure a financially comfortable lifestyle in this “Golden City.”

34. Paris, France

Paris, France
Paris, France

Paris is famed for its distinctive architecture, cuisine and fashion; as such, life there can be quite expensive. Housing costs and shopping districts have increased exponentially over time making property ownership increasingly expensive.

35. Bern, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland
Bern, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland Bern is known for its ancient structures, fountains and legacy. Since becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, it has become one of the world’s most expensive cities – an estimated trip costing a family of four about $6,000; monthly rent and daily expenditure costs would total approximately $2500 per month for living there.

36. Victoria, Seychelles

Victoria, Seychelles
Victoria, Seychelles

Victoria is an ideal place for those seeking an exotic escape. Mahe is home to turtles and beautiful orchids as well as other forms of wildlife, making Seychelles an unforgettable island destination. However, visitors should keep rental rates, utility costs, and service fees in mind as Seychelles can be quite pricey; nevertheless its breathtaking landscape, warm climate and range of activities may offset any increased service fees or utility charges.

37. Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany

Despite its high cost of living, Berlin remains the most affordable capital city in western Europe to live in with an estimated population of 3.7 million people. Low housing prices and higher basic expenses have kept living costs stable over time; yet this hasn’t stopped people from all around preferring Berlin thanks to its vibrant nightlife and restaurants despite an average rent of $1,393 per month.

38. Chengdu, China

Chengdu, China
Chengdu, China

Success in Chengdu requires keeping pace with modern styles if you want to thrive here. The city is famous for its luxurious malls that stand out among western China and is invested in high-end merchandise; plus Chengdu has long been considered China’s happiest metropolis.

39. Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou, China
Guangzhou, China

An incredible 60% of the 500 largest global corporations have made investments in Guangzhou’s megacity, making it China’s third most populous city after Beijing and Shanghai. Furthermore, it serves as home for China’s renowned trade exhibition–Canton Fair–and is considered its centrepiece event.

40. Tel-Aviv, Israel

Tel-Aviv, Israel
Tel-Aviv, Israel

Tel-Aviv, Israel Tel-Aviv is widely celebrated for its vibrant atmosphere, stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and excellent eateries – yet its popularity comes at a cost – the average monthly rent for one bedroom apartments costs about $1,725. Nevertheless, many still choose Tel-Aviv due to its vibrant environment and choose to visit or live there.

41. Zürich, Switzerland

Zürich, Switzerland
Zürich, Switzerland

When visiting Zurich it’s clear why it ranks among the world’s most costly cities: situated on Lake Zurich with waterfront promenades, premier shopping, exquisite chocolate and exquisite architecture to offer. Individual renters in Switzerland’s most desirable city typically pay around 2000 dollars on average to rent accommodation there.

42.  Beijing, China

 Beijing, China
 Beijing, China

Residing in Beijing – China’s cultural and political capital – can be more cost effective than living in western cities, due to its rapidly increasing population’s need for housing. Unfortunately though, due to such high costs of living alone caused by population size alone; rent for single bedroom apartments have gone from $360 – $700 over time!

43.  Seoul, South Korea

 Seoul, South Korea
 Seoul, South Korea

Seoul in South Korea is well known for its modern infrastructure: tall buildings, hi-tech metro system, temples and palaces as well as vibrant street markets. Unfortunately, however, living expenses for each person average around $1400 with no possibility for cheap living expenses.

44. Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii

It may come as a shock that Honolulu, Hawaii boasts nearly double the cost of living seen across the nation at approximately five years ago, coming to $5,017 per month for four people (excluding rent). Utility charges alone are 64% above average while public transport expenses (33% more) and groceries (53% higher) compare favorably.

45. London, England

London, England
London, England

Living and doing business in London are expensive – residents and entrepreneurs alike must shell out additional money in order to access essential products or meet storage fees that force them into buying additional necessities such as basic foodstuffs.

46. Miami, Florida

 

Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida Tax levels remain at their all-time highest ever as real estate taxes rank among the highest in the US, and housing costs are 40% above national standards. Due to Miami being an expensive beachfront city with limited land ownership options for people without high incomes, housing costs have skyrocketed.

47. Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria

In 2018, the Economist Intelligence Unit released a report which named Vienna as one of the world’s most desirable cities to live in. With an impressive cultural heritage including art, architecture and music spanning across centuries and continents; excellent educational opportunities; quality of life issues were prioritized over any other city in their survey; living costs are relatively affordable at around $866.85 in 2018, yet people moving there creates an extremely competitive real estate market.

48.  Osaka, Japan

 Osaka, Japan
 Osaka, Japan

Osaka, Japan Though Osaka can be costly to live in, the relatively high minimum wage helps people adjust to its increasing costs of living. Combining Times Square in NYC with Dotonbori Canal cruises – Osaka should definitely be on any traveller’s itinerary!

49. Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland

A two-parent and two-child family in Finland typically spends approximately $67,886 each year on rent, car payments, utilities, groceries, entertainment and a two-week vacation. This expensive cost of living has been attributed to high demand for food and restaurants as well as limited competition among certain industries – according to research conducted on this topic.

50. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark

While Copenhagen may appear idyllic at first glance, high taxes and charges make living there prohibitively costly for most individuals. Beyond rent costs alone, individuals may spend as much as an estimated $1,000 each month in expenses; tourists typically expend between $108 to $205 daily when travelling through this beautiful city.

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