There are many most expensive cities out there. There is no other way to live than in a city. You have world-class museums, impressive architecture, and a massive range of food and drink right at your doorstep. The most popular cities, such as Paris, France; Shanghai, China; and Boston, Massachusetts, are renowned for a reason. However, there is also a financial cost to living in a city.
In order to discover the world’s most expensive cities to reside in, Mercer compared housing, transportation, food, clothing, and other costs in 2022. Whether you’re looking for some vacation inspiration or straight-up curious, check out the list of the world’s most expensive cities. You’ll discover all about the historic, cultural, and people that make these locations so popular.
Most Expensive Cities In The World
1) Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates are Dubai, a swarming economic hub with a lot of business activity and a buzzing nightlife scene, among others. Dubai is a costly city to reside in due to its busy ports and business culture. Because Dubai is one of the emirates, educating a family of four will cost about $3,000 a month, not including rent, for such things as healthcare, education, transportation, and travel.
2) Miami, Florida
Tax rates in Miami have remained at an all-time high as property taxes are among the highest in the country and general housing expenses are 40% higher than the national average. Because it’s very difficult to acquire property in this coastal city if you don’t have a high income, general housing expenses are 40% higher than the national average.
3) Munich, Germany
Munich is one of Europe’s most costly cities because of competition in the housing market. According to locals, a single person would likely spend nearly $1,000 a month on rent, not including utilities, transportation, and health insurance.
4) Busan, South Korea
Busan, the country’s second-largest city after Seoul and a port town on the Yellow Sea, is a pleasant destination for tourists, who visit for its beautiful beaches, mountains, and temples, as well as its low crime rate and friendly feel.
5) Paris, France
The uniqueness of architecture, food, and fashion in Paris makes living there expensive. The demand for housing and retail space has been rising, making it difficult to afford real estate.
6) Chicago, Illinois
Chicago costs more than the national average, according to a study by GOBankingRates. The “Windy City” is home to the Chicago Riverwalk, Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, and deep-dish pizza, among other things. Rental prices typically start around $1,826 per month, with areas like River North and Streeterville starting around $2,500.
7) Osaka, Japan
Despite the fact that living in Osaka is expensive, the substantial minimum wage in Japan makes it easier for people to adapt to the rising cost of living. Combining the dazzling lights, restaurants, and shops of Times Square in New York City with Dōtonbori Canal boat rides, Osaka is a must-see destination for visitors.
8) Victoria, Seychelles
The islands’ capital, Victoria, is a welcoming spot for those seeking to escape to an exotic location. Mahé is home to many varied plants and animals, including giant turtles, colorful orchids, and more. A visit to Seychelles might prove costly if you aren’t aware of the rental prices, utility fees, and service fees. The 115 islands that make up Seychelles are located off the East African coast. Despite the high service fees and utility costs, the stunning scenery, pleasant temperatures, and abundant activities may help to compensate.
9) Brussels, Belgium
Brussels’ status as both a historical hub and the administrative centre of the European Union is in addition to its function as the most densely populated municipality in the Brussels-Capital region. Monthly expenses for a family of four are estimated at $3,055, not including rent.
10) Shenyang, China
With nearly 9 million residents, Shenyang is the capital of the Liaoning province and a pricy place to live. As a leading industrial, trade, and commercial centre, those living in Shenyang will incur substantial monthly expenses for rent, food, utilities, and more.
11) Djibouti, Djibouti
Djibouti has experienced a rise in poverty, resulting in higher living expenses. The country is the most expensive in Africa, thanks to its high commodity and service costs, even though the average cost of living is about $554, almost two times less than the worldwide average.
12) Atlanta, Georgia
According to GoBankingRates, it requires an annual income of at least $121,170 to live comfortably in Atlanta, where housing and transportation costs are surging. The national average is 5% higher than the average cost of living in Atlanta.
13) Helsinki, Finland
For a typical two-parent, two-child family, the $67,886 yearly expenditure is pretty steep. Rent, car payments, utilities, groceries, and entertainment, in addition to a two-week vacation annually, are typically included in Finland’s living expenses. The “expensive cost of living is usually ascribed to high demand in the food and restaurant industries as well as a ‘low level of competition in the closed-sector industries,’ ‘ According to the study.
14) Chengdu, China
Maintaining up with the trends is crucial if you want to thrive in Chengdu. In addition to being one of the only swanky malls in western China, the city places great importance on high-end goods. Chengdu has also been listed as China’s happiest city for the last 12 years.
15) Seattle, Washington
According to a 2016 study, it costs an annual income of $72,092 to live comfortably in Seattle, which sits on the shore of the Puget Sound and is identified by its iconic Space Needle. Seattle has one of the highest living costs in the United States because of its high sales tax and the large number of businesses that have made it their headquarters.
16) Berlin, Germany
Berlin, the capital of Germany, has a population of 3.7 million and is the most economical capital city in western Europe to live in, despite the country’s high cost of living. What has prevented a rise in living costs in recent years is a declining housing market and rising basic everyday costs. Expats and Germans alike continue to favor Berlin due to its exciting nightlife and enjoyable restaurants, even though rent averages $1,393 a month.
17) The Hague, Netherlands
It may cost tourists $149 per day in The Hague, excluding the price of a hotel stay and transportation, but locals would argue that it is well worth it. The Hague is a pleasant place to reside or vacation to, thanks to its Dutch institutions, museums, factories, and more.
18) Milan, Italy
Because Milan is one of the world’s four fashion hubs and a prominent corporate centre, it makes economic sense. Furthermore, since it has high ratings for safety, healthcare, and travel, it comes as no surprise that it ranks #10 on the list of Europe’s most costly cities to live in.
19) Dublin, Ireland
The Economist’s 2020 survey indicated that Dublin is one of Europe’s most expensive cities to live in. Dublin’s pubs and favorite tourist spots like Jameson Distillery, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Spire of Dublin are just a few of the city’s many historical and entertaining spots. Dublin is a unique city full of history and entertainment, as well as castles, forests, and alpine scenery just outside the city. Because of this, Dublin is one of Europe’s more costly cities, with apartments costing around $2,000 per month.
20) Yokohama, Japan
Yokohama is one of the world’s priciest cities, with living expenses averaging $1,486 per month. Sankeien Gardens, Yokohama Landmark Tower Sky Garden, delectable food and bar journeys, and other beautiful attractions draw a lot of visitors, whose daily expenses are estimated at about $112.
21) Nagoya, Japan
Nagoya has a high cost of living, even without factoring in rent, due to its high cost of living. A family of four can expect to spend $3,172 on monthly expenses, and rent typically starts anywhere from $357 to $731 per month. The skyline of Nagoya, in addition to its beauty, is known for its automotive industry. Living costs are consequently higher due to the presence of Toyota and Mitsubishi plants.
22) Luxembourg, Luxembourg
According to a list of the world’s finest places to reside, Luxembourg ranks in the top two percent as well as being the best city in Luxembourg. In addition to being the world’s second wealthiest country (known for award-winning wines), the capital Luxembourg is renowned for its subterranean tunnels and financial and private banking institutions. It is estimated to cost around $25,000 a year to rent a two-bedroom apartment, not including any extras, public transit, etc. Because of increasing population, rising housing costs, and limited housing, living costs are rising in this pricey city.
23) Kinshasa,The Democratic Republic Of The Congo
Rent rates in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, can begin at $20,000 yearly— a hefty price for a country where 72 percent of people live on less than $1.90 a day. The city has about 17 million residents and often experiences traffic jams, which contribute to high rent rates. Unfortunately, only the very wealthy or expatriates can typically afford an apartment there.
24) Nouméa, New Caledonia
Nouméa’s living expenses are $1,618 per month, placing it in the top 25% of the world’s most expensive cities. New Caledonia, a country known for its wealth and located off the east coast of Australia, is home to a diverse array of peoples. Experts say that a vacation to this Pacific-based island, which is an idyllic capital of New Caledonia, will cost $2,000 to $5,000 per person per day, provided that budgeting is done correctly.
25) Lagos, Nigeria
Despite Lagos dropping from being the 19th most costly city to the 55th, the 5th largest city in the world, a hub for Nigerian imports, and a centre for the country’s film and music scenes, housing remains costly. Because of the city’s large population and limited land, it’s challenging to get a house or piece of land due to high prices.
26) Hong Kong, China
The main cause Hong Kong is so costly is the huge number of people living there. Rent isn’t the only costly aspect of living in Hong Kong; the fierce competition for housing and the wide range of activities the city has to offer, such as its extensive markets and nightlife, make it costly.
27) Zürich, Switzerland
One glimpse at Zurich and you’ll understand why this dazzling city is one of the world’s most expensive. The financial hub, which sits on the north shore of Lake Zurich, features waterfront promenades, high-end shopping, and luxurious chocolate among other things. $2,000 is the average rent price for a single person living in one of Switzerland’s most popular cities, Zurich.
28) Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva is renowned for the Jet d’Eau, the world’s tallest water fountain. However, the city has tons of luxurious cafés and shopping, all of which comes at a high price. According to experts, individual monthly expenses average $3,500 for rent, food, and transportation.
29) Basel, Switzerland
Basel, a world-renowned university city situated on the Rhine River near the Swiss border with France and Germany, hosts the biggest art exhibition of the year every June. You may live in this location for about $3,000 a month, which includes historical structures, modern architecture, an active art scene, and much more.
30) Bern, Switzerland
Bern, the capital city of Switzerland, is famed for its medieval architecture, fountains, and deep history. Because of its UNESCO World Heritage Site status, it has been included on the list of the world’s most expensive cities. A family of four would spend almost $6,000 on a week-long trip to Bern, and rent and daily expenses there would average about $2,500 a month.
31) Tel-Aviv, Israel
Tel-Aviv has everything from beautiful beaches to thrilling nightlife and world-renowned dining establishments. You can have a great time in Tel-Aviv, but it will come at a hefty price. Tel-Aviv is renowned for being not only an exciting destination, but a diverse and welcoming one as well. Real estate, despite its popularity, is rather pricey, with an average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment coming in at $1,725.
32) New York City, New York
Big Apple rent prices have risen sharply, with one-year lease rates rising by 3.25% and two-year leases by 5% or more, the sharpest increase in nearly a decade. Rent hit an all-time high of $4,000 in May 2022 and an all-time high of $5,000 in June 2022.
33) Singapore, Singapore
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey identified Singapore as the world’s most costly city between 2014 and 2020, six times. Because it is a tiny area and land is extremely limited, the real estate market is particularly competitive. In addition to being limited in supply as demand has increased, the city has few natural resources and must rely on ports to import water and natural gas electricity.
34) Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is a thriving city that has been frequently listed among the world’s 10 most expensive cities. Aside from paying a lot of money for high rent, people who live there must also pay for car ownership and transportation. Japan is a nation where living costs are high.
35) Beijing, China
Living in Beijing, a cultural and political centre of China, is actually quite affordable, in comparison to western cities. However, due to the fast-growing population’s demand for living quarters, the cost of living is among the highest in the country. The population alone is the reason why costs are so high and why the rent for a one-bedroom apartment has risen from $360 to $700 in the last 10 years.
36) Copenhagen, Denmark
The picturesque waterside structures and architecture of Copenhagen may make the city seem like a fantasy world, but high taxes and prices make it virtually inaccessible to most people. In addition to rent, everyday citizens pay more than $1,000 per month in expenses, and visitors typically spend $108 to $205 a day.
37) Shanghai, China
Shanghai, Forbes reported in 2021 that it was the world’s most expensive city, is a fast-growing city with a bustling economy and numerous billionaires. It was China’s biggest city and a global financial centre, with its spectacular skyline, historic cultural heritage, and more, that so many individuals wanted to live and dwell there. Although there are so many folks living and working there, the region has some of the highest costs, with the average cost of living coming in at roughly $1,453 a month.
38) Shenzhen, China
Since Shenzhen is home to China’s younger generation, it is a thriving metropolitan area. With an average age of 32.1 years, it is one of the country’s youngest cities. Although rent and food are especially costly, you can at least count on utilities and internet to be reasonably priced!
39) Seoul, South Korea
Seoul, South Korea is a cultural and artistic hotspot with modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways, temples, palaces, and street markets. Unfortunately, the average cost of living in the city is around $1,400 per person, and they don’t have cheap living expenses.
40) London, England
Living in this capital city of England and the United Kingdom is a costly affair; owning and operating a business there is no exception. Because of the limited supply of goods and high storage rental costs, people often have to pay extra money to purchase everyday items.
41) Nassau, Bahamas
There are numerous tourist attractions, such as the Nassau Straw Market, the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, Atlantis Paradise Island, Blue Lagoon Island, and the Ardastra Garden & Wildlife Conservation Centre, in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. A vacation can cost as much as $1,055 for one person, not including hotel costs. Rent, excluding utilities, can cost as much as $4,625 per month for a family of four living in Nassau.
42) Los Angeles, California
Residents of Hollywood have to spend a lot of money to live the glamorous lifestyle. Besides Los Angeles’ location being a significant factor in the housing market, particularly with a population of 10 million people, LA’s high taxes for residents and sales tax of 9.5% make it a costly place to live. Sales tax in January 2020 was almost doubled compared to the national average for apartment rentals.
43) Guangzhou, China
Of the world’s top 500 companies, 60% have invested in the mega-city, making Guangzhou China’s third largest city after Beijing and Shanghai. The Canton Fair, China’s largest and oldest trade fair, is also located here.
44) San Francisco, California
It’s not surprising that nine people resided at one time in the Tanner household in Full House, which was set in San Francisco in the ’90s. Rent has always been expensive on the West Coast, but San Francisco home prices have increased 10% since early 2021, resulting in an average price of about $1.5 million. Even renters must earn about $100,000 a year to live comfortably in ‘The Golden City.’
45) Honolulu, Hawaii
You may be surprised to learn that the cost of living in Honolulu, Hawaii is 93% higher than the national average, with a family of four paying $5,017 monthly for costs (excluding rent). Even more intriguing is that utility prices are 64% higher, public transit costs are 33% higher, and grocery prices are 53% higher than the national average.
46) Vienna, Austria
According to an Economist Intelligence Unit report published in 2018, Vienna was named the world’s most livable city. The Austrian capital, known for its thriving fine art, architecture, and music scenes, ranked first in areas such as academic excellence and overall quality of life on a survey of over 140 cities. Vienna’s somewhat modest monthly expenses of around $866.85 (as of 2018), makes it an excellent location to live. However, the population increase is causing a more competitive housing market.
47) Qingdao, China
The beauty of its beaches, skyscrapers, and parks, in addition to Qingdao’s 177 ports, which have helped it become one of China’s most economically successful cities, draws tourists from around the world to the city for the Qingdao International Beer Festival. It is also comparatively inexpensive to visit Qingdao, only about $49 per day for a year-round resident, compared to the daily cost of living.
48) Bangui, Central African Republic
Bangui, a central African city, has developed into a thriving commercial centre thanks to its river port and connection to other countries. Even though housing is not excessively inexpensive, Internet connection, mobile phones, furniture, and kitchen appliances, on average, cost more.
49) Libreville, Gabon
Libreville is regarded as one of the major education hubs in Gabon, thanks to the presence of libraries and research institutes as well as a prominent university. Every day expenses, including rent and food, are exceedingly high due to the high demand and lack of accessible resources.
50) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is rich in character and history, in addition to its beautiful canals, intriguing architecture, lively nightlife, and art museums. In Europe, Amsterdam is one of the 10 most expensive cities to live, and a family of four needs an average salary of $4,800 a month to live comfortably.
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