Hong Kong ranks as the fifth most expensive city to live in 2023

Among the top ten most expensive cities, Western Europe takes the lead with four entries, while there are three cities in the US and two cities in Asia, including Hong Kong.

Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Tatum Ancheta
Editor-in-Chief, Time Out Hong Kong
Causeway Bay
Photograph: Tatum Ancheta Causeway Bay

The cost of living crisis worldwide isn't showing any signs of slowing down. In a recently published Worldwide Cost of Living Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), prices have risen 7.4 percent this year; although a slight dip from the previous year's 8.1 percent spike, this increase remains significantly higher than the trend observed between 2017 and 2021. So if you're living in a big city, well, you're in for a real wallop.

Singapore regained the top spot in the rankings for the ninth time in eleven years, known for its high prices in categories like clothing, groceries, and alcohol. Zurich also shares the title of the world's most expensive cities, attributed to factors like the strong Swiss franc and high prices in groceries, household goods, and recreation.

On the list, Geneva and New York tied for third place, resulting in the Big Apple losing its previous top spot, while Hong Kong dropped to fifth place. Chinese cities like Beijing and Dalian (tied at #60), as well as Nanjing and Wuxi (tied at #77), have moved down in the rankings due to a slower economic recovery, subdued consumer demand, and currency depreciation. Moreover, two Japanese cities, Osaka (#70) and Tokyo (#60), have significantly slipped down the rankings, influenced by the weakening yen.

The Worldwide Cost of Living survey, conducted twice a year by EIU, compares over 400 prices across 200 products and services in 173 cities. Data is collected in March and September by a global team of researchers and compiled into an index by economists for publication in June and December.

The following is the list of the world's 10 most expensive cities for 2023:
1) Zurich and Singapore (tie with 104 cost of living index)
3) New York and Geneva (tie with 100 cost of living index)
5) Hong Kong (98 cost of living index)
6) Los Angeles (97 cost of living index)
7) Paris (91 cost of living index)
8) Tel Aviv and Copenhagen (tie with 89 cost of living index))
10) San Francisco (86 cost of living index)

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