Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Asia-Pacific Cost of Living - 2010

Tokyo is the costliest city in the world in which to live.

Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world in which to live, out of 300 global locations, surveyed in September 2010. While Tokyo is relatively cheap for items such as alcohol & tobacco (ranked 145), it is the most expensive for groceries and healthcare, and household accommodation costs. Tokyo has always been relatively expensive. This trend has strengthened again recently, as a result of the Japanese Yen having gained in value by about 18% against the United States Dollar in the past two years.

As the most expensive city in the world, Tokyo has an overall cost of living index of 155.4 (New York = 100), while Dubai (ranked 60 in the world) has a cost of living index of 88.84. Therefore Tokyo's cost of living is 75% higher than Dubai. That means that an expatriate earning USD$5,000 per month in Dubai would need to earn USD$8,750 per month in Tokyo to enable them to have the same purchasing power, and therefore a similar standard of living as they had in Dubai. The cost of living for an expatriate is affected by both the availability and prices, of goods and services representative of an expatriate lifestyle, local inflation, and the exchange rate between the home and host country. As a result the cost of living has a significant impact of an expatriate's salary package.

Asia-Pacific has 4 of the 10 most expensive cities in the world. Tokyo is first and Hong Kong the third most expensive location in the world (and most expensive in greater China), whilst Osaka is the third most expensive city in Asia-Pacific (ranked 4 in the world), followed by Nagoya (ranked 6 in the world).

Cities in mainland China remain relatively cheap, mainly due to the pegging of the Chinese Yuan to the US Dollar which has kept costs down. Within mainland China, Shanghai (ranked 15 in the world), and Beijing (ranked 116 in the world) are the most expensive locations. The cheapest city surveyed in China is Tianjin (ranked 281 in the world) with a cost of living index of 60.34 (New York = 100). The cheapest city in Asia-Pacific is NukuAlofa in Tonga (ranked 299 in the world) with a cost of living index of 54.45 (New York = 100).

Most expensive cities in Asia-Pacific (Global rank in brackets)
1. Japan, Tokyo (1)
2. China, Hong Kong (3)
3. Japan, Osaka (4)
4. Japan, Nagoya (6)
5. Japan, Yokohama (11)
6. China, Shanghai (15)
7. Singapore (20)
8. Australia, Sydney (22)
9. Korea Republic of, Seoul (24)
10. Australia, Canberra (25)

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