[Japan] Tokyo Is Third On Global List Of Most Expensive Expat Cities

17 JUN 2020

According to a recent cost of living survey, Tokyo is now the third most expensive city for expats. Tokyo dropped one place from 2019 and remaining behind Hong Kong’s number one spot for the third consecutive year, The Japan Times reports.

US consulting firm Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey ranked 209 cities this year. Ashgabat in Turkmenistan was the second most expensive city - rising from seventh last year - while Zurich came in fourth place, up from fifth. Singapore was fifth, down two places from third, and New York City moved up to sixth from its ninth-place position in 2019.

According to Mercer, Hong Kong retained first place on the list because currency movements against the US dollar drove up its cost of living. The human resources consulting firm compiles the annual data to help multinational companies and governments around the globe determine compensation strategies for expatriate employees.

The other four cities ranked in the top 10 were Shanghai in seventh place, Bern in eighth, and Geneva in ninth. Beijing took tenth place.

The survey takes into account the cost of more than 200 items in each location; including food, clothing, housing, transportation, household goods and entertainment. Currency movements are measured against the dollar and New York City is used as the base for all comparisons.

Mercer initially collected data in March but the company said it conducted further analysis on the availability of goods in April and May to verify pricing in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In a June 9 press release, Ilya Bonic - career president and head of Mercer Strategy - said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the cost of living.

“Border closings, flight interruptions, mandatory confinements, and other short-term disruptions have affected not only the cost of goods and services but also the quality of living of assignees,” Mr Bonic said.

The survey shows that the world’s least expensive city for expatriates is Tunis in Tunisia. Windhoek in Namibia was just above Tunis at 208th place and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, tied for 206th place in the rankings with Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Source: The Japan Times