Hong Kong’s had a rough go of things lately. In recent months, the city has been virus-hit, protest-wracked, and economically hobbled, but hey, at least it’s still super expensive!
Yes, for the second year in a row, Hong Kong has topped the Economist Intelligence Unit’s rankings of the world’s most expensive cities, tying with Singapore and Osaka, Japan.
The EIU’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey is based on the average prices of some 160 different products in cities around the world, which are then weighted to arrive at an overall cost of living rating.
Osaka climbed three places in the latest index to slide into the top spot alongside Hong Kong and Singapore (welcome! we guess?), while Paris — which also shared the top spot this time last year — fell in the rankings to fifth (in your FACE, Paris!). Perennial wallet-vacuum New York rounds out the top five in fourth place.
“The rise in cost of living in Asian cities has been a feature of many of our reports over the past ten years, a trend continued in 2019 as three Asian cities (Singapore, Hong Kong and Osaka) share top spot for the first time,” the report’s authors write. “Key Asian business centres continue to be the most expensive places for grocery shopping.”
In a bit of analysis sure to elicit mixed feelings, the EIU’s Nicholas Fitzroy told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the impact of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak (boooo!) would likely result in a drop in the cost of living for the world’s most expensive cities (yaayyyy!).
“The general trend will be of the cost of living falling,” Fitzroy said, pointing to damaging effects on the tourism and export industries in particular.
“It’s probably going to have a bigger impact in terms of that dampening trend on the top 10 cities, because if you look at the some of the cities in the bottom 10, tourism isn’t going to affect Damascus particularly or Caracas.”
Meanwhile, for those who might be looking to stretch their dollars — or tenges, or so’m, or Syrian pounds, as the case may be — the world’s cheapest cities were Almaty, Kazakhstan; Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and at the very bottom of the rankings, Damascus.