Global consultancy firm Mercer recently released its 25th Annual Cost of Living Survey which compares prices of 200 essential expenses that range from household goods to entertainment to real estate for ranking 209 cities around the world. New York was used as the benchmark to rank the most expensive cities in the world for expats in 2019.
The survey is aimed to help governments and multinational companies, that send employees overseas for work purposes, to set their pay.
Asian cities are among the most expensive
The survey results showed a fairly good number of Asian cities that made to the top 10 expensive cities for expats to live in 2019. 8 out of the top 10 spots were claimed by Asian cities.
Hong Kong topped the list for the second consecutive year as the most expensive city for overseas workers.
Tokyo grabbed the second spot, followed by Singapore, that beat Zurich this year. Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen are the fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth positions, respectively.
A surprise entry in to the top 10 cities was Ashgabat in Turkmenistan which jumped from 43 spot to seventh this year. The reason for the massive surge was not specified by Mercer, however, the International Monetary Fund forecasts the country's consumer price inflation to hit 9 percent in 2019.
The only two non-Asian cities in the top 10 were Zurich at the fifth spot and New York at the ninth position. In 2018, the Swiss city was at the third spot while New York was the thirteenth most expensive.
On the lower end of the spectrum, the cheapest cities were Tunis (209), Tashkent (208) and Karachi (207).
While any of the Indian cities did not make it to the Top 10, Mumbai was among the top 20 most expensive Asian cities for expats. Losing 12 spots this year, the financial capital of India was ranked at the 67th position.
The report said that Mumbai's high ranking was based on its high residential housing expenses despite the otherwise low eating out and utilities costs.
As for other Indian cities, Delhi was at 118, Chennai at 154, Bengaluru at 179 and Kolkata at 189 in the global ranking. All the four cities were ranked lower than last year.