There are so many unimaginably expensive cities! Some examples are New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, San Francisco, Paris, and Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. Spoiler alert: Two of these cities are not even on the list – you probably won’t believe me, but Ashgabat is not one of these two! Good day, Today we present you the top 10 most expensive cities in the world in 2020! The list is from the prominent Mercer magazine, and the ranking is based on a vast variety of factors. In total, over 200 goods and services as well as currency fluctuations and inflation are taken into account for the ranking. The goods and services include food, alcohol, tobacco, housing and rent, clothing, personal care, transportation, entertainment, and more. Trust me, it works! Alright, let’s start!
10. Beijing, China
The capital of the People’s Republic of China has over 21 million residents, which makes it the most populous capital city in the world. Located in Northern China, Beijing houses the largest number of Fortune Global 500 companies in the world. It is also called the billionaire capital of the world because it has the highest number of billionaires living in the city. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Beijing is the number ten most expensive city in the world!
09. Geneva, Switzerland
Located in the French-speaking West of a small country in Europe, Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland. Geneva is a global city, a financial center, and houses numerous international organizations, such as many agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. Geneva hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world! Besides being the ninth-most expensive city in the world, it is also the ninth-most livable city in the world according to Mercer. And by the way, this is not the last Swiss city on the list.
08. Switzerland: Bern
As only the fifth-most populous city in Switzerland, Bern is located in the mid-west of the country. Bern’s historic old town in the city center became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After checking some pictures of the old town, I can understand why! Even though Switzerland does not have a capital according to its constitution, Bern is stated as the official capital of the mountainous country. There is a lot of confusion about this topic, which comes from an old question of whether Switzerland should have a capital or not. Due to its history as a decentralized confederation, the country wanted to prevent too much power from being concentrated in one of its biggest cities. Due to this, the fifth biggest city was finally chosen as the country’s capital in voting in 1848 – keep that in mind for a pub quiz once the pandemic is over!
07. Shanghai, China
Shanghai, located on the mid-eastern shore of China, is a global center for finance, research, technology, manufacturing, and transportation. Shanghai’s port is the busiest container port in the world! The city also hosts numerous national and international events, such as the Shanghai Fashion Week, the 2008 Olympic Games, and the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix. Even though Beijing is China’s capital, Shanghai is the center of China’s booming economy. As of 2020, Shanghai is the world’s third-largest billionaire city behind Beijing
Fun fact: Shanghai means “upon on the sea” in Chinese, and the city houses a massive 26 million people!
06. New York City
This city houses the second-most billionaires and it will probably come as no big surprise that the biggest city in the United States is included on the list. Furthermore, this massive city is often described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world. It is also an important center for international diplomacy, housing the headquarters of the United Nations. It is also home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside of the US, the largest foreign-born population in any city in the world. This comes as no surprise since New York is historically a major port of entry for immigrants into the United States. More than 12 million European immigrants were received at Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924, with a direct view of the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of the American dream. If you have ever been to New York, you will know that the city is crazy expensive. Stay with us to find out which five cities are EVEN MORE expensive!
This sovereign island city-state in Southeast Asia is composed of one main island and many smaller islands. Even though the country has the second-greatest population density in the world, Singapore is placed very high in key social indicators, such as education, healthcare, quality of life, personal safety, and housing. Surprisingly, the home ownership rate is at an incredible 91%! Singapore also enjoys one of the world’s longest life expectancies, one of the best internet connections, and one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world! So many benefits have their price, making Singapore the fifth most expensive city in the world. Fun fact: Singapore has the world’s highest percentage of millionaires, with one out of every six households having at least one million US dollars in disposable wealth. Crazy, right? If you are a history nerd like me, here’s another interesting fact. The main reason for Singapore’s wealth is its strategic position in the Straits of Malacca. Ever since the spice trade between Eastern Asia and Europe started, every ship that took the trip had to sail through this passage!
04. Zurich, Switzerland
This is already the third time this small European country is mentioned in this list! As you probably remember, Switzerland has no capital according to its constitution. But because Zurich is the country’s largest and most famous city, many people mistake Zurich for its capital. Located in the German-speaking north of Switzerland, the city is among the world’s largest financial centers and is home to many large financial institutions and banks. In 2019, Mercer also chose Zurich as the city with the second-highest living quality in the world, just behind Vienna in Austria! In 2017, the Global Financial Centers Index ranked Zürich as the 11th-most competitive financial center in the world, housing many head offices of large companies, such as UBS, Credit Suisse, and Swiss Re. It was also selected as the second most competitive city in Europe after London. This is probably why Swiss bankers are known for their expertise across the entire planet!
03. Tokyo, Japan
The capital and most populous prefecture of Japan is located right in the center of Japan. The country’s political and economic center is also the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the national government. Moreover, the Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world as of 2020, with an unbelievable 38 million inhabitants! Since the PS5 was just released, you probably know at least one massive Japanese company – Sony! In addition to that, Tokyo houses another 25 of the 500 largest companies in the world! Unfortunately, Tokyo is near a point where three tectonic plates meet, making it one of the world’s most active regions for earthquakes. Since the Japanese are so smart, of course, they have developed a solution: You have probably seen how Japanese skyscrapers wiggle around to mitigate the impact of earthquakes!
02. Ashgabat in Turkmenistan
The country’s capital and largest city is the second most expensive city in the world due to Turkmenistan’s inflation and import issues. Situated in the mid-south of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat means the city of love in modern Persian. The city was ruled by the Soviet Union for many years before Turkmenistan finally became independent in 1991. But why exactly is Ashgabat so expensive? Due to the country’s very high inflation and serious difficulty in importing foreign luxury goods, a lot of goods are sold on the black market, and prices for these goods can be outrageously expensive. It’s a simple question of supply and demand– when the supply of a good or service is very low and demand is high, then it can be sold for a VERY high price.
01. Hong Kong!
The special administrative region of the Republic of China has a population of over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities. Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire in 1842 and was officially transferred back to China in 1997. Hard to imagine that it was part of the United Kingdom just 24 years ago, right? As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China, under the principle of “one country, two systems” – though this is currently a very hot topic. Hong Kong is the fourth-largest billionaire city behind Shanghai, New York, and Beijing and is one of the world’s most important financial centers and commercial ports. Even though Hong Kong only houses a population of 7.5 million, it is the world’s tenth-largest exporter and the ninth-largest importer, which is due to its low taxes and free trade. Did you know that Hong Kong has the largest number of skyscrapers of any city in the world? Hong Kong ranks as the most expensive city in the world mainly due to its extreme housing prices – space is expensive here since the city is located in a very special region.
hope you like the list…