Technology, commerce and modern transportation have shrunk the world. In this global village, you can now go from one place to another in a matter of hours. More and more, people are realizing how interconnected our lives are. Asian businessmen are investing in English football teams, while European expatriates abound in the tiny city-state of Singapore.
With opportunities to live and travel abroad now available to practically anyone and everyone, it is time to consider which cities offer not only decent standards of pay but also an affordable level of living expenses. This means you should take into account the costs of rent, gasoline, newspapers and other daily expenses. Here then is a list of the top 10 most expensive places in the world to live in.
1. Tokyo, Japan
Japan owns one of the most important economies in the world. It is home to some of the biggest manufacturers and corporations. And because Tokyo is the capital of this economic giant, it is just natural that expats prefer to live here so that they will be in the middle of all the action. The only problem is that the city is also on top of the most expensive places in the world. Renting a two-bedroom luxury apartment will set you back by nearly $4,900. A cup of coffee to jolt you up in the morning will cost $8.29. Gasoline is $7.34 per gallon, while a newspaper will cost $6.38. Fast-food meal is at around $8.29 as well.
2. Luanda, Angola
Angola is the second largest producer of oil in the African continent. As a result, expats from investors in the United States, China, Brazil and Portugal have flocked to the place. The economy of the country has been purring because of the huge inflow of foreign investment. This however has led to an inflation rate of 11 percent. Luxury two-bedroom apartments have become so in-demand that its monthly rental has risen to $6,500. A simple club sandwich and soda fare will set you back nearly $20.
3. Osaka, Japan
The pressure on the city’s resources is enormous because of its status as a commercial center, the dense population and the limited amount of accommodation. The city is an industrial hub that is considered as home by nearly 44,000 manufacturers. While the rent of $3,062 is cheap compared to Tokyo, fast food meals will set you back at the same price as the capital city.
4. Moscow, Russia
This is the most expensive city to live in when you are in Europe. It is beset by problems with corruption, red tape and pollution. Traffic in the city has also gotten progressively worse. Power supply is erratic and there have been concerns regarding security for foreigners. Still, it is the country’s capital city and it accounts for 25 percent of Russia’s economy. Investors and businessmen certainly would not risk being left out of the action of this huge market. Rental of apartments here can cost as much as $4,200 per month. International newspapers are sold for $9.78 per issue.
5. Geneva, Switzerland
Switzerland is the only western European country to make the list, with its second largest city making it as the fifth most expensive city to live in. The city is home to several international organizations. Nearly half of the population is made up of foreigners. It is also home to some of the most expensive private schools in the world. Monthly rents can go as high as $4,800. Big Mac meals may set you back by $12 to $13.
The country offers the highest salaries for expats in the world. There is a shortage in apartments and condominiums in the city, which is why rent and property prices are higher compared to the rest of the countries in the region. Car ownership is also quite steep as you will need a Certificate of Entitlement before you can purchase a vehicle. This certificate alone will cost you up to $67,000. Monthly rental of a two-door luxury unit can go as high as $3,600. McDonalds and Starbucks will cost you more than $5 each.
7. Zurich, Switzerland
Expats abound in the city because of Zurich’s high quality of living and low corporate tax rates. It is home to some of the biggest banks of the country, including UBS and Credit Suisse. The strengthening of the local currency has made living in the city even more expensive, however. A fast food meal can cost you as much as $12.59. Rental of a nice apartment can set you back by more than $3,600 per month. Property prices are expected to increase as demand for real estate are still increasing, with buyers attracted by Zurich’s high ranking in education, tax and security.
8. N’ Djamena, Chad
The economy of this Central African country has been going up largely because of its oil industry. The capital city has seen an influx of expats working in the country. It is quite hard to obtain a decent place to stay here, however. That is why the few safe and suitable places have been snapped up at bloated prices. A who’s who of the big oil firms have an office here, like Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Petronas and China National Petroleum Corporation. This means demand for comfort western food has also increased exponentially. Heck, a fast food meal here can set you back by more than $25.
9. Hong Kong
Monthly rent of a luxury apartment with two bedrooms in this city can cost an astounding amount of more than $7,000 on average. This reflects Hong Kong’s status as the second hottest property market in the world, as a dense population has pushed up the demand for real estate. The city is also a global center of finance, attracting foreigners which, in turn, drives up the cost of living.
10. Nagoya, Japan
Expats love the place because it is Japan’s manufacturing hub. The monthly rent is also much affordable compared to Tokyo. The prices of coffee, meals and gasoline, however, are roughly the same as that of Tokyo’s.
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