Expatriation: 2023 ranking of the most expensive cities in the world

Expatriation: 2023 ranking of the most expensive cities in the world

11 December 2023 Expat life

The world of work is constantly As the world continues to adapt to economic and social change, some cities stand out for their high cost of living, reflecting both their attractiveness and the challenges they present to their inhabitants. In 2023, our exploration of the world’s most expensive cities takes us on a fascinating journey through dynamic metropolises, where luxury rubs shoulders with innovation, and where economic opportunities abound, but at a price. From the architectural splendor of Singapore to the ceaseless vitality of New York, these cities are not only centers of economic and cultural power; they are also witnesses to the growing complexity of urban life in a globalized context. This article delves into the world of the world’s most expensive cities., and with it, the preferred destinations for professionals looking to broaden their horizons. In 2023, some places stand out for their unique opportunities, quality of life, and ability to attract talent from all over the world. Here’s a roundup of the world’s best places to work.

This edition has been updated with the latest figures and trends for 2023, offering an up-to-date perspective on the cost of living in these fascinating metropolises.

The world’s most expensive cities in 2023

Mercer’s 2023 ranking of the world’s most expensive cities

In this article, we draw once on the Mercer study to bring you an updated ranking of the world’s most expensive cities in 2023. Our aim is to highlight changes in the ranking and explore the trends and factors influencing these developments. Without going into numerical detail, we offer you an overview of how these cities rank on the global cost-of-living scale, and what this means for those living there or expatriates considering a move.

2023 rankings and trends since 2022:

  1. Hong Kong (-)
  2. Singapore (↑6)
  3. Zurich (↓1)
  4. Geneva (↓1)
  5. Basel (↓1)
  6. New York (↑1)
  7. Bern (↓2)
  8. Tel Aviv (↓2)
  9. Copenhagen (↑2)
  10. Nassau (↑6)
new york
hong kong

In the recent ranking of the world’s most expensive cities in 2023, Hong Kong and Singapore stand out as the top two. These Asian metropolises are renowned for their economic dynamism and high cost of living, reflecting their status as major financial and commercial centers. In contrast, at the other end of the ranking, we also find two Asian cities: Karachi and Islamabad. These cities, although located in the same region, offer a different perspective on the cost of living in Asia.

Surprisingly, Switzerland also stands out in this ranking, with four of its cities among the most expensive. This notable presence underlines Switzerland’s reputation as a country with a high cost of living, but also as a high-quality place to live, attracting a wealthy international population.

The world’s most expensive cities for expats in 2023 according to Eurocost International

In our continued exploration of the world’s most expensive cities for expats in 2023, we once again rely on data provided by Eurocost International.

2023 rankings and trends since 2022:

  1. Hong Kong (-)
  2. Geneva (↑3)
  3. New York (↓1)
  4. Singapore (-)
  5. London (↑7)
  6. San Francisco (↓3)
  7. Zurich (↑2)
  8. Lausanne (↑10)
  9. Honolulu (↑1)
  10. Los Angeles (↑3)

This year, Swiss cities have made a remarkable breakthrough in the ranking of the most expensive cities for expats, according to the study. This notable rise highlights not only Switzerland’s stability and economic prosperity, but also the high quality of life these cities offer. Known for their excellent service, secure environment and idyllic lifestyle, these cities attract an affluent international population, contributing to their positioning as prime, but expensive destinations for expats from around the world.

The world’s most expensive healthcare systems and their impact on expats

In addition to our analysis of the most expensive cities for expats, it is crucial to consider the aspect of healthcare systems, a determining factor in the overall expatriation budget. Our previous article already about the best health systems in the world revealed that the USA dominates the ranking with the highest medical costs in the world, closely followed by Switzerland, which ranks second in terms of healthcare costs. Other countries such as Norway, Germany, Canada and Australia, as well as Asian nations such as Singapore and Hong Kong, are also among the most expensive.

These high healthcare costs in cities such as Hong Kong and New York, which regularly appear in the top 10 most expensive cities to expatriate to, underline the importance of financial planning for expats. Healthcare costs, combined with housing and living expenses, can have a considerable influence on the choice of expatriation destination. Conversely, cities such as those in Georgia, Mexico or Costa Rica offer a more affordable cost of living, including healthcare, making them attractive to expats seeking a balance between quality of life and budget control.

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