Hong Kong fell one position in the 2023 Worldwide Cost of Living Index rankings to become the fifth most expensive city in the world this year. It is only the second Asian city in the Top 10 after Singapore, which tied for the No. 1 spot with Zurich.

This year’s survey covered 173 major cities, comparing more than 400 individual prices across 200 products and services. It was conducted between August 14 and September 11, 2023 and found that, on average, prices had risen by 7.4% year-on-year in local currency terms for the goods and services surveyed.

RANKCITY
1Singapore
1Zurich
3New York
3Geneva
5Hong Kong
6Los Angeles
7Paris
8Tel Aviv
8Copenhagen
10San Francisco
The world’s most expensive cities according to the 2023 Worldwide Cost of Living Index

According to the survey, “Chinese cities have fallen in the rankings, with four cities — Nanjing, Wuxi, Beijing, and Dalian — on our list of biggest movers down, amid slow economic recovery after the pandemic, subdued consumer demand, and depreciation of the currency.” 

Last year, prices rose by a record 8.1% and utility prices (household energy and water bills) was the fastest-rising category. However, according to the index, the moderation of their prices this year, “suggests an easing of the energy price shocks caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

The price of groceries grew at a fast pace this year globally (© martb via Canva)

On the other hand, groceries saw the fastest pace of price growth as the study found that, “many manufacturers and retailers have passed on higher costs to consumers and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events continues to keep supply-side risks elevated.”

Earlier this month, Tsim Sha Tsui was declared the third-most pricey retail venue in the world, with retail spaces in the area priced at US$1,493 (approximately HK$11,640) per square foot. However, the shopping hub also dropped one place in the study’s global rankings from last year.

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Header image credits: Asia-Pacific Images Studio via Canva

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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