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Talia Avakian
July 05, 2018

Asia is now home to both the world’s most expensive and least expensive cities to work and live abroad in, according to consulting firm Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey.

The ranking, which compares the cost of living across more than 200 categories that range from housing and transportation to entertainment and household goods in more than 375 cities around the globe, found that Hong Kong is now the most expensive destination for expatriates while Uzbekistan’s capital of Tashkent is the cheapest.

Asia was home to six of the 10 most expensive destinations in this year's rankings, including Tokyo (in second place), Singapore (in fourth place), Seoul (in fifth place), Shanghai (in seventh place), and Beijing (in eighth place).

Several European and African cities also landed on the most expensive list. The top 10 are included below. 

The 10 Most Expensive Destinations for Expats: 

1. Hong Kong

2. Tokyo, Japan

3. Zurich, Switzerland

4. Singapore

5. Seoul, South Korea

6. Luanda, Angola

7. Shanghai, China

8. N’Djamena, Chad

9. Beijing, China

10. Bern, Switzerland

While expenses in Asian and European cities rose in 2018, U.S. cities dropped due to a decline in the U.S. dollar's value compared to several foreign currencies. New York City dropped four places to 13th while San Francisco and Los Angeles came in 28th and 35th, respectively.

Western European cities saw an overall rise, with German cities like Frankfurt and Berlin jumping up 49 spots from last year.

Decreases in housing rental costs led to a decline in various Middle Eastern cities, with Tel Aviv remaining the region’s most expensive at 16th place. Sydney ranked as Australia’s most expensive city in 29th place.

São Paulo came in as South America’s most expensive city in 58th place, while Tegucigalpa was its least expensive. Tegucigalpa also came is as one of the top 10 cheapest destinations for expats. The full list is below.

The 10 Cheapest Destinations for Expats: 

1. Tashkent, Uzbekistan

2. Tunis, Tunisia

3. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

4. Banjul, The Gambia

5. Karachi, Pakistan

6. Blantyre, Malawi

7. Tbilisi, Georgia

8. Minsk, Belarus

9. Tegucigalpa, Honduras

10. Managua, Nicaragua

If you’re considering making a big move yourself, take a look at the one thing expats from around the world say you should do to prepare.

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