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Cost of Living - Asia Pacific July 2013

The most expensive countries in Asia Pacific for expatriates to live in are: Australia; Japan; Micronesia; New Caledonia; and New Zealand. The most expensive cities for expatriates to live in are: Hong Kong (the third most expensive in the world); Tokyo; Sydney; Singapore and Yokohama. The cheapest city for expatriates to live in is Medanin Indonesia (27th cheapest in the world). The biggest mover down the rankings is South Tarawa in Kiribati, which has dropped from 148th in April to become the 314th most expensive location in the world. The biggest mover up the rankings is Tashkent in Uzbekistan, which has risen from 500th in April to become the 370th most expensive location in the world.


Xpatulator’s Cost of Living rankings are released every quarter and measure the comparative cost of living for expatriates in 780 cities, covering every country worldwide.  The cost of 13 basket groups with over 140 items are compared in each location, these include alcohol and tobacco, clothing, communication, education, furniture and appliances, groceries, healthcare, housing, personal care, recreation and culture, restaurants-meals-out and hotels, and transport.

To provide an assignee, sent from a low cost of living country to a more expensive country, with a similar purchasing power to what they have in their home country, requires an adjustment to their assignment salary.  The amount of adjustment depends on which country they come from. The larger the difference in cost of living, the larger the adjustment required to ensure a similar level of purchasing power in the host country.


The below ranking shows the overall Cost of Living Rankings in Asia Pacific by city:  

  1. China, Hong Kong
  2. Japan, Tokyo
  3. Australia, Sydney
  4. Singapore, Singapore
  5. Japan, Yokohama
  6. Australia, Canberra
  7. Japan, Osaka
  8. Australia, Melbourne
  9. Japan, Nagoya
  10. Australia, Perth
  11. Japan, Kobe
  12. Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby
  13. Japan, Kyoto
  14. China, Shanghai
  15. Australia, Brisbane
  16. Korea Democratic Republic of, Pyongyang
  17. Australia, Adelaide
  18. Micronesia, Palikir
  19. New Caledonia, Noumea
  20. New Zealand, Auckland
  21. New Zealand, Wellington
  22. Japan, Kawasaki
  23. Korea Republic of, Seoul
  24. Japan, Fukuoka
  25. Solomon Islands, Honiara
  26. Korea Republic of, Daegu
  27. Korea Republic of, Incheon
  28. French Polynesia, Papeete
  29. Korea Republic of, Busan
  30. Taiwan, Taipei
  31. Japan, Sapporo
  32. China, Beijing
  33. Samoa, Apia
  34. Guam, Hagatna
  35. Marshall Islands, Majuro
  36. Timor-Leste, Dili
  37. Vanuatu, Port Vila
  38. New Zealand, Christchurch
  39. Tuvalu, Funafuti
  40. China, Wuhan
  41. Nauru, Yaren
  42. China, Shenzhen
  43. Kiribati, South Tarawa
  44. Kazakhstan, Almaty
  45. Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan
  46. Thailand, Bangkok
  47. Philippines, Manila
  48. Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan
  49. Fiji, Suva
  50. Cook Islands, Avarua
  51. Uzbekistan, Tashkent
  52. Palau, Melekeok
  53. Myanmar, Yangon
  54. China, Dalian
  55. China, Tianjin
  56. Indonesia, Jakarta
  57. Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar
  58. China, Guangzhou
  59. Laos, Vientiane
  60. Turkmenistan, Ashgabat
  61. Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek
  62. Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
  63. Malaysia, Johor Bahru
  64. China, Macao
  65. Indonesia, Bali
  66. Indonesia, Surabaya
  67. Malaysia, Subang Jaya
  68. Malaysia, Klang
  69. Vietnam, Hanoi
  70. Indonesia, Bandung
  71. Cambodia, Phnom Penh
  72. Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City
  73. Tonga, Nuku'Alofa
  74. Tajikistan, Dushanbe
  75. Indonesia, Medan


The below ranking shows the Cost of Living Rankings in Asia Pacific by city excluding housing, education, healthcare and transport basket groups: 

  1. Korea Democratic Republic of, Pyongyang
  2. Australia, Sydney
  3. New Caledonia, Noumea
  4. Australia, Canberra
  5. Solomon Islands, Honiara
  6. Japan, Tokyo
  7. Australia, Perth
  8. Australia, Melbourne
  9. Australia, Brisbane
  10. Samoa, Apia
  11. Australia, Adelaide
  12. Korea Republic of, Seoul
  13. Japan, Osaka
  14. Japan, Yokohama
  15. New Zealand, Wellington
  16. New Zealand, Auckland
  17. Korea Republic of, Daegu
  18. Korea Republic of, Incheon
  19. Japan, Kobe
  20. Vanuatu, Port Vila
  21. Korea Republic of, Busan
  22. Japan, Nagoya
  23. Japan, Kyoto
  24. French Polynesia, Papeete
  25. Kiribati, South Tarawa
  26. Uzbekistan, Tashkent
  27. Singapore, Singapore
  28. Micronesia, Palikir
  29. China, Hong Kong
  30. Guam, Hagatna
  31. Tuvalu, Funafuti
  32. Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby
  33. China, Beijing
  34. New Zealand, Christchurch
  35. China, Shanghai
  36. Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan
  37. Marshall Islands, Majuro
  38. Fiji, Suva
  39. Kazakhstan, Almaty
  40. Myanmar, Yangon
  41. Timor-Leste, Dili
  42. Thailand, Bangkok
  43. Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan
  44. Indonesia, Jakarta
  45. Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
  46. Nauru, Yaren
  47. China, Macao
  48. Philippines, Manila
  49. China, Wuhan
  50. Cook Islands, Avarua
  51. Turkmenistan, Ashgabat
  52. Palau, Melekeok
  53. Taiwan, Taipei
  54. Japan, Kawasaki
  55. Malaysia, Johor Bahru
  56. Malaysia, Subang Jaya
  57. Japan, Sapporo
  58. Japan, Fukuoka
  59. Malaysia, Klang
  60. Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek
  61. Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar
  62. China, Shenzhen
  63. Tonga, Nuku'Alofa
  64. China, Tianjin
  65. Indonesia, Bali
  66. China, Dalian
  67. China, Guangzhou
  68. Tajikistan, Dushanbe
  69. Indonesia, Bandung
  70. Laos, Vientiane
  71. Indonesia, Surabaya
  72. Cambodia, Phnom Penh
  73. Indonesia, Medan
  74. Vietnam, Hanoi
  75. Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City


The cost of living ranking information contained in this article is updated quarterly using data collected by Xpatulator.com over the past 12 months. The international cost of living indexes, on which the rankings are based, is only available using Xpatulator.com's online expatriate calculators that enable users to create personalized cost of living comparison reports which include:

Published by Xpatulator.com on 1 July 2013.

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