The cost of living is always a hotly debated subject. Across Asia as economies grow and wages grow many still feel their purchasing power isn’t keeping up with the cost of food, shelter and transportation. There’s a correlation between expensive cities and where people want to live, work and travel to.
The Economist’s latest “Worldwide Cost of Living 2018” ranks global cities on prices for 160 products and services including food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care, rent, transportation, utility bills, private schools, domestic help, and recreation costs. It’s pretty comprehensive list which gives an accurate look at what it’s like to live in a city or visit it.
In other categories Singapore remains significantly cheaper than its Asian peers. In terms of food and drink, the cost of living in Singapore is on a par with that of Shanghai, while Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong are the three most expensive cities in the world to buy staple goods. In Seoul, groceries are almost 50% more expensive than in New York.
At the bottom of the ranking are cities which have faced political, economic or severe security issues, as well as places with infrastructure and other challenges. Put simply cheap is not always cheerful and the least expensive cities are usually near the bottom of livability lists.