These are most expensive countries to live
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These are most expensive countries to live

EAST Asia has once again proven to be the most expensive region of Asia to set up home, but is still way behind some European countries when it comes to affordability.

The new 2019 cost of living index places Japan as the sixth most expensive country in the world to live, with Hong Kong and South Korea coming eight and ninth, respectively.

But it was European countries that dominated the top of the ranking, with Switzerland, Iceland and Norway taking the top three places, respectively.


Japan ranked the most expensive country in Asia for cost of living. Source: Shutterstock

The index score is determined by a range of factors, including cost of home rental, cost of groceries, cost of eating out, and purchasing power.

The data is then compiled into an index, using the notoriously expensive city of New York City as a benchmark. New York was given an index score of 100, anything above this is more expensive. The index was compiled by Numbeo.

Here is the full top 10 and their cost of living score:

  1. Switzerland – 121.16
  2. Iceland – 101.86
  3. Norway – 100.99
  4. Bahamas – 92.4
  5. Luxembourg – 86.09
  6. Japan – 83.33
  7. Denmark – 81.38
  8. Hong Kong – 78.14
  9. South Korea – 76.93
  10. Ireland – 75.85

Hong Kong’s notoriously expensive housing market will be seeing ‘cheap’ homes sold in Kowloon beginning next year. BookyBuggy/Shutterstock

Hong Kong is routinely ranked the most expensive city in the world, predominantly for its high-cost housing.

The annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, released this week, looked at 309 housing markets in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and the US.

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Taking data from the third quarter from 2018, researchers divided the median house price by the median household income and found Hong Kong was the most “severely unaffordable major housing market,” followed by Vancouver, Sydney and Melbourne.

In the Numbeo Cost of Living Index, Singapore dropped 15 places from mid-2018 to the latest 2019 results. The city-state fell from sixth to 21st in the ranking.

Hong Kong, however, shot up in this year’s rankings from 13 to eighth. Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway have consistently remained in the top five.

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