The Ultimate Guide To Tokyo Takes Number One Spot As Most Expensive For Expatriates

The cost of living rankings for October 2012 show Tokyo in Japan as probably the most expensive area for expatriate to reside in. There has been substantial movement this quarter with Zurich and Geneva in Switzerland ranking second and third, Luanda Angola as fourth and Hong Kong China fifth.
Tokyo is probably the most expensive location on earth overall taking all elements of the cost of living into account. It is probably the most expensive area for expatriates in it is particularly costly for those items that consume the biggest portion of an expatriates living costs. Household accommodation, which accounts for approximately 30% of a normal expatriate’s budget may be the fourth highest on earth in Tokyo (Hong Kong remains probably the most expensive for housing).


In Tokyo the benchmark rental for a secure up-market unfurnished タワーマンション賃貸 (3 bedrooms) is $6,293 in a main location, and $3,209 in a suburban location, each month, excluding utilities. The second most costly basket in Tokyo is groceries, which accounts for 16.5% of a normal expatriates budget, and ranks 5th most expensive in the world. Benchmark prices in a major international store in Tokyo for 1 kg apples is $7.08, 1 kg oranges $4.80, 1 kg potatoes $4.92, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken white meat $11.91, 1 kg cheddar cheese $18.22, and 1 L full cream milk $2.73.

If the housing, education, medical and transport baskets are excluded from the cost of living calculation, then Luanda ranks first with Zurich and Geneva, in second and third, placing Tokyo while the fifth most expensive place to reside and Hong Kong 108th. Tokyo drops dramatically in ranking when probably the most expensive basket group – housing is removed, rendering it overall a much cheaper expatriate prospect when housing is provided by the employer. Luanda is specially expensive for clothing, groceries, recreation and culture, and restaurants and meals out. A pair of branded men’s jeans costs approximately $113, a 1L full cream milk $2.93, a cinema ticket for 1 adult $13.17, a cappuccino $4.37 and a burger meal from an international franchise is $13.82.