(CNN) – Global mobility company ECA International has released its annual list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in, and once again, Hong Kong is at the top of the list.
The company calculates the list based on several factors, including the average price of staples like milk and cooking oil, rent, utilities, public transportation, and the strength of the local currency.
This is the third year in a row that Hong Kong has received the dubious honor of being the most expensive city in the world in the ECA Index.
Asia, the most expensive continent
It is safe to say that Asia is the most expensive continent, with five cities (Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Seoul) taking the top ten.
Some of the regulatory bodies include the Middle East region in Asia. In this case, Tel Aviv, which ranks sixth, also counts in Asia’s total and will give it six out of 10 ranks.
Asia also claims the honor of being home to the fastest growing city in the comprehensive list. That would be Colombo, the main capital of Sri Lanka, which jumped 23 places from 162 to 149.
Lee Kuan, ECA’s regional director for Asia, explained the reason for China’s growing presence in the index.
“Most of the mainland Chinese cities in our ranking have higher inflation rates than we’re used to seeing, but still lower than other parts of Asia,” Quinn said in a statement. “Therefore, the main reason for its rise in the ranking is the continued strength of the Chinese yuan against other major currencies.”
Further down the list
So which cities rank worse than in previous years?
Paris, which has topped the ECA list in the past, is out of the top 30. Madrid, Rome and Brussels also retreated.
“Almost every major city in the eurozone has seen a drop in the rankings this year, with the euro underperforming over the past 12 months compared to the US dollar and the pound sterling,” Cowen explains.
External factors such as politics and international conflicts can also play a role. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by many countries meant that Moscow ranked 62nd and Saint Petersburg 147th.
The most expensive city in Europe is the Swiss city of Geneva, which ranked third after Hong Kong and New York. Switzerland uses the Swiss franc instead of the euro.
The coronavirus pandemic, of course, has played a role in global supply chains and other economic factors.
ECA International is not the only company that ranks the world’s cities based on economy.
The London-based Economist Information Unit (EIU) publishes the Global Cost of Living Index in December of each year. In 2021, Tel Aviv took the prize for the most expensive place to live, with Paris and Singapore taking second place.
Hong Kong ranked fifth after Zurich. In 2020, Hong Kong, Zurich and Paris shared the first ranking.
Both lists use prices for everyday items like groceries and fuel to determine your ranking. However, EIU pegs its numbers to the US dollar, so economies that do the same, like Hong Kong, for example, are likely to rank highly.
Either way, and regardless of the order in which cities appear in the various indicators, it is clear that cities in Asia, Europe, and North America are much more expensive to live in than their counterparts in Africa and South America.
The most expensive cities in the world according to the ECA Index
1. Hong Kong
2. New York
6. Tel Aviv
CNN’s Maureen O’Hare contributed to this report.