The Most Expensive Cities in the World 2024


most expensive cities in the world
most expensive cities to live in
most expensive cities to live in the world
world city cost of living comparison
cost of living index by city
cost of living comparison by city
international city cost of living comparison

In 2024, the cost of living in some of the world's most desirable cities remains a complex issue, influenced by a variety of factors from housing to cars to lifestyle. As the global economy continues to recover and evolve post-pandemic, these cities highlight the diverse challenges and opportunities in urban living today.

The Priciest Places: The World's Most Expensive Cities in 2024

Life in the city can be vibrant and full of opportunities, but some cities might just empty your wallet faster than you can fill it back up. According to the latest Worldwide Cost of Living survey by Xpatulator in April 2024, covering 780 spots around the globe, some cities are high on the cost meter. Let's dive into the details and see which cities are making our wallets nervous in 2024.


Monaco is sitting pretty at the top of the list, more expensive than any other place. With a Cost of Living Index (COLI) of 138, it's like New York's cost of living on steroids. Why so pricey? Well, space is tight, the rich love it, it's safe, taxes are low, and it screams luxury. All this means that living there doesn't come cheap, especially when it comes to finding a place to live, which makes up about 30% of your expenses.

Hong Kong and Singapore

Right behind Monaco, Hong Kong takes the second spot with a COLI of 116.5. Like Monaco, the main issue here is the cost of housing. There's not much room, and everyone wants a slice of the pie.

Singapore isn't far behind, ranking third with a COLI of 115.3. Apart from housing, car owners have to deal with the Certificate of Entitlement system, which just adds to the expense. Plus, it's known for its top-notch education, which is another factor driving up the cost of living.

The Most Expensive Cities in the World 2024.jpg

Around the World

Each region has its own most expensive city. In Africa, Monrovia in Liberia wears the crown, with Libreville and N'Djamena following. Over in the Americas, California is home to two of the top three most expensive cities, San Francisco and San Jose, with Manhattan wedged between them. In Asia-Pacific, Sydney is third most expensive after Hong Kong and Singapore. Europe's runners-up to Monaco are Zurich and Geneva, while the Middle East's costliest cities start with Jerusalem, followed by Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Some Relief and Rising Costs

Not all news is daunting. Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Kingston have seen their living costs drop. However, life in Nigeria and Japan is getting pricier, indicating a shifting economic landscape.

The 2024 Top Ten

The top ten most expensive cities reflect a diverse set of regions, each with unique factors contributing to their high cost of living.

  1. Monaco
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Singapore
  4. Zurich
  5. San Francisco
  6. Manhattan
  7. Geneva
  8. San Jose
  9. Saint George's
  10. Honolulu

Navigating the High Costs

Living in these cities means dealing with high expenses, but it also offers unique opportunities and experiences. If you're planning a move or just curious, understanding why these places are so expensive can help you navigate their high costs better. Whether it's the allure of Monaco's luxury, the tech boom in San Francisco, or the historic charm of Jerusalem, these cities offer much to their residents, at a price.

Use Xpatulator’s Cost of Living Calculators and Tools for informed decision-making about the cost of living and the salary / allowance / assignment package required to maintain the current standard of living.