Expats: Shanghai ranked most expensive city for life abroad

Boris Johnson 'needs to step up for British expats' says expert

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For some Britons, relocating abroad can be a great way to improve their quality of life. The cost of living is a key factor when choosing a destination. But which one is the best and which one will have you paying the highest prices right now?

According to data from Julius Baer’s Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2021, the most expensive cities are concentrated in the Asia Pacific.

The cost of living is one of the main reasons Britons decide to start a life abroad.

Shanghai topped the chart as the most expensive place for UK expats to live this year.

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Shanghai is known to be the centre of commerce and luxury. Last year, the city’s residential property market rose to unprecedented levels.

China’s market for luxury goods is due to grow by 8.5 percent each year until 2025.

For expats that have a passion for luxury brands, Shanghai is definitely an interesting city to live in with so much to offer, but very costly.

Wealthy expats in China seem to like neighbourhoods such as Gubei, Hongqiao, and Xintiandi.

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Tokyo is ranked the second most expensive city for expats to live in.

The city saw prices in certain surge above the global average and living costs are now double the international average. 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong comes in third place as the cost of services is now more expensive than in many other countries.

However, with its energy and diverse culture, the city continues to attract many wealthy expats every year.


Monaco is one of topmost expensive places in the index to purchase a home, despite the prices falling 12 percent last year.

But what are the best places for expats to live in 2021?

According to recent research, Taiwan is the best place to relocate in 2021.

96 percent of expats said they were happy with the quality of medical care in the place, which is significantly higher than the global average of 71 percent.

Other findings show not a single expat feels personally unsafe in Taiwan.

“I can live independently. I feel safe wherever I go, and everything is convenient,” said an expat who took part in the survey.

The state of local economy and the affordable cost of living were other things expats were satisfied with.

The data also showed 96 percent are pleased with how friendly the Taiwanese are.

Although Taiwan leads the list as the best overall place, Mexico has been ranked number one for personal happiness. 78 percent of expats said it is incredibly easy to make friends in the country, and 4 out of 5 said to be satisfied with their financial situation.

However, the country came number 10 in terms of personal safety and security and scored below average in terms of quality of life and sanitation.

Costa Rica has been ranked the third best country for expats to live in. Over nine in ten expats have described the population in the country as generally friendly.

What’s more, 84 percent of expats in Costa Rica claim that disposable household income was “enough or more than enough” to cover all expenses.

According to the research, Portugal is the only European destination that made it to the top 10 best places to live.

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