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Cost of living index in megacities APAC 2020

As well as having a population of over nine million people, Tokyo had the highest cost of living index score throughout the Asia Pacific region in 2020, with an index score of 86.67. Seoul followed closely behind Tokyo with a cost of living index score of 85.5.


Not only did Tokyo have the highest cost of living index score but Tokyo also had the highest rent index score in 2020. Affordability has become an issue in certain megacities across the Asia Pacific region, with accommodation proving expensive. As well as Tokyo, the housing market in Mumbai has increased significantly alongside the increased population.

Increased opportunities in megacities

As the biggest region in the world, it is not surprising that Asia Pacific is home to over 15 megacities, with expectations that this will dramatically higher by 2030. The increasing number of megacities in the Asia Pacific region can be attributed to the raised levels of employment and living conditions. Cities such as Tokyo, Shanghai, and Beijing have become economic and industrial hubs. Subsequently, these such cities have forged a reputation as being the in-trend places to live among the younger generations. This reputation has also pushed these cities to become enticing to tourists, with Tokyo displaying increased numbers of tourists throughout recent years, which in turn has created more job opportunities for inhabitants. As well as Tokyo, Shanghai has benefitted from the increased tourism, and has demonstrated an increasing population. A big factor in this population increase could be due to the migration of citizens to the city, seeking better employment possibilities.

Cost of living index in megacities in the Asia Pacific region in 2020

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

According to the source the index is relative to New York City. Which means that for New York City, each index should be 100 percent. If another city has, for example, a rent index of 120, it means that on an average rents in that city are 20 percent more expensive than in New York City. If a city has a rent index of 70, that means that the city rents are 30 percent less expensive than in New York City.

The cost of living index is a relative indicator of consumer goods prices, including groceries, restaurants, transportation and utilities. The cost of living index doesn't include accommodation expenses such as rent or mortgage.

The source does not provide a date of publication. The date used here is the access date.

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Statistics on "Megacities in Asia Pacific"

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