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KL is getting more expensive to live in, rising 4 spots on world’s most expensive cities list

KL is getting more expensive to live in, rising 4 spots on world’s most expensive cities list

You know, we’ve always complained about how curry puff is no longer 30 cents, or how our morning nasi lemak bungkus is creeping closer to RM3. Even Tiger biscuits are no longer RM1!

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Turns out, the annual Cost of Living Survey just released by Mercer showed Kuala Lumpur rising FOUR places on their world’s most expensive cities list.

Kuala Lumpur which was previously on the 145th spot is now at 141.

Picture Credit: Mercer

That’s right. Worst fears = CONFIRMED.


The survey calculates and compares the cost of living and housing of different cities around the globe. The rankings also show how currency fluctuations and shifts in the prices of goods and services can affect purchasing power.

Factors included for cost of living calculations include the

Picture Credit: Mercer

However, it’s not all bad news!

Malay Mail reported that KL didn’t experience a rise in prices, but currency fluctuations resulted in the Ringgit declining against the US Dollar by 4%. KL’s rise in position was also due to the movement of other cities.

In comparison to our neighbours, KL is doing pretty okay with Singapore at No 3 (!), Jakarta at No 105, Bangkok at No 40 and Manila at No 109.

Picture Credit: Google Maps

Interestingly, KL was ranked higher than Glasgow in Scotland (145), Belfast in Northern Ireland (158) and Ottawa in Canada (161). (*hint* *hint* if you’re planning to move abroad someday. Or even go for a holiday.)

Picture Credit: Mercer

In case you’re wondering, the world’s most expensive city is Hong Kong while Tokyo is the second. If you’re planning to visit these places anytime soon, you’ve been warned.


While Mercer says prices in Kuala Lumpur did not rise, the Consumer Price Index of May 2019 by the Malaysian Statistics Department showed that it has increased by 0.2% compared to last year.

The main categories that contributed to the increases included Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+1.8 per cent), Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (+1.2 per cent) and Education (+1.2 per cent).

What do you think? Do you feel that KL is getting more expensive?


If you’re concerned about your spending habits, check out this article: Making more money but saving less? You have lifestyle creep.

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