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Phnom Penh Ranked Second Most Expensive City in Southeast Asia According to Latest Mercer Survey

Phnom Penh, June 24, 2024: In a recent revelation by Mercer's 2024 Cost of Living Survey, Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, has emerged as the second most expensive city in Southeast Asia, trailing only behind the consistently high-ranking Singapore. This marks a significant shift in the cost of living dynamics within the region, reflecting both the rising standards of living and the economic progression in Cambodia.

Phnom Penh, traditionally seen as a more affordable destination in Southeast Asia, has climbed the ranks to position 123 globally in cost of living for expatriates. This substantial rise is indicative of the rapid urban development and economic growth the city has experienced in recent years. Factors contributing to this surge include increased prices in housing, consumer goods, and an expanding expatriate community demanding more Western amenities and lifestyle options.

The Mercer survey, which evaluates multiple factors such as housing costs, transportation, food, and entertainment, serves as a critical tool for multinational companies and governments to assess the cost of maintaining an expatriate lifestyle in various global locations. Singapore continues to hold the top spot in Southeast Asia and is ranked second worldwide, reflecting its high standard of living and the cost associated with it.

Other cities in Southeast Asia show a diverse range of rankings with Bangkok and Manila following closely at ranks 129 and 131 respectively, showcasing the varied economic landscapes across the region. The list extends to include Jakarta, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City, further illustrating the economic spectrum within ASEAN nations.

This ranking shift for Phnom Penh might influence future expatriate decisions and could reshape investment strategies in Cambodia. With its growing economy and increasing foreign direct investment, Cambodia’s capital is fast transforming into a hub that could rival more established Asian cities in terms of both business and living standards.

As the city adapts to this new economic reality, it will be crucial for local authorities and businesses to balance development and cost of living to maintain its appeal among locals and expatriates alike. The rise in ranking is not only a testament to Phnom Penh’s growth but also a call to ensure that this growth is sustainable and inclusive for all residents.

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