3. Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan's second largest city, has moved up three spots this year from sixth in 2011 and 2010.
Known as an important commercial center for Japan, about 1.1 million people commute into the city during the day, according to the Japanese Statistics Bureau. The city has high rental prices because of its dense population, a limited amount of accommodation and high expatriate demand. A relatively strong yen has also heightened the cost of living for expatriates. The cost of buying daily goods like a cup of coffee, fuel, an international newspaper and fast food have all gone up from last year.
Osaka is also a key industrial hub and home to nearly 44,000 manufacturers, which creates added pressure on resources. But a strong yen and an aging labor pool have hit the once mighty industrial hub in recent decades. The city has seen a decline in manufacturing with three firms closing shop every day since the peak year of 1983.
Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $3,062
Cup of Coffee: $7.02
One Gallon of Gasoline: $6.85
Daily International Newspaper: $6.38
Fast-Food Meal: $8.29