EIU survey reveals world’s most expensive cities

Three cities have been jointly declared the world’s most expensive to live in by the latest annual Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong all share the dubious honour of being ranked the world’s most expensive cities – the first time three cities have shared top spot in the EIU survey.

Last year, Hong Kong and Paris had been placed fourth and second respectively, although Singapore’s place at the top is far from a surprise. It has been named the most expensive city by the EIU for the last five years.

The EIU Worldwide Cost of Living Survey looks and compares over 400 individual prices across 10 products and services in cities around the world. These items include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, along with private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

Zurich is the world’s fourth-most expensive place to live, followed by Geneva and Osaka – equal fifth. Seoul, Copenhagen and New York all slide into 7th place, with Tel Aviv and Los Angeles equal tenth.

Based on the survey, Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris are all 7 per cent more expensive than New York.

“When looking at the most expensive cities by category, Asian cities tend to be the priciest locations for general grocery shopping,” the report explained. “However, European cities tend to have the highest costs in the household, personal care, recreation and entertainment categories – with Zurich and Geneva the most expensive in these categories – perhaps reflecting a greater premium on discretionary spending,” it added.

The report also mentioned that currency fluctuations remained to be a major cause for changes in the ranking.  Economies with appreciating currencies, such as the United States, climbed up the ranking significantly.

On the other end of the spectrum, Venezuela’s Caracus, Syria’s Damascus, Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Almaty in Kazakhstan and Bangalore in India are the world’s five cheapest countries.

Article published 20th March 2019