Every year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) releases two reports on which cities are the most expensive and the cheapest to live in.
The first of the reports, titled “Worldwide Cost of Living,” looks at factors including food costs, fuel costs, and salaries.
And because of the strength of the US dollar and currency devaluations elsewhere, there have been a few major shifts in this year’s rankings.
One of the editors of the survey, Jon Copestake, said: “In nearly 17 years of working on this survey I can’t recall a year as volatile as 2015. Falling commodity prices have created deflationary pressures in some countries, but in others currency weakness caused by these falls has led to spiralling inflation.”
Business Insider took a look at the nine most expensive cities in the world.
9. Seoul, South Korea — The city is rising up the ranks because of the high cost to buy clothes and to pay for utilities. The EIU said “the cost of living in Seoul is now on a par with that of Copenhagen and Los Angeles.”
8. Copenhagen, Denmark — The city retains its ranking this year because of its high cost of living relative to wages.
7. New York City, New York — The EIU said in its report that “a stronger dollar and localised inflation mean that New York continues to become more expensive relative to its global peers.” For example, the average US dollar price for a kilogram of bread is at $8.28 — more than double that of the city in the No. 1 spot.
6. London, UK — London’s wage growth is stagnant and has not kept up with inflation and soaring house prices. The average price for a property in London is way over £500,000, but wages on average are close to £30,000.
5. Paris, France — The EIU said “weak confidence in the euro means that Paris is the only eurozone city in the top 10.” It noted, however, that despite the weak currency “Paris remains structurally extremely expensive to live in,” and the only thing that is relatively reasonable in terms of value is alcohol and cigarettes.
4. Geneva, Switzerland — The EIU said that basically everything about Geneva is expensive, and even recreation and entertainment activities have some of the highest costs in the world. The EIU said that is probably because it is “reflecting a greater premium on discretionary spending.”
3. Hong Kong — Hong Kong has climbed seven places up the ranking in the past 12 months because of exceptionally high house prices and an increase in local living costs.
2. Zurich, Switzerland — The EIU blames the unpegging of the Swiss franc from the euro alongside “structurally high income and price levels” for pushing this city to near top of the list.
1. Singapore — The small island city-state retained its title as the world’s most expensive city for a third year in a row, but the EIU says its lead over the likes of New York and Hong Kong “has nearly evaporated” because of the surge in the cost of living elsewhere. The EIU says Singapore offers some relative value for things like general groceries.
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