Due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the continuing COVID-19 restrictions in China, and the seemingly endless supply chain blockages, almost all countries across the globe are struggling with a cost-of-living crisis. But do you have an idea what is currently the world’s most expensive city to live in?
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has recently released the results of its latest biannual Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) survey. Conducted between August 16th and September 16th 2022, the study compared over 400 individual prices across 200 products and services in 172 cities across the globe to determine the most expensive cities today. Check out the top 10 ranking below:
The top 10 most expensive cities to live in
#1 New York, United States
#1 Singapore, Singapore
#3 Tel Aviv, Israel
#4 Hongkong, China
#4 Los Angeles, United States
#6 Zurich, Switzerland
#7 Geneva, Switzerland
#8 San Francisco, United States
#9 Paris, France
#10 Copenhagen, Denmark
#10 Sydney, Australia
For the first time ever, New York tops the ranking, tying with recurrent leader Singapore, which is back to the top spot for the eighth time in ten years. Together, the two cities dethrone Tel Aviv — the former first placer that went down to the third spot. Higher incomes, higher inflation rates, and stronger currency pushed New York and Singapore to the ranking’s top spot.
Aside from New York, other cities in the United States have also risen in the rankings as a result of the strengthening dollar. In fact, Atlanta (#46), Charlotte (#53), Indianapolis (#53), San Diego (#17), Portland (#46), and Boston (#21) account for six of the top 10 of the biggest movers up the rankings in the past 12 months.
Wondering what the cheapest cities to live in are? Below are the 10 cities at the bottom of the WCOL ranking:
#161 Colombo, Sri Lanka
#161 Bangalore, India
#161 Algiers, Algeria
#164 Chennai, India
#165 Ahmedabad, India
#166 Almaty, Kazakhstan
#167 Karachi, Pakistan
#168 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
#169 Tunis, Tunisia
#170 Tehran, Iran
#171 Tripoli, Libya
#172 Damascus, Syria
Because of their weak economies and currencies, Damascus, Tripoli, and Tehran find themselves at the bottom of the ranking.
Other key findings
EIU’s latest WCOL survey shows that prices of products and services have increased by an average of 8.1% in local-currency terms over the past year in the world’s biggest cities — the fastest rate for at least 20 years.
The study also discovers that the highest inflation rate is in Caracas, Venezuela, where WCOL prices have jumped by 132% since last year.
In the WCOL index, the survey finds out that the most rapid increases were for the price of petrol, which has climbed by 22% year on year on average in local-currency terms amid higher global oil prices and a stronger US dollar. Speaking of oil, prices for gas and electricity have increased by 29%.
Will price increases continue in 2023?
According to the EIU report, prices of products and services may start to go down in some countries as interest rates bite and the global economy slows. Supply-chain blockages are also expected to ease in 2023 as freight rates come down and demand softens.
If the situation in Ukraine gets better, the EIU forecasts that commodity prices for energy, food, and supplies such as metals are likely to plummet sharply in 2023 compared with 2022 levels. The EIU also predicts that global consumer price inflation will drop from an average of 9.4% this year to a still-high 6.5% in 2023.
Now that you’ve discovered that New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world, some of you are probably wondering what’s the best city for living in the U.S. Click here to find the answer.