These are the nine most expensive cities to live in the world

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Moya Crockett
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Each year, the intimidatingly-named Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) publishes two reports ranking the world’s most expensive – and cheapest – cities.

The first report examines the cost of living in cities around the globe, looking at factors including the price of food and fuel compared to people’s salaries. The logic behind this kind of analysis is that you won’t feel wealthy if most of your pay packet is being eaten up by basic bills – even if you’re on a sky-high salary.

The folks over at Business Insider have taken a closer look at the world’s most expensive cities based on cost of living. Unsurprisingly, London makes an appearance – but it’s far from the priciest town around… 

1. Singapore

It’s the third year in a row that the island city-state has been ruled the most expensive city in the world based on cost of living.  However, the EIU also says that some things, like groceries, are pretty good value over there – so, you know, swings and roundabouts. 

2. Zurich, Switzerland

It’s clean, it’s orderly, it’s incredibly pricey. 

3. Hong Kong

Rising local living costs and skyrocketing house prices have seen Hong Kong shoot seven places up the rankings in the past year.

4. Geneva, Switzerland

According to the EIU, pretty much everything in Geneva is expensive: even recreation and entertainment activities are some of the priciest in the world.

5. Paris, France

A lack of confidence in the euro has pushed other Eurozone cities out of the top 10, but pricey Paris is still clinging on in there. Cigarettes and alcohol are the only things you can get for a relatively reasonable price the City of Love, according to the EIU – which makes sense. 

6. London, UK

Hello, old friend. Perhaps unsurprisingly, house prices – combined with stagnating wages – are to blame for London’s spot in the top 10. The average price for a London property is more than £500,000, while the average wage is more like £30,000.  

7. New York City, US

Everyday items tend to be much dearer in the Big Apple than elsewhere, according to the EIU. A kilogram of bread will cost you $8.28 on average in NYC, for example – more than twice what you’d pay in Singapore. 

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

Danish people have an enviable lifestyle, it’s true – but living in the capital will cost you, thanks to high living costs compared to wages.

9. Seoul, South Korea

Clothes and utilities are particularly expensive in the South Korean capital. According to the EIU, “the cost of living in Seoul is now on a par with that of Copenhagen and Los Angeles.”

Images: iStock


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Moya Crockett

Moya is a freelance journalist and writer from London, and a former editor at Stylist.