Singapore is the most expensive place to live in the world for the third year running – but the gap between rivals for the title is closing.
Zurich, Switzerland, and Hong Kong both tied for second place, just a hair’s breadth behind the leader, according to research by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
The benchmark is New York, with an index score of 100 and a ranking of seven. The figure comes from looking supermarket prices of 160 items across each city.
The shopping list includes a loaf of bread, bottle of wine, 20 cigarettes and a litre of unleaded petrol.
After crunching the numbers, the EIU came up with two lists – the 10 most expensive and the 10 cheapest places to live in the world.
Most expensive world cities
The most expensive are:
- Singapore (Singapore with an index of 116)
- Zurich (Switzerland 114)
- Hong Kong (114)
- Geneva (Switzerland 108)
- Paris (France 107)
- London (Britain 101)
- New York (USA 100)
- Copenhagen (Denmark 99)
- Seoul (South Korea 99)
- Los Angeles (USA 99)
Cheapest world cities
The cheapest cities to live are:
- Lusaka (Zambia, 41)
- Bangalore (India 42)
- Mumbai (India 43)
- Almaty (Kazakhstan 44)
- Algiers (Algeria 44)
- Chennai (India 44)
- Karachi (Pakistan 44)
- New Delhi (India 45)
- Damascus (Syria 46)
- Caracas (Venezuela 46)
Eurozone cities have dropped down the rakings while those in the USA have started to rise due to the strength of the US dollar against the euro, says the report.
Weak consumer confidence, lower commodity prices and almost non-existent inflation have also played a part in the city rankings.
New York rose 15 places and Los Angeles 19 to rank in the top 10 most expensive cities.
Lusaka dropped 22 places to become the cheapest city listed out of 133. The only other city to drop more than a couple of places in the bottom 10 was Almaty, Kazakhstan.
“The cost of living is always changing and falling oil prices should have an impact,” said the EIU report.
“Theoretically, consumers in oil importing countries should have more income to spend as prices fall while the opposite should happen in oil exporting countries. Instability and conflict will continue to have an effect as well.”