The World’s Most Expensive Cities


The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently compiled a list of 131 cities globally in search of the answer to the question “what is the most expensive city to live in?”. Their Worldwide Cost of Living Survey is a relocation tool which, using New York city as a template, considers more than 400 individual prices. This year’s top 10 cities have been dominated by Asian and Australasian destinations, while Europe also features heavily.

At the top of the table in 2014, Singapore replaces Tokyo (last year’s most expensive city) in an interesting reshuffle. The city’s strong currency as well as the high costs of car ownership, general groceries and excessive utility bills has resulted in Singapore’s rise. Fashion lovers should also beware of Singapore. The EIU declares the Asian metropolis to be the most expensie place in the world to go clothes shopping.

The full list of the top 5 cities are as follows:

1. Singapore, Singapore

2. Paris, France

3. Oslo, Norway

4. Zurich, Switzerland

5. Sydney, Australia


Editor of the EIU report, John Copestake, was quick to defend the high number of Asian cities in the list and impressed that “Asian cities also continue to make up many of the world’s cheapest, especially in the Indian subcontinent.” Indeed many of India’s major cities, such as Mumbai and New Delhi, feature among the world’s least expensive cities thanks to the acute income inequality there.

Research by Mercer arrived at very different findings. While the EIU’s survey takes into account the cost of living, Mercer considers only the cost of living for expatriates. They discovered many African cities were in fact in the top 10, with Luanda of Angola the most expensive as a result of a difficult property market for secure housing and expensive imported goods.