These are the most expensive cities in the world

A study of 173 cities
New additions
Left out
Supply chain and pandemic fears
Damascus, the least expensive city in the world
Prices go up, prices go down
10. Osaka, Japan
9. Los Angeles, USA
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
7. Geneva, Switzerland
6. New York City, USA
5. Hong Kong, China
4. Zurich, Switzerland
3. Singapore (tie)
2. Paris, France (tie)
1. Tel Aviv, Israel
A study of 173 cities

Financial newspaper The Economist recently released its 2021 list of the most expensive cities in the world. The survey, the publication explains, was done through The Economist Intelligence Unit and contrasts the cost of 200 products and services in 173 cities around the globe.

New additions

For 2021, the survey added 40 new metropolises to the ranking, including six from the United States and eleven from China. Edinburgh (pictured), the capital of Scotland, made the highest debut on the 27th spot. Other new additions include Stuttgart (Germany), Auckland (New Zealand) and Tunis (Tunisia).

Left out

The list also excluded four cities due to abnormally high inflation rates affecting the cost of living. These were Damascus, Tehran, Buenos Aires and Caracas (pictured). Venezuela’s capital alone saw an astounding price increase of 1,766% in the basket of goods and services used as a reference.

Supply chain and pandemic fears

Problems with the supply chain and fears related to the pandemic have driven up the cost of living in many places around the globe. “In September the cost of shipping a standard container was four times higher than a year earlier”, argues the report, adding that “the general picture is one of disruption and higher prices”.

Here you can see Oakland, one of the most important ports in the US, congested in October due to the global supply chain crisis.

Damascus, the least expensive city in the world

The study also regarded Damascus in Syria as one of the cheapest cities in the world. This is unsurprising, given the civil war that has been raging on in the country since 2011.

Prices go up, prices go down

It’s important to point out that prices have not gone up uniformly everywhere. In some instances, they have gone down. Rome, for example, dropped 16 spots, while most cities of the United States saw cheaper costs of living thanks to government-sponsored economic stimulus programs to counteract the effects of Covid-19 in the economy.

10. Osaka, Japan

One of Japan’s most important ports and overall commercial hubs, Osaka fell five spots compared to 2020 and gets farther from the top of the list, which the city shared along with Hong Kong and Singapore in 2019. Surprisingly, Tokyo didn’t make it into the list.

9. Los Angeles, USA

If California was a country, it would be the fifth-largest economy in the world, just behind Germany, according to Forbes. It’s no surprise then that the city of Los Angeles, located in the Pacific coast, makes it into the list. CNN reports that it is home to some of the priciest neighborhoods in the United States.

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

The Danish capital is one of the four European cities to make it into the list, and the only one hailing from Scandinavia. Economist Kristian Skriver from The Danish Chamber of Commerce was quoted by The Local in 2019 saying this was because of high taxes and salaries.

7. Geneva, Switzerland

This iconic alpine city, one of the most important financial and diplomatic hubs of Switzerland and the rest of the Europe, stays in seventh place for another year. It’s home of the European seat of the United Nations and the headquarters of the International Red Cross.

6. New York City, USA

The city that never sleeps remains as the most expensive metropolis in the Americas. Time Out magazine cites a real estate study that posits that rent for a one-bedroom apartment in New York City averages on 2,180 US dollars, and on the island of Manhattan it can be twice as much.

5. Hong Kong, China

The former British island colony, which was part of a triple tie for the top spot last year, has now descended in 2021 to the fifth place. Bloomberg reported that a 442-square-meter apartment sold for 82,2 million US dollars in November 2021. A clear sign that Hong Kong is not leaving the list any time soon.

4. Zurich, Switzerland

The other Swiss city in this ranking, Zurich, drops three spots compared to last year. “This may say less about the cost of living in Switzerland’s finance and banking capital and more about the rapid rise in prices in other cities”, argues local news website SwissInfo.

3. Singapore (tie)

The island city-state of Singapore overpassed this year other Asian metropolises to become the most expensive city in that continent. Not an easy task, given the fierce competition.

2. Paris, France (tie)

The City of Light, which shared the top spot in 2020 with Hong Kong and Zurich, ties with Singapore and remains as the priciest European metropolis to live and work.

1. Tel Aviv, Israel

The capital of Israel moved up five places in the span of a year, reaching the top spot for the first time. “The city’s rise mainly reflects the soaring currency, buoyed against the dollar by Israel’s successful Covid-19 vaccine rollout”, points out the report.

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