London climbs world's most expensive cities rankings, although Paris takes top spot

Mae Love
March 19, 2019

Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong have nabbed the No. 1 spot on the Economist Intelligence Unit's worldwide cost of living index released Monday, marking the first time three cities have shared the title.

NY and Los Angeles are the only North American cities in the top 10, with the Big Apple rising six spots to joint seventh place, a position it shares with Denmark's Copenhagen.

Three cities have tied as the world's most expensive in a global cost of living survey. Seoul (joint seventh place), Copenhagen (also seventh) and Tel Aviv (10th) round out the top 10 - which actually consists of 11 cities thanks to tied places.

"The previous sharp fall in the ranking for United Kingdom cities, which are now significantly cheaper internationally, has been reversed partially in the latest ranking", said the EIU in a statement. The survey was based on a comparison of the cost of common items, such as bread, in 133 cities with their cost in NY.

According to the survey, USA cities were among the priciest when it came to utilities and domestic help. Meanwhile, cities like Seoul and Copenhagen is at the same level with NY and shared the same seventh place.

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The Japanese port city of Osaka was another re-entry, moving up six spots to number five.

"The cost of living in Istanbul, for example, might seem to have decreased, but since household expenses have increased, this has no positive reflection on the daily life of Istanbulites", said Cansiz, director at WRI's Turkey Sustainable Cities programme. A surge in domestic prices, pushing London up eight positions to joint 22nd, is a main factor.

London has historically ranked much higher on the most expensive cities list, but Britain's economic problems since the financial crisis have seen it drop, the unit said. The survey's editor, Roxana Slavcheva, claimed converging prices were "a testament to globalisation and the similarity of tastes and shopping patterns" in those destinations. Economies with appreciating currencies, such as the U.S., climbed up the ranking significantly.

Unsurprisingly, the cheapest cities to live in were largely made up of those experiencing well-documented political or economic disruption (or both in same cases).

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