The Economist Data Team has just released its latest list of the world’s most expensive cities.
After analyzing the data for the bi-annual Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, Singapore wins the title of the city with the highest cost of living. (Interestingly, New York is the baseline city, with a WCLS index of 100. Singapore ‘s WCLS index ranking is 136.) The Economist number crunchers note that Singapore’s lead over the next two cities – Zurich and Geneva – “has nearly evaporated.” That said, Oslo – which held the title of Europe’s most expensive city – has dropped to No. 13 overall, the fifth most expensive in Europe, due to macro-economic trends.
Which you likely don’t care about. But everything from rents to that cup of Italian Roast at Starbucks in Berlin is affected by global economic trends such as the dramatic drop in the price of oil since 2014, and those trends have kept Euro Zone inflation to less than zero. In fact, Paris is the only Euro Zone city on the list. Neither Switzerland or the United Kingdom have adopted the euro, nor are they likely to. After the past couple years, those two governments are even more loathe to give up the Swiss Franc and the Pound.
From the report:
The stronger US dollar and weaker euro has pushed euro zone cities further down the ranking, especially as weak consumer sentiment and depressed commodity prices have undermined inflation in terms of both supply and demand.
Alright, enough with supply-and-demand. Let’s get to the list:
The Worldwide Cost of Living Survey compares the cost of everything from rents to cigarettes. The bi-annual survey compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services, according to The Economist. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.
The coolest features of the actual interactive list is that you can compare cities’ rankings over 10 years, and the fluctuations for some such as Oslo are enormous as global economic fortunes waxed and waned. Interestingly, New York City-based HR consultancy Mercer does a similar survey, which has similar rankings with one exception – Mercer’s most expensive city for the last few years has been Luanda, Angola.