Next time you plan a holiday or think of relocating, let the following data help you decide.
After all, the city you have always been aspiring for, could just be the city that makes a large hole in your pocket.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released its annual ranking and Singapore, that has been on the top position for five years in a row, now has two competitors. Paris and Hong Kong along with Singapore are the worlds’ most expensive places to live in.
It is the first time in more than 30 years that three cities share the top spot, a sign that the cost increase was growing at the same pace for similar cities.
Switzerland wasn’t far behind. Two of its major cities, Zurich and Geneva made it to the top five. New York was seventh and Los Angeles was at 10.
Cities in Britain recovered a few positions. This was a good sign especially after it reached the cheapest level in more than two decades last year due to Brexit uncertainty. London ranked in at 22nd and Manchester 51st.
Some of the cheapest cities – the bottom few included Caracas, Damascus, Syria. Karachi in Pakistan, Buenos Aires ( Argentina) and the Indian capital New Delhi also featured among the 10 cheapest cities of the world.
The Worldwide Cost of Living survey compares the costs of 160 products and services in 133 world cities. Products include the cost of food, clothing, household supplies, rent, public transportation, utility bills, private schools, recreational, costs for maids and gardeners etc. The survey is an essential tool for corporates to decide the cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travellers.
The EIU says they look at 50,000 individual prices in each survey. The survey is conducted each March and September. Researchers tour a range of consumer stores from staples to the superfluous, from mid-priced stores to specialty outlets. Prices are converted into dollars using current exchange rates and are weighted in order to achieve comparative indexes.
According to EIU, one of the factors behind Asia’s strong showing at the top of the table is that some Asian cities are among the world’s costliest locations for general grocery shopping.
But Asia isn’t the continent only with the most expensive places. It also has names that make it to the bottom of the list as the cheapest to live in.
“Within Asia, the best value for money has traditionally been offered by South Asian cities, particularly those in India and Pakistan,” the EIU said. “To an extent this remains true, and Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi and Karachi feature among the 10 cheapest locations surveyed.”
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