The two cities named the most expensive to live in


Two cities have been named jointly the most expensive to live in this year, as the world battles the rising cost of living.

Perhaps surprisingly because of its reputation, New York reaches the top spot for the first time ever, joining frequent pole sitter Singapore at number one. The latter returns to the summit for the eighth time in 10 years.

They pushed down last year’s most expensive city, Tel Aviv down into third. Hong Kong and Los Angeles sit joint fourth.

The Worldwide Cost of Living 2022 rankings from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) measures the prices of over 200 goods and services in 172 cities worldwide. The survey was conducted between August 16 and September 16.

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It found on average prices have risen by 8.1% year-on-year in local-currency terms, the highest inflation rate recorded since its digital surveys began almost 20 years ago.

The biggest increases came in petrol prices, rising by 22% year-on-year on average in local-currency terms amid higher global oil prices and a stronger US dollar.

New York joins Singapore at the top of the most expensive cities list.


New York joins Singapore at the top of the most expensive cities list.

An increase in gas and electricity prices, particularly in Western Europe, due to the Ukraine-Russia war also saw costs jump.

In its methodology, EIU said: “A stronger currency will tend to see a city rise in the rankings, as prices are higher when expressed in international common currency. Structural factors such as competition or high demand play a key role in determining the cost of living as well. Because we convert local currency prices into US dollars to calculate each city’s index, our rankings are also driven by exchange rates against the dollar.”

The effect of sanctions saw the Russian cities of Moscow and St Petersburg shoot up the rankings by 88 and 70 places respectively.

At the other end of the scale, Syria’s Damascus was the cheapest city, with Tripoli in Libya and Iran’s capital Tehran just above it.

The EIU uses a different methodology than ECA International, which also produces a list of the world’s most expensive cities. It looks at more than 200 cities around the world, measuring a range of criteria including the costs of food, household products, general purchases like clothing and petrol, utilities and public transport. Hong Kong was named the priciest city to live in and visit, ahead of New York, Geneva, London and Tokyo.

The world’s 10 most expensive cities

1. New York (US), Singapore

3. Tel Aviv (Israel)

4. Hong Kong, Los Angeles (US)

6. Zurich (Switzerland)

7. Geneva (Switzerland)

8. San Francisco (US)

9. Paris (France)

10. Copenhagen (Denmark), Sydney (Australia)

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