The cost of living in these cities is the highest on the planet. Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong rank first among the most expensive in the world.
wo Europeans and one Asian have the privilege (depending on how you look at it) of being the most expensive on the planet. The strength of European currencies against the dollar has driven European cities in default of American ones in the ‘Worldwide Cost of Living 2020’ ranking, prepared by The Economist Intelligence. Thus, Paris and Zurich, which surpass Singapore and Osaka in relation to the previous year, join Hong Kong in the first place, the only one that remains at the top of the ranking.
To develop this list, the prices of 138 products and services in 133 cities were analyzed from January to September 2020. The index takes as a reference New York, which is given a value of 100, and based on the results from the rest of the cities occupy one place or another on the list.
The 30th edition of this report highlights how the global covid-19 pandemic has changed the cost of living since the beginning of 2020. Of the ten categories analyzed, tobacco and leisure (including electronics and consumerism) experienced the largest increases price, in contrast to the economic value of clothing, which suffered the steepest decline. The main drivers of the change were currency volatility, supply chain problems, the impact of taxes and subsidies, and changes in consumer preferences.
After Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong, with 103 points each, are Singapore (102); Osaka and Tel Aviv, with 101; and New York and Geneva, with 100. For its part, the city with the highest increase in prices was Tehran (Iran), whose index rose ten points and has climbed almost 30 places, reaching position 79.
On the other hand, the biggest price drops occurred in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, in Brazil, as a result of the weakness of their currency and the increase in the level of poverty.
Here are the cities with the highest cost of living in the world:
The depreciation of the dollar and the corresponding revaluation of the euro continued with the influence that brought the French city to the top in 2020. Basically, the Parisian is a service economy, constituting approximately 45% of its Gross Domestic Product.
Hong Kong (China)
Hong Kong is the only one to repeat in the first position compared to last year’s ranking, sharing that place with Paris and Zurich. Like the rest of Chinese cities, it has mainly taken advantage of the trade war between the United States and China, which has raised consumer prices.
Also with the same score as Paris and Hong Kong, Zurich rose thanks to the increase in the Swiss franc against the dollar, as well as the reduction in the cost of living in the cities that we’re ahead in the previous ranking: Singapore and Osaka.
Their prices fell in the last year analyzed and one of the main causes is due to the exodus of foreign workers that was triggered by the coronavirus health crisis.
The Japanese city went from occupying the podium the previous year to falling to fifth place among the most expensive in the world, with stagnant consumer prices and the Japanese government subsidizing costs such as public transport. Among some of its most curious data, it stands out that it is the city where it is most expensive to buy a computer.
Tel Aviv (Israel)
Tel Aviv ties for fifth with Osaka. Located on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, it is the second-largest city in the country, with a population of over 405,000.
New York, (USA)
The depreciation of the dollar against European currencies affected the city that never sleeps. New York is the reference in this index, and its cost of living is used to compare it with the rest.
Like the other European cities, it also benefited from the strength of the euro and shares the same position as New York. From basic goods to any leisure activity they have a high price in this city.