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The Most Expensive Cities to Live in the World

20 March 2019

There aren't many things more heavenly than a fresh loaf of bread from a Paris boulangerie, but it might cost you a pretty penny.

Paris and Hong Kong for the first time joined Singapore as the world's most expensive cities to live in, a study revealed on Tuesday, with the French capital jumping six places in just two years. This is the first time in the survey's 30-year history that three countries have ranked first place on the list.

The survey is created to help companies calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travellers. Cities are compared to a base city - New York, US - which is set at 100. Copenhagen is ranked seventh equal with Seoul and New York City. Los Angeles rose in the ranking from No. 14 in 2018 and joined New York (No. 7) as the two USA cities in the top 10. They ranked seventh and tenth, respectively.

The ten most expensive cities in the world.

In other high-ranking cities, people were spending top dollar on different things.

"When looking at the most expensive cities by category, Asian cities tend to be the priciest locations for general grocery shopping". The report notes, however, that "the trend can also be attributed to changes in the ranking elsewhere rather than USA cities becoming more expensive domestically".

London and Manchester, the two United Kingdom surveys included in the index, fell significantly in 2017 after the country's Brexit referendum, and only ranked higher up in 2018 and 2019 respectively due to other cities scoring lower than in previous years.

On the other end of the list were cities that have struggled with political strife and economic woes.

Although Asia is home to some of the world's most expensive cities, but they also have numerous world's cheapest cities like Bangalore, Chennai and New Delhi in India, as well as Pakistan's Karachi.

The country ranked as the least expensive in this year's survey is Venezuela's Caracas, where a new currency was launched last year as inflation nearly reached 1,000,000%. "Put simply", the report authors note, "cheaper cities also tend to be less livable".

The Most Expensive Cities to Live in the World