How Does The Cost Of Living Rate Where You Live?


Nothing separates the cost of living in the three most expensive cities for expats to live.

For the first time, Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong rank first equal in the annual survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

And a whisker behind is Zurich, followed by Geneva, Switzerland.

New York and Los Angeles both climbed into the top rankings mainly on the back of an appreciating US dollar. They could rise higher next year if the dollar continues to strengthen.

“Inflation and devaluations were prominent factors in determining the cost of living, with many cities tumbling down the ranking owing to economic turmoil, currency weakness or falling local prices,” says the report.

Global cost of living falling

Overall, the data shows the cost of living is cheaper now than a year ago (-4%) and significantly down on five (-13%) and a decade ago (-15%).

Caracas, the capital of oil rich but economically ailing Venezuela, where inflation is running at 1 million per cent props up the table in 133rdplace.

Damascus in war-torn Syria is second from bottom.

“As Damascus and Caracas show, a growing number of locations are becoming cheaper because of the impact of political or economic disruption,” says the report.

One anomaly in the listings is the French overseas territory of New Caledonia. Sitting in 20thplace, the cost of living is high as businesses lack competition to act on prices.

Cities in several emerging markets saw their cost of living fall, mainly due to the movement of the US dollar. These include Istanbul, Turkey, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Both in Brazil.

Most expensive cities in the world 2018

3Hong KongChina
7SeoulSouth Korea
9New YorkUSA
10Tel AvivIsrael
=Los AngelesUSA

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Cheapest cities in the world to live 2018

126Buenos AiresArgentina

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

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