Switzerland is the country with the most expensive cost-of-living for expats, according to new research.
The country’s UBS bank has scrutinised the prices of 128 goods and services in 77 cities to find Zurich and Geneva have the highest cost of living.
Norway’s capital Oslo ranks third, while the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, takes fourth place.
New York is taken as the city with the base cost of living and ranks fifth.
The cheapest is Cairo, Egypt, with Lagos, Nigeria; Kiev, in the Ukraine; Manila, Philippines and New Delhi, India, taking the remaining bottom places.
How long do you work to pay for a haircut?
According to the bank’s Purchasing Power Index, prices including rent in Zurich are 86 times more expensive than those in Cairo.
By isolating just one of the 128 prices analysed, global purchasing power differences become more obvious.
Taking a standard haircut for women, the cost in Zurich is $94.32, compared to $22.60 in Kiev, $12.17 in Mexico City and $7.50 in Cairo.
However, while a woman in Zurich typically only must work 3.05 hours to pay for a haircut, the same expenditure needsd a worker to put in 12.09 hours in Kiev, 5.86 hours in Mexico City and 6.11 hours in Cairo.
Shift of economic power
Mark Haefele, Chief Investment Officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said: “Purchasing power matters to all of us as individuals and as investors. Whether you are planning your next vacation or trying to understand long term shifts in economic power, our study provides a detailed analysis of prices around the world.”
The study shows residents of European and North American cities typically enjoy the best buying power, with Bahrain’s capital Manama and Hong Kong the only non-transatlantic contenders in the Top 10.
Daniel Kalt, Chief Economist and Chief Investment Officer for Switzerland, UBS Global Wealth Management, and lead editor of the study, said: “As in our previous edition, Zurich tops the list as the world’s most expensive city, closely followed by Swiss rival Geneva.
“However, our Purchasing Power Index clearly indicates that we are beginning to see stronger competition from overseas with only three European cities left in our Top 10, all of which lost ground compared to the report’s 2015 edition.”