Many of the costliest cities are located in Asia and Europe.
Of the 10 most expensive cities, five are in Asia. Singapore came out at No. 1, followed by Hong Kong. The third-most expensive city is Zurich, Switzerland, the city with the highest cost of living in Europe. Tokyo and Osaka, both in Japan, are fourth and fifth, followed by Seoul, South Korea. Geneva, Switzerland, and Paris tied for seventh, and New York and Copenhagen tied at No. 9.
The study rated the cities according to how expensive it is to buy basic items there at supermarkets, mid-priced stores and specialty outlets, using the price of food, drinks, clothing, recreation and entertainment and the cost of buying and running a car (including the cost of gasoline).
It also includes recurring expenses, including the cost of renting a home, utility bills, private schools and domestic help. It takes into account the relative strength of each of the countries’ respective currencies. A slight weakening of the U.S. dollar, for instance, contributed to New York’s relatively low ranking and kept many other pricey U.S. cities off the list.
Four European cities made the Top 10. Zurich and Geneva are known for expensive recreation and entertainment, the report says. Paris remains an expensive city, the report says, save for two items: alcohol and tobacco. Paris is also one of the most popular cities in the world for tourists, which means local vendors can afford to up their prices. And its status as an historical European capital makes it difficult to build or expand on apartment blocks to help lower property prices.
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