These Are the World's Most Expensive Cities

Peter Watson

Zurich, Paris and Hong Kong are the world's most expensive cities with New York and Los Angeles ranked 7th and 9th.

(Photo: EarnestTse/Shutterstock)

The Economist Intelligence Unit just revealed its latest Worldwide Cost of Living report, which ranks the prices of 138 goods and services in 133 major cities around the world.

The world's three most expensive cities are Hong Kong, Zurich in Switzerland, and Paris in France. Zurich and Paris have overtaken Singapore and Osaka in Japan, which have both fallen down the rankings.

Cities in the Americas, Africa and Eastern Europe have become cheaper since last year, while Western European cities have become more expensive. This partly reflects a rise in European currencies against the US dollar.

The two most expensive American cities are New York and Los Angeles, ranked 7th and 9th respectively.

At the other end of the table, the report highlighted the cheapest cities in the world:

  • 133: Damascus, Syria
  • 132: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • 131: Lusaka, Zambia
  • 130: Caracas, Venezuela
  • 129: Almaty, Kazakhstan

This is the 30th edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit's World Cost of Living index and this edition focuses on how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the cost of living in cities around the world since the start of 2020.

Of the ten categories covered by this year's report, tobacco and recreation (including consumer electronics) have seen the biggest price increases since last year, while clothing prices have seen the biggest decrease.

Because of the pandemic, many countries have seen a sharp fall in disposable incomes, despite government support. Consumers have responded by increasing precautionary savings and slashing spending.

Changes in lifestyles caused by the pandemic have also influenced prices. For example, stay-at-home shoppers have new views on the goods and services that they see as essential.

10 Most Expensive Cities in the World

1. Zurich, Switzerland

1. Paris, France

1. Hong Kong, China

4. Singapore, Singapore

4. Tel Aviv, Israel

5. Osaka, Japan

7. Geneva, Switzerland

7. New York, US

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

9. Los Angeles, US

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Peter Watson is a writer, photographer and adventurer. A keen trekker and climber he can usually be found on the trails of the Greater Ranges. He’s visited over 80 countries and is currently focused on climbing the seven summits – the highest mountain on every continent. Four down, three to go... He has also travelled extensively around the US developing a penchant for American backcountry, abandoned buildings and natural wonders en route.

Phoenix, AZ

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