If you’re looking for a fresh start in a new budget-friendly city, consider the findings published in yesterday’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey from The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU). After analyzing 400 individual prices in 133 cities across 160 goods and service sectors (like food, beverage, clothing and grooming), they found Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris share the top spot for most expensive cities — the first time in the research firm’s 30-year history to reveal a tie for first place.
Singapore is no stranger to the list, marking its sixth year at the top. It comes as no surprise that Hong Kong rose in the ranks. Last year’s Cost of Living Survey from research from global professional firm Mercer identified Hong Kong as the most expensive city to live in overall. Paris clocked in as the second most expensive city in 2018, according to last year’s Worldwide Cost of Living report, the only city within the Eurozone to make it to the top 10. It has been featured consistently in the top 10 since 2003.
You’ll need extra cold hard cash for a ski trip to the Swiss Alps as well, with Zurich and Geneva occupying the fourth and fifth spots. Seoul, Copenhagen and New York City are tied for the seventh most expensive cities, while Tel Aviv and Los Angeles are tied for 10th most expensive cities.
Five years ago, New York And Los Angeles tied for 39th place. A sharp appreciation of the American dollar contributed to their leap in the rankings, boosting New York six spots and Los Angeles four from last year.
On the other side of the spectrum, the report cites Caracas, Venezuela and Damascus, Syria as the cheapest cities in the world due to political, economic and social unrest.
If you’re wondering what exactly cost of living translates into, the survey tracked the average prices of common goods in services in various cities:
- A one-kilogram loaf of bread costs $15.59 in Seoul, $8.33 in New York City, and $6.06 in Paris.
- A 330mL bottle of beer costs $3.33 in New York, $3.25 in Zurich, and $3.13 in Seoul.
- An average women's haircut costs $210 in New York, $176.63 in Copenhagen, and $119.04 in Paris.
- And in their Cost of Living Survey, Mercer revealed that a cup of coffee costs $10 in Seoul, approximately $7.50 in Hong Kong, and approximately $7.25 in Dubai.
Given that the average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day, these costs can significantly add up if you keep up the caffeine habit in a new city.
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