Anyone who has ever bought cheese or shampoo in a New York supermarket will particularly appreciate the prices in German retail. The price level at airports already illustrates the simple principle: With limited space and high demand, consumers have to dig deep into their pockets. The ranking of the most expensive cities in the world is therefore to some extent a competition to find out which metropolises are particularly popular. And this shows in 2020: Europe is losing touch with the world leaders.
Most expensive metropolises in Europe
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s financial analysts now lead only three European cities in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world. The European Union is even represented with only one city. 31 of the 37 cities examined on the continent were ranked lower in the “Worldwide Cost of Living 2020” ranking. One reason was moderate energy prices that kept inflation low.
Europe was basically in the global trend. The cost of living in the 133 cities examined decreased by an average of four percent. However, this comparison is not based on the cost of living in the previous year. The cities are always measured against the values of New York City. This is a weakness of this ranking when it comes to assessing real purchasing power. Because currency fluctuations compared to the US dollar have caused many of the changes this year, such as the decline of the South Korean capital Seoul from the top 10.
Cost of living worldwide
The analysts of the Economist Group, a sister company of the British weekly newspaper The Economist, have been recording the cost of living worldwide for more than 30 years. For this purpose, the prices of over 160 products and services are recorded every six months in March and September. This includes spending on food, drink, clothing, rent, utilities, education, mobility and leisure activities.
These are the ten most expensive cities in the world.
@imago images / Hans Lucas
# 10 Geneva
Even expensive Switzerland has to give up. Geneva was the fifth most expensive city in the world in the 2019 ranking of the Economist Intelligence Unit. In 2020 it was only enough for tenth place. Geneva came to 95 in the cost of living index (New York City = 100). The descent was symptomatic of almost all of Europe. Copenhagen fell by four places and thus left the top 10. Düsseldorf lost eleven ranks (in 43 place). It was the fourth largest descent on the list. Reykjavik even dropped from 15th to 29th place.
# 8 Tokyo
Tokyo, on the other hand, went up five places. Increased living costs compared to New York pushed the Japanese capital from 13th to 8th place. According to the experts, this is mainly due to the strong yen.
@imago images / Cavan Images
# 8 Los Angeles
Tokyo shared eighth place with Los Angeles with an index value of 96. The US west coast metropolis rose two places in the ranking. That was also symptomatic. A strong dollar and high domestic demand reportedly led 15 out of 16 US cities to outperform 2019.
# 7 Tel Aviv
Not Dubai, but Tel Aviv represents the Middle East in the ranking of the most expensive cities in the world. The Israeli metropolis only reached 97 instead of 99 in the previous year. That was enough for seventh place this year. According to the analysts, price drivers in Tel Aviv included higher spending on mobility.
# 5 Zurich
In contrast to Geneva, Zurich only lost one place. The Swiss financial metropolis slipped from sixth to fifth place with an index value of 99. Zurich shared this with Paris.
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# 5 Paris
The French capital was the most expensive metropolis in the world in 2019, along with two other cities. In 2020, it was only enough for the title of the most expensive city in the European Union.
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# 4 New York
New York is literally the measure of all in the Economist Intelligence Unit ranking. In 2019, the east coast metropolis was in seventh place. This year it was enough for fourth place in the general US upward trend. A small bottle of beer in New York, according to the analysis, averaged $ 3.50. That was the highest price in the top 10, followed by Tel Aviv at $ 3.27. The price comparison for a two-piece business suit was even more extreme. On average, around $ 3,100 was due in New York, as the Economist analysts calculated. That was almost three times as much as ten years ago. None of the top 10 cities came above the $ 2,000 mark on this item. In Geneva, a suit was even available for around $ 500.
# 1 Osaka
In 2020, as in the previous year, three cities will share the title of the most expensive metropolis in the world. New is Osaka, which has taken the place of Paris. The Japanese economic center crowned its sprint to the top. In 2019, Osaka jumped six places to fifth. Now it went up another four places. One reason for the high cost of living in Osaka was, as in the case of Tokyo, the strong yen.
# 1 Singapore
Singapore holds its top position in the ranking. The city-state is one of the most important financial centers in Asia – and is a popular shopping destination.
@imago images / Imaginechina-Tuchong
# 1 Hong Kong
In 2020, the triumvirate from Asian metropolises will be perfect and the ranking will be led by three cities for the second time in its history. All the leaders came to 102 points in the index.