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: When space is limited and demand is high, consumers have to dig deep into their pockets. The ranking of the most expensive cities in the world is therefore a bit of a competition for the question of which metropolises are currently particularly popular. And here 2020 shows: Europe is losing touch with the world’s best.
Most expensive metropolises in Europe
The financial analysts of the Economist Intelligence Unit now only list three European cities in the top 10 most expensive metropolises in the world. The European Union is even represented by only one city. 31 of the 37 examined cities on the continent rose in the ranking “Worldwide Cost of Living 2020”. One reason was moderate energy prices that kept inflation low.
Europe was basically in line with the global trend. The cost of living in the 133 cities studied fell according to the information on average by four percent. However, this comparison is not based on the previous year’s cost of living. Cities are always measured against the values of New York City. This is a weakness in 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 too, for example when the South Korean capital Seoul fell out of the top 10.
Cost of Living Worldwide
The analysts of the Economist Group, a sister company of the British weekly newspaper “The Economist”, have recorded 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 scored 95 in the cost of living index (New York City = 100). The descent was symptomatic for almost all of Europe. Copenhagen fell four places and thus said goodbye to the top 10. Düsseldorf lost eleven places (in 43rd place). That was the fourth largest decline on the list. Reykjavik even fell from 15th to 29th place.
# 8 Tokyo
In contrast, Tokyo went up five places. The increased cost of living compared to New York pushed the Japanese capital from 13th place to eighth 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 too was symptomatic. A strong dollar and high domestic demand reportedly resulted in 15 of the 16 U.S. cities performing higher than 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 was only 97 in the index instead of 99 as in the previous year. That was enough for seventh place this year. According to the analysts, price drivers in Tel Aviv were, among other things, 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 it with Paris.
@imago images / Imaginechina-Tuchong
# 5 Paris
In 2019, the French capital was the most expensive metropolis in the world alongside two other cities. In 2020 it was only enough for the title of the most expensive city in the European Union.
@imago images / imagebroker
# 4 New York
New York is literally the measure of all things 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 uptrend. A small bottle of beer in New York cost an average of $ 3.50, according to the analysis. That was the highest price in the top 10, followed by Tel Aviv with the equivalent of $ 3.27. The price comparison for a two-piece business suit was even more extreme. For that in New York an average of around 3100 dollars were due, as the Economist analysts have calculated. That was almost three times as much as ten years ago. None of the top 10 cities passed the $ 2,000 mark on this item. In Geneva a suit was even available for the equivalent of 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 thus crowned its sprint to the top. In 2019 Osaka jumped six places to fifth. Now it went up another four places. As in the case of Tokyo, one reason for the high cost of living in Osaka was the strong yen.
@imago images / Olaf Schuelke
# 1 Singapore
Singapore holds its top position in the ranking. The city-state is one of the most important financial centers in Asia – and a popular shopping destination.
@imago images / Imaginechina-Tuchong
# 1 Hong Kong
This means that in 2020 the triumvirate of Asian metropolises will be perfect and the ranking will be topped by three cities for the second time in their history. All the front runners got 102 points in the index.