Singapore ranked most expensive city to live in 2016

Singapore has been ranked the world’s most expensive city for the third year running, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) bi-annual survey: The Worldwide Cost of Living.

In joint second position were Zurich and Hong Kong, followed by Geneva and Paris.

Even though Singapore retains its title, it’s only marginally in front of Zurich and Hong Kong, with Hong Kong actually creeping up seven places over the last 12 months. Other cities that have moved up the ranks include London, New York and Los Angeles who have moved up to 6th, 7th and 8th position respectively, with Los Angeles moving up 19 places and New York moving up 15 places. However in doing so, these cities have now displaced Sydney, Melbourne and Oslo from the top ten most expensive world cities.

Sydney and Melbourne now sit in position 20th and 21st respectively. Brisbane has also fallen to 49th position whilst Adelaide now sits in 53rd position. Perth has also fallen to 56th place, but it did rank 11th just three years ago.

One of the major reasons as to New York and Los Angeles moving significantly up the ranking is due to the stronger US dollar pushing prices down and the falling cost of oil has meant the local inflation in the US has been relatively low. New York is now in its highest global position since 2002.

Because of this stronger US dollar and weaker EU dollar many Euro zone cities have moved down the rankings. This too is the same for Australian and New Zealand dollars which have both weakened over the past two years, making these countries much more affordable to overseas travellers.

A total of 133 cities were measured in the EIU report which compares over 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. Examples of these products and services include food, drink, clothing, household supplies; rent, transport, utility bills, recreational costs and private schools.

This survey helps to calculate the cost-of-living allowances and has been operating for over 30 years now.

More than 50,000 individual prices are collected per survey which is conducted twice a year in March and September.

Even though Singapore is at the top of the ranking table, the city still offers good value in some areas including basic groceries if you know where to look. The average price of a loaf of bread in Singapore is $3.40 compared to $8.28 in New York which is more than double the price. However, Singapore is the most expensive place to buy a car with transport costs 2.7 times more expensive than in New York. Singapore is also a very expensive city to buy clothes and pay for utility costs. The average price of 1 litre of unleaded petrol in Singapore costs $1.46 whilst in New York this is just $0.63.

Top 10 most expensive cities in the world

1. Singapore
2. Zurich and Hong Kong
4. Geneva
5. Paris
6. London
7. New York
8. Copenhagen, Seoul and Los Angeles

If you’re looking for somewhere more affordable, then the cheapest cities of the world are located in the developing countries including Zambia and India.

The top ten cheapest cities in the world

1. Lusaka (Zambia)
2. Bangalore (India)
3. Mumbai (India)
4. Almaty (Kazakhstan)
5. Algiers (Algeria)
6. Chennai (India)
7. Karachi (Pakistan)
8. New Delhi (India)
9. Damascus (Syria)
10. Caracas (Venezuela)
Published on 14th of March 2016 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich


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