Two US cities — New York City and Los Angeles — are now among the top ten most expensive cities in the world.
The Economist Intelligence Unit‘s recent “Worldwide Cost of Living” report, which has been ranking the most expensive and cheapest cities to live in for 30 years, compares over 400 individual prices across 160 products and services, including food, drink, clothing, household supplies, utility bills, private schools, and recreational costs.
The strength of the US dollar and currency devaluations elsewhere meant a few major shifts in this year’s rankings: Over the past year, New York City moved from 22nd place to 7th place and Los Angeles jumped 19 spots to crack the top 10, tying for 8th place with Copenhagen and Seoul.
“A stronger dollar and localised inflation mean that New York continues to become more expensive relative to its global peers,” says Roxana Slavcheva, a Cities Economist at EIU.
It’s been “a roller-coaster ride for the Big Apple, which was regularly ranked among the ten most expensive cities, peaking in sixth place between 2000 and 2002, before falling as far down the ranking as 49th in 2011,” she tells Business Insider.
Los Angeles also moved up the ranking because of the strength of the US dollar, rather than significant local price increases, the report notes.
While Los Angeles ranks as a bit less expensive than New York City in the majority of the categories, it’s 31% more expensive when it comes to transportation, 16% more expensive for personal care, and 1% more expensive for recreation.
“This is no surprise considering the sprawled out nature and higher transport costs associated with travelling in the LA metropolis,” Slavcheva says.
“One of the frequent assumptions for San Francisco is the association with high costs for accommodation,” Slavcheva explains.
“However, we don’t factor in accommodation in the index. We supply prices of rented accommodation for reference, but consider that to be a separate and relatively subjective item to price since choice in apartments and houses is dictated by taste, income, and family size.”