The Most Expensive Places To Live In The World

Basel

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tokyo has unsurprisingly retained its title of the most expensive city in the world, according to ECA International’s latest cost of living survey. More shocking however is Caracas’ 76-spot jump to cinch the fifteenth spot on this semi-annual list.

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ECA’s cost of living surveys are calculated to help multinational companies better plan salaries for their employees that have to live and work abroad. The list calculates the most expensive cities by comparing three broad basket of consumer goods and services:

  • Food: Groceries; dairy produce; meat and fish; fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Basic: Drink and tobacco; miscellaneous goods; services
  • General: Clothing; electrical goods; motoring; meals out

To support the rankings we used Expatistan‘s comparative cost of living to give us a sense of just how much more expensive these cities are by using New York city as a benchmark for costs. Expatistan updates its prices on a regular basis, we highlight the most recent costs.

Note from ECA International: Certain living costs such as accommodation, utilities, car purchase and school fees are not included in the survey since they are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages.

#15 Caracas, Venezuela

In Caracas food is actually 40% cheaper than New York but clothes cost about 31% more, according to Expatistan. On an average, a pair of Levis 501 cost $67 and a summer dress an average of $67, compared with $51 and $33 in New York.

Ranking source: ECA International

#14 Moscow, Russia

While food on the whole is about 26% cheaper in Moscow, clothes cost an impressive 141% more in the Russian city, when compared with New York, according to Expatistan.

Ranking source: ECA International

#13 Helsinki, Finland

Food is about 13% more expensive in Helsinki than New York. A Big Mac meal that costs about $6.47 in New York would cost $8.68 in the Finnish city. Clothes are 56% pricier, according to Expatistan.

Ranking source: ECA International

#12 Copenhagen, Denmark

Food on the whole is about 46% more expensive in Copenhagen than in New York, with a Big Mac meal costing about $11.24 compared with New York's $6.47, according to Expatistan.

Clothes are about 85% more expensive with a pair of Levi 501 jeans priced at $138, compared with New York's $51.

Ranking source: ECA International

#11 Basel, Switzerland

In Caracas food is actually 40% cheaper than New York but clothes cost about 31% more, according to Expatistan. On an average, a pair of Levis 501 cost $67 and a summer dress an average of $67, compared with $51 and $33 in New York.

Ranking source: ECA International

#10 Bern, Switzerland

Food costs about 51% more in Bern than New York City with a Big Mac meal priced at $13.70 compared with $6.47 in New York, according to Expatistan. Clothes are 80% more expensive with a pair of Levis 501 costing $165 compared with New York's $51.

Ranking source: ECA International

#9 Kobe, Japan

Interestingly, clothing costs about the same in Kobe and New York and food is a little cheaper. Housing however is about 41% more expensive than New York City, according to Expatistan.

Ranking source: ECA International

#8 Geneva, Switzerland

Clothes in Geneva are 126% more expensive than in New York, with a pair of Levis 501 setting you back $143 in Geneva compared with $51 in New York, according to Expatistan.

Food is 64% pricier. A Big Mac meal costs $14.8 in Geneva compared with $6.47 in New York.

Ranking source: ECA International

#7 Luanda, Angola

Food in Luanda is about 123% more expensive than in New York. A pound of chicken breast would cost $27 compared with $.4.18 in New York, according to Expatistan.

Clothes are about 102% more expensive in Luanda.

Ranking source: ECA International

#6 Zurich, Switzerland

Food costs about 79% more in Zurich that New York, where a Big Mac meal would come to $14.77 compared with New York's $6.47. Clothes cost about 136% more, according to Expatistan.

Ranking source: ECA International

#5 Yokohama, Japan

Food in Yokohama is 22% more expensive than New York, according to Expatistan. A Big Mac meal would cost about $6.61 in Yokohama compared with New York's $6.47 and 0.5 litters of beer at the supermarket would set you back an average of $5.02 compared with $2.40 in the big apple.

Clothing is about 118% more expensive.

Ranking source: ECA International

#4 Stavanger, Norway

Food prices in Norway are about 50% higher than the EU average. Stavanger Expats says a liter of milk in Norway will set you back by about 13NOK ($2.40) while a carton of 12 eggs costs about 36.50NOK ($6.70). A loaf of bread costs about 20NOK ($3.66) and 400g of butter costs about 15NOK ($2.75).

Ranking source: ECA International

#3 Nagoya, Japan

Food in Nagoya is actually cheaper than New York though a Big Mac meal would cost about $8.03 here compare with $6.47 in New York. But clothing is about 24% more expensive, according to Expatistan.

Ranking source: ECA International

#2 Oslo, Norway

Food in Oslo is about 85% higher, and clothing is 120% higher than New York according to Expatistan. A big mac meal that costs about $6.47 in New York would cost $15.73 in Oslo. A liter of milk would set back New Yorkers $2.48 compared with $2.80 in Oslo.

Stavanger Expats has reported that eating out can set you back a fair amount. A dinner for two including a bottle of wine can cost anywhere from 550NOK to 2000NOK, that's about $102 - $368. Fast food can cost anywhere between 70NOK to 100NOK, that's about $13 - $18.

Ranking source: ECA International

#1 Tokyo, Japan

Food in Tokyo is about 35% higher than in New York and clothing is about 89% higher than in New York according to Expatistan. A Big Mac meal that costs about $6.47 in New York would cost about $8.18 in Tokyo. 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) of apples that cost $3.18 in New York, cost about $8.15 in Tokyo.

Ranking source: ECA International

Now have a look at some of the world's most expensive real estate...

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