The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) determines the world’s most expensive city every year and publishes a list of them. For the 5th year in a row Singapore is #1. To complete its survey, the EIU prices 150 local items in 133 cities, things like bread, cigarettes and gas. People who work in these cities often need salary increases to be able to afford working, and sometimes living, there.
Our son’s company recently moved its corporate headquarters to New Jersey. The cost of living there is much higher than where the company was originally. This has forced a lot of the employees who moved with the company to live in Philadelphia and drive to work in New Jersey daily. This will become more and more difficult.
I heard about Singapore’s placement but did not know the other 9 cities on the top 10 list. I had to look them up and was surprised that New York wasn’t among them. It slipped to #13 this year. The others on the list are Paris at #2, the Zurich, Hong Kong, Oslo, Geneva, Seoul, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, and Sydney at #10. Ruth and I visit Sydney often and already know it’s expensive. A paperback book there can cost $40 and dinner in a good restaurant is routinely more than $100.
The EIU points out that Asian cities are seeing a cost of living uptick because their economies are expanding. I imagine that Crazy Rich Asians, an outrageously successful movie, was filmed in Singapore because it features price-insensitive characters who would value its reputation for being the most expensive city in the world. The city is almost a co-star in the film.
The cheapest cities on the EU list, like Bangalore, Chennai, and New Delhi, are in Asia. Lagos and Algiers in Africa made the cheaper list. If you want to visit a cheap European city, go to Bucharest.