Suzhou Plummets in Rankings of World’s Most Expensive Cities

Almaty: spectacular setting, low prices
Almaty: spectacular setting, low prices CREDIT: PODGORAKZ – FOTOLIA

Singapore is the most expensive major city on Earth – and Almaty, the Kazakh capital, the cheapest – according to an extensive annual study of prices.

Via telegraph.co.uk

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey assessed more than 150 different purchases in 133 cities around the world to determine where budget travellers should go – and where they should avoid.

Singapore: start saving up
Singapore: start saving up CREDIT: SALVADOR III MANAOIS / ALAMY

The Far East and Western Europe dominate the upper end of the table. Singapore, which has topped the charts for four consecutive years, is followed by Hong Kong, while Zurich and two Japanese cities – Tokyo and Osaka – complete the top five. Seoul, Geneva, Paris and Copenhagen also featured in the top 10.

London fell sharply from sixth last year to 24th, thanks to the tumbling value of sterling since last year’s vote in favour of Brexit.

The world’s 10 most expensive cities

  1. Singapore (=)
  2. Hong Kong (=)
  3. Zurich (-1)
  4. Tokyo (+7)
  5. Osaka (+9)
  6. Seoul (+2)
  7. Geneva (-3)
  8. Paris (-2)
  9. New York (-2)
  10. Copenhagen (-1)

“With UK cities slipping down the ranking and Asian cities rising we now see only four European cities among the 10 most expensive,” said Jon Copestake, editor of the survey. “This is a significant change from 10 years ago when European cities made up eight of the top 10.”

Europe’s most expensive (and cheapest) cities

  1. Zurich (-1 overall)
  2. Geneva (-3)
  3. Paris (-2)
  4. Copenhagen (-1)
  5. Oslo (+2)
  6. Helsinki (+1)
  7. Reykjavik (+13)
  8. Vienna (-3)
  9. Frankfurt (-5)
  10. London (-18)
  11. Dublin (-1)
  12. Milan (-1)
  13. Hamburg (+2)
  14. Munich (-4)
  15. Rome (-1)
  16. Dusseldorf (-5)
  17. Barcelona (-1)
  18. Brussels (-1)
  19. Madrid (-6)
  20. Stockholm (-2)
  21. Manchester (-25)
  22. Berlin (-3)
  23. Lyon (-2)
  24. Amsterdam (+1)
  25. Luxembourg (+4)
  26. Istanbul (+16)
  27. Tashkent (+9)
  28. Lisbon (-7)
  29. Athens (-8)
  30. Prague (-7)
  31. Moscow (+15)
  32. Warsaw (-8)
  33. Budapest (-1)
  34. Belgrade (-6)
  35. Sofia (-1)
  36. St Petersburg (+6)
  37. Kiev (-6)
  38. Bucharest (-2)
  39. Almaty (-6)

Almaty pipped Lagos in Nigeria to the title of world’s cheapest city. India also looks a good bet for travellers on a shoestring, with Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi all among the bottom 10. After Almaty, Bucharest, Kiev and St Petersburg offer the lowest prices.

London got a whole lot cheaper this year
London got a whole lot cheaper this year CREDIT: SERGEY BORISOV

The world’s 10 cheapest cities

  1. Almaty (-6)
  2. Lagos (-16)
  3. Bangalore (+1)
  4. Karachi (-3)
  5. Algiers (=)
  6. Chennai (=)
  7. Mumbai (+4)
  8. Kiev (-6)
  9. Bucharest (-2)
  10. New Delhi (+2)

The city that fell furthest in the rankings, from 26th to 51st, was Manchester. Prices have also fallen sharply in Buenos Aires and a clutch of Chinese cities (Beijing, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Dalian).

Indian cities offer good value
Indian cities offer good value CREDIT: COPYRIGHT:CURIOSO.PL/PHOTOGRAPHER:MARIUSZ PRUSACZYK

Biggest movers down the rankings

  1. Manchester: 51st (-25)
  2. Buenos Aires: 82nd (-20)
  3. London: 24th (-18)
  4. Beijing: 47th (-16)
  5. Suzhou: 69th (-16)
  6. Lagos: 132nd (-16)
  7. Guangzhou: 69th (-13)
  8. Tianjin: 70th (-13)
  9. Dalian: 32nd (-11)
  10. Mexico City: 82nd (-9)

The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, meanwhile, jumped 29 places in the rankings, from 107th to 78th. Rio de Janeiro, Wellington, Istanbul, Moscow and Reykjavik were also among the biggest risers.

Biggest movers up the rankings

  1. Sao Paulo: 78th (+29)
  2. Rio de Janeiro: 86th (+27)
  3. Wellington: 16th (+26)
  4. Auckland: 17th (+22)
  5. Brisbane: 31st (+18)
  6. Adelaide: 35th (+18)
  7. Istanbul: 62nd (+16)
  8. Montevideo: 63rd (+15)
  9. Moscow: 98th (+15)
  10. Reykjavik: 16th (+13)

“Despite topping the ranking, Singapore still offers relative value in some categories,” says the report. “For categories such as personal care, household goods and domestic help, Singapore remains significantly cheaper than its peers, although it remains the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car, as well as the second-priciest destination in which to buy clothes.

“Although recent years have seen the relative cost of living in US cities rise, the latest ranking reflects a fall for all but two (San Francisco and Lexington) of the 16 cities surveyed,” it adds. “Meanwhile, the rise in the relative cost of living in Seoul has continued. The South Korean capital, which was ranked as low as 50th just seven years ago, now occupies sixth place.

“Paris is the only eurozone city among the 10 most expensive. The French capital remains structurally extremely expensive to live in, with only alcohol and tobacco offering value for money compared with other European cities.”

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