According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, which was released last week, Japan’s two largest cities have regained their position among the most expensive cities in the world.
This year is marked by the dominance of Asian cities. Singapore has held on to its number one position from last year, as has Hong Kong at number two. Tokyo, which was ranked the most expensive city in 2012, sprang up seven places to number four and Osaka rocketed up nine spots to number five. Seoul rounded out the Asian heavy hitters at number 6, up two marks from last year, and up from a very low 50th spot in 2010.
The two Japanese cities’ dramatic jumps are chalked up to the burgeoning power of the yen in global markets.
For Europe, Switzerland came in third, Geneva and Paris both came in at seven, and Denmark came in at ninth, where it was tied with New York, the only city in the US to make it into the top 10.
According to the IMF, Asia is responsible for 40 percent of the global economy, and is also predicted to contribute to two thirds of worldwide growth over the next four years.
The EIU notes that grocery shopping in Asian cities tends to be more expensive overall, while recreation and entertainment will set you back more in Europe.
Among the biggest rises and falls outside of the top 10:
–Manchester dropped 25 spots to number 51, and London dropped 18 places to number 24. Five cities in China – Beijing, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Tianjin, and Dalian – all dropped double digits in rankings.
–In Brazil, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro leapt up 29 and 27 spots respectively; in New Zealand, Wellington and Auckland soared 26 and 22 places; and in Australia, Brisbane and Adelaide both vaulted up 18 slots on the rankings.
Conversely, if you’re looking for the cities where you can get the most bang for your . . . well, tenge, then you can check out this ranking of the world’s least expensive cities, which was also compiled by the EIU.
In order to calculate their Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, the EIU compares “more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.”
You can have a look at the full survey in PDF form at www.eiu.com.