Singapore, Osaka and Hong Kong are the world’s most expensive cities, a new survey has found.
Researchers looked at the prices of 160 items in 133 cities around the globe including the cost of food, clothing, transport and utility bills, to draw up a ranking of the most expensive and least expensive.
Damascus, the capital of war-torn Syria, is rated as the cheapest city in the world, with prices only slightly higher in the Uzbekistan capital, Tashkent.
Singapore, pictured, is the joint most expensive city, according to new research
The ranking has been put together by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for its 2020 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.
The most expensive locations are largely split between Asia, Europe and the USA.
In fourth place is New York followed by Paris, one of the world’s most expensive cities last year, which has dropped to joint fifth with Zurich.
The only Middle Eastern city in the top 10 is Tel Aviv in seventh, which the EIU says has experienced booming exports in recent years, making the Israeli shekel one of the strongest currencies in the world.
It is followed by Los Angeles and Tokyo in joint eighth, while Geneva, the second Swiss city in the top 10, rounds off the list.
Hong Kong came joint top as one of the world’s most expensive cities in research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit
Osaka also came joint top in the ranking and was rated as more expensive than the likes of Zurich, Geneva and New York
Elsewhere, London has dropped one place to 23rd and Manchester is in 51st place, the same as last year.
However, despite having three cities in the top 10, the EIU points out that overall there has been a decline in prices across Europe.
Of the 37 European cities surveyed, 31 have experienced a fall in overall rank.
In addition to Paris and Zurich becoming comparatively less expensive, Geneva has fallen from fifth to 10th, while Copenhagen has dropped out of the top 10 altogether.
The only Middle Eastern city in the top 10 is Tel Aviv in seventh, which the EIU says has experienced booming exports in recent years
The EIU points out that the gap between east and west European cities had previously been narrowing.
However, it adds that this trend has largely been halted, despite two Russian cities, St Petersburg (up from 112th to 106th) and Moscow (up from 102nd to 86th), both rising up the rankings owing to a VAT increase, and Kiev leaping 22 places (from 108th to 86th) following strong export-driven currency appreciation in 2019.
In contrast to the slide in the rankings by European cities, robust consumer demand and a strong US dollar means that all bar one of the US cities have risen in the rankings, with Atlanta (66th), Boston (33rd) and San Francisco (15th) rising furthest.
Damascus, pictured, the capital of war-torn Syria, is rated as the cheapest city in the world. This image was taken in 2009, before conflict erupted
At the bottom of the ranking, joining Damascus and Tashkent among the cheapest cities, are Almaty in Kazakhstan and the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires.
Nicholas Fitzroy, The EIU’s Risk Briefing Director and editor of the survey, said: ‘The survey shows some striking contrasts, with opposing trends in local currencies, inflation and domestic demand growth, seeing the comparative cost of living falling across Europe, while it rises in North America.
‘Similarly, the survey shows that there remains stark structural differences in the cost of living in Asia’s most expensive business hubs, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, and its cheapest, such as Bangalore and Chennai.’
THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES 2020
World’s most expensive cities 2020
1= Hong Kong
4. New York
7. Tel Aviv
8= Los Angeles
World’s least expensive cities 2020
4= Buenos Aires
10. New Delhi
Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit