This City Is Now the Most Expensive Place to Live Worldwide

Picyure of expensive cities including empire state Eiffel tower and Big Ben

If you’re moving here, be prepared to pay up.

The Economist Intelligence Unit just released its annual report on Wednesday of the most and least expensive cities to live in across the globe, and a brand-new spot is topping the list. Want to know which locale is the priciest? Read on. 

What’s in the report?

The 2021 Worldwide Cost of Living index found that Tel Aviv, Israel, is the most expensive city to live in worldwide, jumping from fifth to first place this year. The EIU attributed the city’s sharp rise to the top to a number of factors, including increases in the prices of everyday goods and services and the strength of the Israeli shekel against the U.S. dollar.

Meanwhile, Paris and Singapore tied for second place, followed by Zurich, Switzerland and Hong Kong. New York City, Geneva, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, and Osaka round up the rest of the top 10. Tehran shot up 50 places from number 79 to 29 amid U.S. sanctions that have led to shortages and higher prices on goods and services. But not all major cities saw an increase: Rome saw the biggest fall in the rankings, dropping from 32nd to 48th place. The EIU largely attributes this to a sharp decline in the cost of groceries and clothing.

How are these rankings determined?

The EIU calculates the index’s ranking by tracking the cost of living across 173 global cities and comparing the price of more than 200 everyday products and services. This data is also nothing new — in fact, a global team of researchers have studied this for more than three decades.

What were some of the larger driving factors?

Supply chain issues, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, and changes in consumer demand amid the pandemic led to a rise in prices for goods, according to the EIU. Additionally, major cities saw the biggest spike in inflation in five years, jumping from 1.9 percent to 3.5 percent in 2021. Oil, too, had an impact, driving a 21 percent increase in unleaded petrol prices. 

Could there be more to come? 

Though the global vaccine rollout has been promising, the EIU said the continued spike in cases due to the new Omicron variant (on top of all the other strain brought on by the pandemic) has already stressed the supply chain and led to a cascade of shortages. 

“Over the coming year, we expect to see the cost of living rise further in many cities as wages increase in many sectors,” said Upasana Dutt, head of Worldwide Cost of Living at EIU, in a statement. “However, we are also expecting central banks to raise interest rates, cautiously, to stem inflation. So the price increases should start to moderate from this year’s level.”

Here’s the full list of the most expensive cities to live in:

1. Tel Aviv, Israel

2. Paris, France (tied)

2. Singapore (tied)

4. Zurich, Switzerland

5. Hong Kong

6. New York City, New York

7. Geneva, Switzerland

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

9. Los Angeles, California

10. Osaka, Japan

11. Oslo, Norway

12. Seoul, South Korea

13. Tokyo, Japan

14. Vienna, Austria (tied)

14. Sydney, Australia (tied)

16. Melbourne, Australia

17. Helsinki, Finland (tied)

17. London, UK (tied)

19. Dublin, Ireland (tied)

19. Frankfurt, Germany (tied)

19. Shanghai, China (tied)