The Most Expensive Cities in the World

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The Most Expensive Cities in the World

Recently Swiss Bank UBS compiled a survey in which the cost of over 120 goods and services in more than 70 cities from around the globe were compared.

From their results we can present you with the world’s twenty-five most expensive cities, starting with the most pricy.

  1. Oslo, Norway
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Tokyo, Japan
  4. Geneva, Switzerland
  5. Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. New York, US
  7. Luxembourg
  8. Stockholm, Sweden
  9. Caracas, Venezuela
  10. London, UK
  11. Helsinki, Finland
  12. Frankfurt, Germany
  13. Munich, Germany
  14. Paris, France
  15. Sydney, Australia
  16. Montreal, Canada
  17. Vienna, Austria
  18. Milan, Italy
  19. Rome, Italy
  20. Chicago, US
  21. Lyon, France
  22. Dubai, UAE
  23. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  24. Miami, US
  25. Auckland, Australia

Of the 25 cites which made the list 16 are in Western Europe, 4 are in the North America, 2 are in Australia, 1 is in Japan, 1 is in the UAE and 1 is in South America.

When the cost of rent was also taken into account the rankings remained unchanged.

UBS also compiled a list of cities based on their wage level. Here are the results of the wage survey, starting with the city with the highest wage level in the world.

  1. Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Geneva, Switzerland
  3. Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. Oslo, Norway
  5. Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  6. New York, US
  7. Sydney, Australia
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Munich, Germany
  10. Frankfurt, Germany
  11. Los Angeles, US
  12. Chicago, US
  13. Stockholm, Sweden
  14. Miami, US
  15. Brussels, Belgium
  16. Helsinki, Finland
  17. Vienna, Austria
  18. London, UK
  19. Berlin, Germany
  20. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  21. Paris, France
  22. Dublin, Ireland
  23. Toronto, Canada
  24. Montreal, Canada
  25. Milan, Italy

Of these results 17 cities are in Western Europe, 6 are in Northern America, 1 is in Australia and 1 is in Japan.

As you can see by comparing the two lists, while many of the cities with higher wages also have a high cost of living, not all of the cities with a high cost of living are balanced out by strong wages.

Rome, Auckland, Caracas and Dubai, for example, both made the list for the world’s most expensive cities but didn’t make the list of cities with the highest average salary.

Conversely, while Dublin, Brussels and LA were all present on the highest salary list, none of the cities charge high enough prices for goods and services to push them into the top 25 of the world’s most expensive cities list.

To put the wage level/cost of living comparison into ‘real terms’ UBS listed how many hours of work it would take before a citizen of each of the cities studied would be able to afford to buy an iPhone 4S handset.

Earning the smartphone takes the least amount of time in Zurich, where you can own the handset outright after just 22 hours of work. At 435 hours it would take the most amount of time to buy in Manila.

Continentally speaking, on average you could buy an iPhone 4S after 35 hours of work in North America, 42 hours in Oceania and 48 hours in Western Europe.

However, if we use a 40 hour working week as a measure, in Eastern Europe, South America, Asia and Africa it would take over three weeks of work to afford the smartphone.

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