Every year, the Economist Intelligence Unit releases two reports on which cities are the most expensive and the cheapest to live in.  The first of the reports, titled “Worldwide Cost of Living,” looks at factors including food costs, fuel costs, and salaries.   Here’s a look at what they’ve calculated to be the 9 most expensive cities to live in, in 2016.



9. Seoul, South Korea

With a continuously rising cost of clothes and utilities, the EIU said “the cost of living in Seoul is now on a par with that of Copenhagen and Los Angeles.”

Seoul, South Korea | Travel | @projectinspo


8. Copenhagen, Denmark

Nothing new here due to the high cost of living relative to wages.

Copenhagen, Denmark | Travel | @projectinspo


7. New York City

EIU: “A stronger dollar and localised inflation mean that New York continues to become more expensive relative to its global peers.”  Just an example – the average US dollar price for a kilogram of bread is at $8.28 — more than double that of the city in the No. 1 spot (Singapore).

New York City | Travel | @projectinspo


6. London

London’s wage growth has remained stagnant and has not kept up with inflation and soaring house prices. The average price for a property in London is way over £500,000, but wages on average are close to £30,000.

London | Travel | @projectinspo


5. Paris

Despite the weak currency of the euro, “Paris remains structurally extremely expensive to live in,” and the only thing that is relatively reasonable in terms of value is alcohol and cigarettes.  So everything else is expensive but at least you’re getting booze and cigs for cheap?

Paris | Travel | @projectinspo


4. Geneva

The EIU said that basically everything about Geneva is expensive, and even recreation and entertainment activities have some of the highest costs in the world.  The EIU said that is probably because it is “reflecting a greater premium on discretionary spending.”  So, all the rich people keep making everything more expensive? How delightful.

Geneva, Switzerland | Travel | @projectinspo


3. Hong Kong

Hong Kong has climbed seven places up the ranking in the past year due to exceptionally high housing prices and an increase in local living costs.

Hong Kong | Travel | @projectinspo


2. Zurich

The EIU blames the unpegging of the Swiss franc from the euro alongside “structurally high income and price levels” for pushing this city to near top of the list.

Zurich | Travel | @projectinspo


1. Singapore

Singapore doesn’t seem to be getting any less expensive.  It’s been voted #1 for a third year in a row.  However, there is supposedly some value in general expenses, i.e. groceries.

Singapore | Travel | @projectinspo


Do you live in any of these cities? What is it like, and are you thinking about moving?  Leave us some comments below and tell us your stories!



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13 COMMENTS ON "The 9 Most Expensive Cities To Live In"


2 months 11 days ago

I live in Sweden and it’s pretty much like Denmark – expensive. Stockholm is super expensive, just a packet of nuggets, fries and a drink at McDonald’s will cost you 80-100kr.. I don’t live in Stockholm but I’ll studying there soon and will probably eventually move there but I’m gonna have to save up properly before I can do that.

2 months 11 days ago

In NYC, there are cheap places to eat and plenty of cheap or free things to do, even if nearly all your money goes to rent. More or less the same in Paris. But in Copenhagen, even ice cream cone practically requires taking out a bank loan.

2 months 11 days ago

This was a great comparison of cities around the world. I don’t live in these cities but I did live in paris for a few months during university. My rent was extremely high but yes the alcohol was cheap and the cheese! So I survived =o)

2 months 5 days ago

There is nothing like good (and cheap) wine and cheese! Especially when you’re already in Paris. 🙂 <3

2 months 10 days ago
I live in Zurich and yes, it is an expensive city – especially for tourists. We have rather high incomes here (mine definitely being below average with approx USD 5’000.- NET a month) and in my opinion life in the city is manageable even with my “lower” income. I eat out about once or twice a week – just not in the touristic places since A) most restaurants are way too overpriced for what they have to offer and B) Zurich is so much nicer if you explore it off the beaten path – but don’t go out too often… READ MORE »
2 months 5 days ago

It’s so great to hear a local’s perspective on the city. Living in NYC sounds very similar, except I’m not surrounded by lush hills, lakes and rivers. Plus you’re probably SO close to other European travel goldmines. Zurich sounds amazing despite the cost – hope to visit some day!

2 months 10 days ago

I’ve gotten so used to the cost of living in London that I don’t realise how relatively crazy expensive it is until I travel to other countries. But on the plus side the UK has free museums which is such a nice and pocket-friendly way to enjoy a day out! x

Daydreaming With…Stanley Kubrick – Posh, Broke, & Bored

2 months 5 days ago

I recently came back from London and it was so nice to have the museums be free!

2 months 7 days ago

I think you forgot San Francisco – which is out of control expensive! We live here and find it more expensive then New York or London.

2 months 5 days ago

Such a good point. I wonder why it did not make the list – perhaps it was #11?

2 months 6 days ago

No do not stay in one of the above cities… I live in Athens who has been a bit cheaper after the capital control, but not for the greeks 🙁

1 month 27 days ago

Did you forget about Australia?

1 month 27 days ago

That might be #10!