Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?

Prices may seem high here, but UK capital doesn't make top 10 worldwide

The island city of Singapore has been named the world’s most expensive city to live in, according to the latest data from a comprehensive study, while London did not even make the top 10.

The results from the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2014 Worldwide Cost of Living survey, released today, placed Singapore ahead of 130 other cities based on more than 400 different price indicators, from basic groceries to the cost of heating.

Singapore is the most expensive place in the world to buy clothes, relies heavily on imported goods and has an increasingly strong currency. The EIU said the city’s transport costs are around three times higher than New York, which it used as a benchmark for comparisons.

“Singapore’s rise is partially attributable to the continued strength of the Singapore dollar, but the city has seen price rises too which have no doubt been compounded by a reliance on imports,” Jon Copestake, editor of the EIU report, told Bloomberg.

The city replaced Tokyo, last year’s winner, which has been pushed out into joint-sixth place. Making up the rest of the top five were Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney in fifth.

London, meanwhile, was ranked 15th – and the only other UK city to be included in the results was Manchester, way down in 49th. The results do show London is getting comparatively more expensive to live in - it was 16th last year.

Caracas, Venezuela, is the only city in the Americas to feature in the top 10, but the EIU explained that its position is largely due to the imposition of an artificially high official exchange rate.

“If alternative black market rates were applied, Caracas would comfortably become the world's cheapest city in which to live,” the report said. Beyond Caracas, the most expensive city in the Americas is New York in 26th place, with the US city becoming more expensive than Vancouver in Canada over the last year.

While a mix of European, Asian and Australasian locations make up the majority of the top 10 list, cities in the Middle East and the Asian subcontinent dominate as the cheapest places to live.

Inequality between the richest and poorest in India’s major cities like Mumbai and New Delhi ensures prices are kept low, while spending is also stifled by rafts of government subsidies.

The ongoing Syrian crisis was also reflected in the figures, which saw Damascus suffer the largest drop in prices to take fourth place on the cheapest list.

Speaking about the overall trends, Mr Copestake said: “Improving sentiment in structurally expensive European cities combined with the continued rise of Asian hubs means that these two regions continue to supply most of the world's most expensive cities.”

“But Asian cities also continue to make up many of the world's cheapest, especially in the Indian subcontinent,” he said.

The top 10 least expensive cities

1 Mumbai

2 Karachi

3 New Delhi

4 Damascus

5 Kathmandu

6 Algiers

7 Bucharest

8 Panama City

9 Jeddah

10 Riyadh

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Internal Sales Executive - Hair & Beauty - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company supplies the ultim...

Recruitment Genius: Design, Marketing and Media Manager

£27000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: HR Assistant

£17447 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is a leading centre fo...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Case Handler

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler is requi...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence