World’s most expensive cities to live in revealed - and London only just makes the cut

Switzerland claims three of the top 10 cities

Helen Coffey
Tuesday 22 June 2021 17:08 BST
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The world’s most expensive cities to live in have been revealed in a new report.

Mercer’s 27th annual Cost of Living Survey analysed data from 209 cities across five continents to compile its latest research.

It measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items, from accommodation and transportation to food and household items, in order to rank each city.

Ashgabat in Turkmenistan was name most expensive, followed by Hong Kong and Beirut in Lebanon.

Although Asia claimed six of the top 10 priciest cities, three of the most costly destinations were all in Switzerland.

Zurich, Geneva and Bern ranked fifth, eight and 10th respectively.

London just made the top 20, coming in 18th place, having climbed one rank from the previous year’s survey.

The only other European city in the top 20 was Copenhagen, Denmark (16).

Other UK destinations in the ranking included Birmingham (121), Aberdeen (128) and Glasgow (131).

Cities in the US have dropped in this year’s list, mostly due to currency weakness between March 2020 and March 2021, despite the rising inflation of goods and services.

New York (14) ranked as the most expensive city in the US, dropping eight positions since last year, followed by Los Angeles (20), San Francisco (25), Honolulu (43) and Chicago (45). Winston Salem (151) remains the least expensive US city surveyed.

The survey also revealed the world’s least expensive cities to live in.

Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan was named the cheapest, followed by Lusaka in Zambia and Tbilisi in Georgia.

Five of the 10 cheapest cities are in Africa.

Top 20 most expensive cities

  1. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Beirut, Lebanon
  4. Tokyo, Japan
  5. Zurich, Switzerland
  6. Shanghai, China
  7. Singapore
  8. Geneva, Switzerland
  9. Beijing, China
  10. Bern, Switzerland
  11. Seoul, South Korea
  12. Shenzhen, China
  13. Ndjamena, Chad
  14. New York City, USA
  15. Tel Aviv, Israel
  16. Copenhagen, Denmark
  17. Guangzhou, China
  18. London, UK
  19. Lagos, Nigeria
  20. Libreville, Gabon

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