For 3 years in a row, Singapore has held the crown as the most expensive city in the entire world. Normally people would expect that huge cities such as New York and London would take the top spot, but they only hold the 7th and 6th spots. Whether you’re travelling for business or for pleasure, many wonder what it is about Singapore that makes it so expensive. Between the luxurious food and lifestyle, once you visit the city you’ll certainly understand why travellers spend over $250 USD per day on their trip.
The Cheapest Cities in the World
As with the most expensive cities, there is always a list of the cheapest, or least expensive, cities in the world. Most of these areas are found in underdeveloped countries where their cost of living is substantially lower than in developed countries. The capital of Zambia, known as Lusaka, came in at 133rd out of the 133 countries included in the survey.
How are Rankings Determined?
The survey, conducted by the EUI (The Economist Intelligence Unit) compares the prices of over 400 items from country to country such as the cost associated with driving a car. One of the main factors that contributed to Singapore’s ranking was the cost that you would have to pay for transportation which it was 2.7 times more expensive than the average transportation costs in New York. There are several different things that could negatively affect rating as well such as collapses in the economy and the devaluation of dollars. For example, the worse that the U.S. dollar is, the lower the rankings are for most European countries.
Comparing Past Rankings
Another interesting aspect that is studied is the comparison between the cost of living 5 and 10 years ago. Two countries, New York City and Hong Kong, had much lower costs of living than what was reported in 2010. In 2011 they had the ranking of 49th whereas this year they fell in at 7th place. The important factor to remember is that although the cost of living might not have risen, the city could be further up the list as a result of dollar strength. For example, the price of transportation didn’t skyrocket in New York City, it was more so the value of goods and services that contributed to their number 7 spot.
One Important Forgotten Factor
You would think when you heard the term “cost of living” that it would include the prices associated with finding shelter in the area, such as dwellings. In the determination of the most expensive cities in the world, the price of shelter is not included whereas clothing, household foods, food, and transportation are included. According to experts eliminating the idea of shelter doesn’t make the results nearly as meaningful. It could also be a determining factor as to why other highly profitable and expensive cities didn’t quite make it high enough on the list, such as San Francisco, even though living in and visiting the area costs a lot of money.
Content is curated by Edna Bryant, an expert content writer, he has published several articles about several travel attractions at the Travelji blog.