Tokyo has been dethroned as the most expensive place to live in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit calculated that Singapore was now the most expensive city, with Tokyo dropping down to sixth place behind Paris, Oslo, Zurich, and Sydney.
The EIU’s survey is designed to help companies and individuals weigh the cost of relocating to other countries, with their different currencies, taxes and food prices. Singapore, for example, has many restrictions on owning a car and requires a very expensive Certificate of Entitlement, along with road taxes and registration fees. The EIU factors all this into the city’s transportation score. (The BBC reports that Singapore is also the most expensive place in the world to buy clothes.)
From the Financial Times:
Asian cities tended to be the priciest locations for general grocery shopping, with Tokyo still the most expensive location for everyday food items. However, European cities were more likely to be expensive places for recreation and entertainment, the EIU added, “perhaps reflecting a greater premium on discretionary income”.
By contrast, Mumbai offered “the best value for money” and was joined among the cheapest locations by New Delhi, Karachi and Kathmandu in Nepal. The civil war and collapse of the Syrian pound also made Damascus among the world’s cheapest cities.
Damascus might be a bargain compared to Singapore, but you can probably guess which you’d rather live in.