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The world’s most expensive cities to live in revealed: Zurich and Singapore are joint most expensive in 2023, followed by New York, while London is ninth and Damascus in Syria the cheapest

Zurich and Singapore have been named the most expensive cities in the world in a new report.

New York, which shared first place with Singapore last year, moved up to second place with Geneva in the 2023 Global Cost of Living Survey (WCOL).

Third on the podium is Hong Kong, while London fares worse in (still quite expensive) ninth of the 173 cities surveyed.

At the other end of the scale, the Syrian capital Damascus is the cheapest city and the Iranian capital Tehran the second cheapest.

The ranking, updated twice a year by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), was created by analyzing the prices of 200 products in the 173 cities, including food, clothing, petrol and electricity bills.

Singapore has been declared the most expensive city in the world

Zurich (above) shares the top spot with Singapore on the list of

Zurich (above) shares the top spot with Singapore on the “most expensive cities” list.

Behind Hong Kong is Los Angeles in fourth place, followed by Paris (fifth); Tel Aviv and Copenhagen (joint sixth); and San Francisco (seventh).

The cheapest cities after Damascus and Tehran are Tripoli in Libya (third); Karachi, Pakistan (fourth); Tashkent, Uzbekistan (fifth); Tunis, Tunisia (sixth place); Lusaka, Zambia (seventh place); and Ahmedabad, India (eighth).

Lagos (Nigeria) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) complete the list of the ten cheapest locations, jointly ranking ninth.

The EIU report that created this ranking was released today, November 30.

It concluded that the global cost of living crisis continues, with prices for everyday goods and services rising by an average of 7.4 percent annually.

Geneva (above) ranks second in the 2023 Global Cost of Living Survey (WCOL).

Geneva (above) ranks second in the 2023 Global Cost of Living Survey (WCOL).

New York, which shared first place with Singapore last year, moved up to second place along with Geneva.  Pictured: the Manhattan Bridge in New York

New York, which shared first place with Singapore last year, moved up to second place along with Geneva. Pictured: the Manhattan Bridge in New York

However, according to the report, household energy and water bills are the least affected by inflation globally (out of 10 categories examined).

This suggests that the rise in energy prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is easing, it said.

“However, food prices continue to rise sharply,” the report said, as “many manufacturers and retailers passed on higher costs to consumers.”

London will be the ninth most expensive city in 2023

London will be the ninth most expensive city in 2023

Prices were also affected by “the increasing frequency of extreme weather events” affecting the supply chain, it said.

In the US, most of the 22 cities surveyed fell in the ranking of the most expensive places in the world.

New York came in third, the report said, due in part to price increases for eggs, beef and recreational activities.

For other items such as petrol and clothes, prices remain “moderate”.

THE 10 MOST EXPENSIVE AND CHEAPEST CITIES IN 2023

The 10 most expensive cities in the world

1= Zurich, Switzerland

1=Singapore

2=New York, USA

2 = Geneva, Switzerland

3. Hong Kong, China

4. Los Angeles, USA

5. Paris, France

6= Tel Aviv, Israel

6= Copenhagen, Denmark

7. San Francisco, USA

10 cheapest cities in the world

1. Damascus, Syria

2. Tehran, Iran

3. Tripoli, Libya

4. Karachi, Pakistan

5. Tashkent, Uzbekistan

6. Tunis, Tunisia

7. Lusaka, Zambia

8. Ahmedabad, India

9=Lagos, Nigeria

9= Buenos Aires, Argentina

Syria's capital Damascus is the cheapest city in the world.  Pictured: Part of the city's Umayad Mosque, photographed in 2020

Syria’s capital Damascus is the cheapest city in the world. Pictured: Part of the city’s Umayad Mosque, photographed in 2020

The Iranian capital Tehran, pictured here with the Alborz mountains in the background, will be the second cheapest city in the world in 2023

The Iranian capital Tehran, pictured here with the Alborz mountains in the background, will be the second cheapest city in the world in 2023

The study was conducted before the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, which “affected exchange rates in Israel” and possibly also affected prices, researchers point out.

Commenting on the results, WCOL chief Upasana Dutt said price rises have eased since China lifted its Covid-19 restrictions last year and since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But “the cost of living crisis is far from over,” he added, “and price levels remain well above historical trends.”

Sharing the WCOL predictions for next year, Mr. Dutt said inflation is expected to slow further, but “risks remain”, including: the consequences of the war between Israel and Hamas and rising temperatures in the eastern Pacific (El Niño).

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