The most expensive cities in the world

Anyone who has bought cheese or shampoo in a New York supermarket will especially appreciate the prices in supermarkets in their home country (unless they live in one of the following cities). The price level at airports already illustrates the simple principle: when space is limited and demand is high, consumers have to reach into their pockets. The ranking of the most expensive cities in the world is therefore a kind of competition for the question of which metropolises are currently particularly popular. Here is a list of the most expensive cities in the world.

The most expensive cities in the world


Geneva was the fifth most expensive city in the world in the 2019 ranking of The Economist Intelligence Unit. In 2020 it was only enough for tenth place. Geneva scored 95 on the cost of living index (New York City = 100). The decline was symptomatic for almost all of Europe. Copenhagen fell four places and thus said goodbye to the top 10. Düsseldorf lost eleven places (in 43rd place). That was the fourth biggest decline on the list. Reykjavik even fell from 15th to 29th place.


Rent an apartment, get a haircut, go to a restaurant: Paris is definitely one of the most expensive cities in the world. Paris has been in the top ten for a long time, but has recently seen a rapid rise. Last year the city ranked second, two years ago it was still seventh. Living in Paris is now “extremely expensive,” explained the EIU, which belongs to the group around the “Economist” business magazine. A woman’s haircut there costs an average of 120 dollars (a good 100 euros), men have to pay about 2,000 dollars for a suit. Alcohol, subways, and tobacco products, on the other hand, are comparatively affordable in Paris.

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv represents the Middle East in the ranking of the most expensive cities in the world. The Israeli metropolis was only 97th in the index instead of 99th the previous year. That was enough for seventh place this year. According to analysts, the price drivers in Tel Aviv were, among other things, increased spending on mobility.

New York

New York is literally the measure of all things in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s ranking. A small bottle of beer in New York costs an average of $3.50, according to the analysis. That was the highest price in the top 10, followed by Tel Aviv at the equivalent of $3.27. The price comparison for a two-piece business suit was even more extreme. For this reason, in New York an average of about 3,100 dollars was owed, according to calculations by analysts at The Economist. That was almost three times more than ten years ago. None of the top 10 cities passed the $2,000 mark in this article. In Geneva, a suit was even available for the equivalent of about $500.


In 2020, as in the previous year, three cities will share the title of the most expensive metropolis in the world. New is Osaka, which has taken the place of Paris. The Japanese economic center thus crowned its race to the top. In 2019, Osaka jumped six places to fifth. Now he climbed another four places. As in the case of Tokyo, one of the reasons for the high cost of living in Osaka was the strong yen.

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