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[RANKED] World's Most Expensive Cities to Live in
ECONOMY Singapore

[RANKED] World's Most Expensive Cities to Live in

There’s not just one most expensive city this year, but three.

According to the annual Worldwide Cost of Living survey  by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the title of most expensive city is shared by ParisHong Kong, and Singapore—the first time in the survey’s 30-year history that three cities are in the top spot.

The report looks at 133 cities and the cost of 160 items, such as food and drink, utility bills, rent, and transportation. Using New York as a benchmark, it determines whether prices for these items have gone up or down.

However, Roxana Slavcheva, editor of the Worldwide Cost of Living 2019 survey notes that emerging economy cities, specifically those from Southeast Asian countries, have performed pretty remarkably

Image: The Economist
Image: The Economist

"We note converging costs in traditionally more expensive cities like Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo and Sydney. It is a testament to globalisation and the similarity of tastes and shopping patterns. Even in locations where topping a grocery basket may be relatively cheaper, utilities or transportation prices drive the overall cost of living upwards."

"More remarkable is the sharp climb up in the ranking of emerging economy cities – Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila, Phnom Penh and Hanoi – owing to last year's robust economic growth," she explained to Mashable SE Asia.

Of all the remaining Southeast Asian cities, Bangkok sits at the 41st spot. Hanoi, Vietnam and Phnom Penh, Cambodia are up by six places at 60 and 76 respectively.

Image: The Economist
Image: The Economist

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur has risen ten spots to 88th in the ranking while Manila is at 92nd after climbing nine spots up.

The survey observes that these Southeast Asian cities rose in their ranks thanks to their robust economic growth in 2018. Vietnam alone saw its GDP grow by 7.1%.

Meanwhile, the most inexpensive cities to live in were comprised primarily of those suffering from political and economic instability, such as Caracas and Damascus, as reported by Fortune.

The annual index was designed to help companies calculate cost-of-living expenses for expatriates and business travellers.

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