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Most Expensive Cities 2018

Measuring the cost of living in the worlds cities is a challenge. Meta-data from various sources is compiled to establish rankings of the most expensive and least expensive cities but data alone cannot determine if the cheapest city is home to the happiest or if the most expensive city is populated with happy and wealthy people. Inflation, instability and conflict around the world could continue to fuel shortage-driven inflation which has an impact on the cost of living in certain cities.

Here we look at the overall ranking as well as cost of common goods to compare. Cheap doesn’t always equate to happy, or safe.

Most Expensive Cities 2018
City Country
Gas $USD Regular Unleaded
Loaf of Bread $USD (1lb
– 454g)
Pack of Cigarettes $USD
20 regular
Bottle of Wine $USD
(25.4oz – 750ml)
Monthly Rent Studio
$USD (480 sq/ft- 45 sq/m
Singapore Singapore
$5.89 gallon / $1.56
Paris France
$6.69 gallon / $1.77
Zurich Switzerland
$6.35 gallon / $1.68
Hong Kong Hong Kong
$6.95 gallon / $1.84
Oslo Norway
$7.63 gallon / $2.02
Geneva Switzerland
$5.86 gallon / $1.55
Seoul South Korea
$5.07 gallon / $1.34
Copenhagen Denmark
$6.31 gallon / $1.67
Tel Aviv Israel
$6.35 gallon / $1.68
Sydney Australia
$3.70 gallon / $0.98
Least Expensive Cities 2018
City Country
Gas $USD Regular Unleaded
Loaf of Bread $USD (1lb
– 454g)
Pack of Cigarettes $USD
20 regular
Bottle of Wine $USD
(25.4oz – 750ml)
Monthly Rent Studio
$USD (480 sq/ft – 45 sq/m)
New Delhi India
$4.05 gallon / $1.07
Bucharest Romania
$4.84 gallon / $1.28
Chennai India
$4.20 gallon / $1.11
Algiers Algeria
$1.21 gallon / $0.32
Karachi Pakistan
$2.38 gallon / $0.63
Bangalore India
$4.35 gallon / $1.15
Lagos Nigeria
$1.51 gallon / $0.40
Almaty Kazakhstan
$1.93 gallon / $0.51
Caracas Venezuela
$0.04 gallon / $0.01
Damascus Syria
$1.89 gallon / $0.50
Other Cities For Comparative Purposes
City Country
Gas $USD Regular Unleaded
Loaf of Bread $USD (1lb
– 454g)
Pack of Cigarettes $USD
20 regular
Bottle of Wine $USD
(25.4oz – 750ml)
Monthly Rent Studio
$USD (480 sq/ft – 45 sq/m)
Toronto Canada
$4.95 gallon / $1.54
New York City United
$2.90 gallon / $0.77
London United
$8.75 gallon / $2.31

Data is partly obtained via an  Economist Intelligence Unit survey that compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

For More Information:

The World’s Most Expensive Cities 2018

Singapore is an exciting place to be, whether you’re considering a permanent move, or just looking to spend a year or two exploring somewhere new. The cost of living may be a little high, but the experiences you can get here are truly memorable. Singapore has a very well-developed rental sector, although the pressure on space in the central districts means that flats, apartments and condos are typically fairly small.

Again in 2018, Singapore maintains atop the list of the world’s most expensive city for the fifth consecutive year. Seoul is the only other city in the top ten that has maintained its ranking from the previous year. In the rest of Asia, Hong Kong and Sydney join Singapore and Seoul in the top ten. Low inflation has pushed Tokyo and Osaka out of the top ten in the cost of living ranking covering 133 cities worldwide. The Japanese capital, which was the world’s most expensive city until 2013, has moved seven places down the ranking in the past year. Conversely, Seoul, which was ranked 21st five years ago, is now in the sixth position. Tel Aviv, which was ranked 34th just five years ago, is now the ninth most expensive city in the survey. Currency appreciation played a part in this rise, but Tel Aviv also has some specific costs that drive up prices, notably those of buying, insuring and maintaining a car, which push transport costs 79% above New York prices.

Tel Aviv is also the second most expensive city in the survey in which to buy alcohol. Within western Europe, it is non-euro area cities that largely remain the most expensive. Zurich , Oslo , Geneva and Copenhagen are among the ten priciest. The lone exception is Paris 2nd, which has featured among the top ten most expensive .

Despite the reigning title, Singapore still offers relative value in some categories, especially compared with its regional peers. For categories such as personal care, household goods and domestic help Singapore remains significantly cheaper than its peers, but it remains the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car and the third-priciest destination in which to buy clothes. In terms of food and drink, the cost of living in Singapore is on a par with that of Shanghai in China. Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong are the three most expensive places in the world to buy staple goods. In Seoul, average cost of a grocery basket is almost 50% more expensive than in New York.

The World’s Cheapest Cities 2018

Caracas is the cultural and commercial capital of Venezuela. It is the largest and most crowded city in Venezuela with a population over 2 million. The high cost of living means it could be a place to visit but one you might not want to move to. Crime is also high in Venezuela.

The cheapest cities in the world have seen some changes over the past 12 months. Asia is home to some of the world’s most expensive cities—but to many of the world’s cheapest cities too. Within Asia, the best value for money has traditionally been offered by South Asian cities, particularly those in India and Pakistan. To an extent, this remains true, and Bangalore, Chennai, Karachi and New Delhi feature among the ten cheapest cities in the 2018 data-set. India is tipped for rapid economic expansion but wages and spending growth remain low. Inequality means that low wages are the norm, limiting household spending and creating many tiers of pricing as well as strong competition from a range of retail sources. This, combined with a cheap and plentiful supply of goods into cities from rural producers with short supply chains as well as government subsidies on some products, has kept prices down by Western standards.

Although South Asian cities traditionally occupy positions among the ten cheapest, they are no longer the cheapest cities in the world. Last year that title was held by Kazakhstan’s city, Almaty, which fell in the ranking following a 50% devaluation of the national currency. In 2018 it is Syria’s capital, Damascus, which occupies the cheapest city. The citizens of Damascus may not feel that the city is getting cheaper, with inflation almost 30% in Syria during 2017. Joining Damascus at the bottom is Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, which fell by 13 places to 132nd place amid currency devaluation. The Venezuelan government unified and devalued the official exchange rates in early 2018 in an attempt to reduce currency pressure, but amid hyperinflation, the currency remains hugely overvalued, as reflected in an extremely large black-market premium.