Most expensive cities in the world: 2019

Singapore skyline
Singapore remains the world’s most expensive city, but shares its title with Paris and Hong Kong this year.
  • Singapore reigns as the world’s most expensive city for the fifth year in a row, based on a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • This year, Paris and Hong Kong join Singapore for a three-way tie in the top spot.
  • Asia remains the continent with the most expensive cities, closely followed by Europe.
  • Since last year, two United States cities have rejoined the list: New York and Los Angeles.

Asian and European cities led the list of most expensive cities around the globe in 2019.

That’s according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Worldwide Cost of Living report, which highlights the top 10 most expensive cities around the globe. The report uses more than 400 prices across 160 different products and services — including food, drink, clothing, and home rents — to calculate rankings.

Singapore has consistently held its No. 1 ranking since 2014, when it surpassed Tokyo, which had previously occupied the top spot nearly every year since 1992.

While Singapore still holds its title, it now shares first place with two other major cities: Paris and Hong Kong. Paris moved up from its No. 2 seat last year, while Hong Kong moved up from No. 4. Because of the multiple ties in this year’s ranking, 11 cities are listed among the report’s top 10 most expensive cities.

This year also marks the return of two major American cities: New York and Los Angeles. In past reports, American cities have appeared in the top 10, but last year, New York City and Los Angeles topped out at No. 13 and No. 14 respectively. According to the report, this was due, in part, to a weakening dollar when compared to other currencies.

Below, you’ll find the most expensive cities ranked from least to most expensive, along with their comparison ranking from last year.

10. Los Angeles, California

10. Los Angeles, California

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 10

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 14

10. Tel Aviv, Israel

10. Tel Aviv, Israel

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 10

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 9

7. New York, USA

7. New York, USAGetty Images

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 7

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 13

7. Copenhagen, Denmark

7. Copenhagen, Denmark

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 7

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 8

 

7. Seoul, South Korea

7. Seoul, South KoreaPublic Domain

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 7 (tied with New York and Copenhagen)

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 6

5. Osaka, Japan

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 5 (tied with Geneva)

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 11

5. Geneva, Switzerland

5. Geneva, SwitzerlandShutterstock

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 5

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 6

4. Zurich, Switzerland

4. Zurich, Switzerland

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 4

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 2

1. Hong Kong, China

1. Hong Kong, China

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 1

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 4

1. Paris, France

1. Paris, France

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 1

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 2

1. Singapore, Singapore

1. Singapore, Singapore

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 1 (tied with Paris and Hong Kong)

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 1

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