In a surprising shift, Singapore and Zurich have outpaced New York as the world’s most expensive cities to inhabit, according to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report. The comprehensive survey, comparing prices across 133 global cities, unfolded a 7% surge in living costs for Singapore and a 6% uptick for Zurich in 2023. In contrast, New York witnessed a 4% dip in the cost of living, reflecting the prolonged effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ascent in living expenses for Singapore and Zurich is ascribed to their resilient economies, robust currencies, and elevated wage structures. Both cities boast stellar quality of life, efficient public infrastructure, and commendable low crime rates. However, they grapple with challenges like aging demographics, environmental issues, and social disparities.
Why is the cost of living so high in these cities?
New York confronted economic and societal hurdles emanating from the pandemic, leading to diminished tourism, consumer spending, and business activities. The city also grappled with a surge in crime rates, homelessness, and civil unrest throughout 2023. Nevertheless, New York retained its stature as a global financial, cultural, and technological hub.
The survey pinpointed Damascus, Syria; Caracas, Venezuela; and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, as the most economically viable cities to reside in. These locations have weathered political instability, economic turmoil, and hyperinflation, resulting in a decline in purchasing power and living standards.
Based on a September 2023 survey utilizing New York as the baseline city, the EIU’s report spans 10 categories, including food, clothing, transport, utilities, education, and recreation. The insights aim to provide businesses and individuals with a nuanced perspective on the cost of living and working across diverse global cities.