Singapore Reigns as World’s Most Costly City

Photo (cc) by Arian Zwegers

Singapore leapt five spots in 2014 to overtake Japan’s capital of Tokyo as the world’s most expensive city to live in.

The 2014 Worldwide Cost of Living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit compares more than 400 different price indicators, from groceries to utilities, to rank the cost of living of 131 cities worldwide. It uses 26th-ranked New York City as a base, The Wall Street Journal says.

The biannual survey placed Singapore first on its list, followed by Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney. Just a decade ago, Singapore was the 18th costliest city to live in. Said the WSJ:

In the heart of the city-state’s business district, nestled amid gleaming office blocks, a hawker center still sells breakfast sets with coffee, toast and an egg for less than a $1.50. But less than a kilometer away, at the swanky Marina Bay Sands resort, big spenders can drop $26,000 Singapore dollars (US$20,500) on a single cocktail at Pangaea, billed the world’s most expensive club.

The soaring costs of cars, houses, transportation, utilities and clothes, as well as a strong currency, have helped push Singapore to the top of the list, said CNBC.

On the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest cities to live in are located in South Asia. Mumbai, India’s financial center, is the world’s cheapest city to live in. Karachi and New Delhi round out the bottom three.

Says The Independent of the United Kingdom, “Inequality between the richest and poorest in India’s major cities like Mumbai and New Delhi ensures prices are kept low, while spending is also stifled by rafts of government subsidies.”

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