According to a report published by The Economist magazine, the cost of living has increased across the globe due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In some cases, it has even risen faster than inflation. The magazine looked at five different categories – housing, transport, food, clothing and health care – and compared prices in 18 major cities.
In terms of affordability, London came out on top, followed by New York, Tokyo, Sydney and Hong Kong. However, the capital of Israel topped the list of most expensive cities, beating Paris. Other places where people are struggling include Athens and Madrid.
1. Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv topped a list published by “The Economist” magazine of the world’s most costly places to live. The publication examined the costs of food, housing, transport, healthcare and education across 173 major urban centres around the globe.
The report found that rising inflation and shortages of raw materials due to the coronavirus outbreak had pushed up prices in many parts of the global economy. In addition, soaring demand for basic goods such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer had driven up consumer prices.
In the case of Israel, the report noted that the government had imposed strict restrictions on movement and travel during the pandemic, while also imposing a lockdown on the Gaza Strip. These measures meant that there were fewer people working in factories and producing goods.
Paris topped our annual list of the 10 most visited cities in the world. In fact, according to data collected by the World Tourism Organization, the French capital attracted some 50 million visitors in 2017 alone. That’s about half of the total number of international travelers around the globe.
The numbers are even more impressive considering that France itself had just 5.6 million foreign visitors in 2016, making up less than 2% of global tourism.
But Paris isn’t the only big city in France that attracts millions of people every year. Here are the 10 most popular destinations for international tourists in 2017:
1. London – 60.4 million
2. New York City – 29.5 million
3. Los Angeles – 25.8 million
4. Tokyo – 24.7 million
5. Moscow – 20.9 million
6. Chicago – 14.2 million
7. San Francisco – 12.5 million
8. Mexico City – 11.4 million
9. Orlando – 9.3 million
10. Las Vegas – 8.6 million
Singapore is one of the world’s wealthiest countries per capita. But it’s also one of the most expensive places in the world. With a population of just over five million people, the tiny island state boasts a GDP of nearly US$1 trillion — about the same as Spain’s. And despite being a small nation, it’s home to some of the highest skyscrapers in the world, including the Marina Bay Sands hotel tower.
But Singapore isn’t just rich because of its size. It’s wealthy thanks to its strict regulations. A recent study found that Singapore’s economy ranks among the best in the world, even though it doesn’t use a single cent of oil. Instead, it makes money off of banking, insurance, real estate, stock trading, and e-commerce.
And while you might think that such a high-tech economy would lead to widespread internet access, you’d be wrong. Only 5% of Singaporeans use the web regularly, compared to around 30% in the United States.
The government requires ISPs to charge customers based on how much data they download, giving consumers little choice in the matter. So if you want to watch videos online, you have to pay extra. If you want to stream music, you’ll have to shell out even more.
If you do manage to find a Wi-Fi hotspot, you’re still limited to what you can do once you connect. You can only browse the web and email, and you can’t play games or chat with friends.
In fact, the rules are so restrictive that Singapore banned mobile apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp entirely.
The Swiss city of Zürich has been named the world’s most expensive place to live, according to a study conducted by online real estate marketplace Movoto. In 2017, the median monthly cost of renting in the city was $1,200. This figure includes utilities such as electricity and water, along with other expenses like insurance and property taxes.
While the price tag might seem steep, it’s actually less than what many people pay in New York City, where rents are typically three times higher. Still, it’s no surprise that Zurich ranks among the priciest places to live, given the fact that it’s one of the wealthiest cities in the world.
In addition to being home to some of the biggest banks in the world, including UBS and Credit Suisse, Zurich is also known for its thriving financial sector. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of over $300 billion, it’s ranked third worldwide behind London and Paris.
Zurich also boasts a number of cultural attractions, including the Kunsthaus museum, the largest art gallery outside of London. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities, including the Bahnhofstrasse, a street lined with luxury stores.
5. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is ranked fifth among the most expensive cities to live in, according to a recent study conducted by real estate site Movoto. The city is known for having some of the highest rents in the world, especially in the central area of Central. While the average rent for a studio apartment in Central ranges from about $1,500 to nearly $3,000 per month, there are places where you can pay up to $6,000.
The study found that the average monthly cost of living in Hong Kong is $4,829, which is less than half of the global median. However, it’s still much higher than the national average of $2,957.
While Hong Kong is considered one of the most expensive cities to buy property in, the prices aren’t quite as insane. A three-bedroom condo in the city center goes for around $7,000 per month, while a four-bedroom home costs just shy of $10,000.
6. New York City
New York is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world. But it’s also one of the most expensive places to live. A recent study found that New York is the most expensive place in the world to buy a house, and it’s the sixth most expensive place to rent an apartment. In fact, the average cost of living in New York is about $150,000 per person.
The most expensive property sold in NYC in 2017 was a penthouse apartment on Central Park West that went for $100 million. And while you might think that New Yorkers are used to paying high prices, there’s still no shortage of buyers willing to pay up. On average, homes in New York go for over $1 billion.
But what makes New York so expensive? Well, it’s hard to pinpoint just one reason. There are many factors that contribute to the price tag, including taxes, real estate regulations, and the availability of public transportation. But the biggest factor is probably the limited supply of housing. Because of this, the median price of a single family home in New York is around $2.5 million.
And it’s getting harder and harder to find an affordable apartment. An analysis conducted by Apartment List found that the average monthly rent for a studio apartment in New York increased by 3.4% between 2016 and 2018. This increase was slightly lower than the national average, where rents rose 4.3%.
Geneva has been ranked second most expensive place to live according to Mercer’s 2018 Cost of Living Survey.
The survey looked at factors such as housing prices, healthcare, education, food, transportation, taxes and public safety.
Mercer found that Switzerland had the highest cost of living in Europe.
But Geneva topped the list, beating out London, Paris, Zurich and Berlin.
A normal club sandwich costs around 30 CHF ($28) in Geneva, compared to just 14 CHF ($13) in New York City.
Denmark’s capital is known for being one of the world’s most expensive cities. A pint of beer costs around $7 (£5), while a bottle of wine goes for about $50 ($40).
But despite the high prices, life in Copenhagen isn’t exactly cheap. Food, alcohol and consumer products are 40% more expensive than the EU average. And even though you’ll find plenty of affordable restaurants, bars and shops, it’s still very hard to save money.
The city is located strategically, making it easy to travel throughout much of Northern Europe. Residents can reach Amsterdam in just over four hours, while Oslo is less than three hours away by train.
Copenhagen is also well-located if residents want to explore what’s outside of Denmark. You can cross the North Sea to Germany, Sweden and Norway within a few hours.
9. Los Angeles
Los Angeles is one of the most expensive cities in the United States. A home here can cost millions of dollars. But it doesn’t stop people from flocking there in droves. In fact, according to data from the US Census Bureau, L.A. had the highest population growth among major metropolitan areas in 2016. And in 2017, the city overtook New York to become the second largest city in the nation.
The city is known for its glitzy nightlife, sprawling metropolis and mind-boggling diversity. There are over 2,200 restaurants to choose from, offering everything from sushi to Tex-Mex cuisine to Ethiopian food. If you’re looking for art galleries, museums, sports teams and theaters, you’ll find plenty of options.
There are many things to do in LA besides shopping and eating out. You can go hiking, biking, surfing, golfing, horseback riding, fishing, boating, swimming, scuba diving, snorkelling, camping, sightseeing, and even skydiving.
In addition to being a mecca for film and TV production, the city attracts musicians, artists, writers, poets, dancers, models, fashion designers, photographers, directors, producers, editors, choreographers, composers, painters, sculptors, architects, game developers, accountants, bankers, lawyers, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, and more.
Osaka is home to some of Japan’s most iconic attractions, including Universal Studios Japan and Disneyland Resort. But it’s also known for being one of the most expensive cities in the world. From high rents to steep prices for food and transportation, visitors should prepare themselves for sticker shock.
The city of Osaka is located in western Japan, about three hours’ train ride east of Kyoto. The area around the city is famous for its traditional crafts, such as lacquerware, woodwork and ceramics.
Rents are much higher here than in other parts of the country, according to data from real estate brokerage Nomura Holdings Inc. A typical apartment costs ¥2 million ($21,400), compared with ¥1.5 million in Tokyo and ¥1.3 million in Nagoya.
Visitors should book well ahead of time, especially during the summer months, when popular tourist spots like Universal Studios Japan and Disneyland become extremely crowded.
A single room in a shared house costs ¥20,000 to ¥30,000 per month, depending on location, while a double room runs from ¥25,000 to ¥40,000, according to Japanese travel site JTB Corp.
Transportation is also very pricey, with a regular taxi costing ¥800 to ¥1,200. If you’re looking to save money, consider taking public transport, where tickets cost ¥300 to ¥500.
But don’t let the price tag put you off. Osaka is full of things to do and see, including the Kansai International Airport, the Namba Parks complex, the Sumo Stadium and the National Museum of Art.