The World’s Most Costly Cities

Based on a survey of 144 cities worldwide, Tokyo is the world’s costliest city. These rankings are based on a comparison of the costs of more than 200 items including housing, public and private transport, food, clothing and entertainment. In terms of U.S. cities, New York is the only one in the top 25, coming in at #13. Looking for a cheap place to live? Try Paraguay — the city of Asuncion ranked as the cheapest in the survey. Not interested in moving so far from home? Then try Ottawa, which is the cheapest North American city on the list at #122 (this isn’t say that it’s truly the cheapest in North America, just the cheapest one on the list). Read on for the top 25.

The world’s costliest 25 cities (with last year’s ranking in parentheses):

1. Tokyo, Japan (1)
2. Osaka, Japan (4)
3. London, Britain (2)
4. Moscow, Russia (3)
5. Seoul, South Korea (7)
6. Geneva, Switzerland (6)
7. Zurich, Switzerland (9)
8. Copenhagen, Denmark (8)
9. Hong Kong, Hong Kong (5)
10. Oslo, Norway (15)
11. Milan, Italy (14)
12. Paris, France (17)
13. New York City, United States (12)
14. Dublin, Ireland (14)
15. St. Petersburg, Russia (10)
16. Vienna, Austria (19)
17. Rome, Italy (21)
18. Stockholm, Sweden (22)
19. Beijing, China (11)
20. Sydney, Australia (20)
21. Helsinki, Finland (23)
22. Douala, Cameroon (25)
23. Istanbul, Turkey (18)
24/25. Amsterdam, Netherlands (26)/Budapest, Hungary (34) (tie)

10 Responses to “The World’s Most Costly Cities”

  1. Anonymous

    It is really a shocking things to see the cities of Asia in the list because most of the people of Asia live under the proverty line hence costly means the data listed really go against the realistic of scenerio of Asia’s people. Thanks

  2. Anonymous

    I’m rather shocked to see Beijing on the list (I know this is obviously an American site, but it does bring up questions of methodology). BJ has had a real-estate boom recently, but you can still buy a downtown condo there for under USD $100K. Taxis cost about US 0.40 per kilometer, and the vast majority of restaurants are in the “eat till you’re stuffed” for US $5.

    Of course, if you insist on living in English-friendly places, having a car and driver, eat in 5 star hotels, and live in “foreigner” apartments, it will be monstrously expensive, but few do, particularly if they’re paying with their own money.

  3. Anonymous

    Tokyo is expensive if you want to live in the same way you live here. Been there already.

    However, in Tokyo and in most other places in the world, if you live (or travel or do tourism) like the locals do, it is not that expensive. We found it quite affordable for tourism: just don’t expect the grandeur, space, and luxury that you come to expect from even the moderate hotel and restaurant chains back at home. (those require a preety penny).

  4. Nickel

    Me too. But they factored in a lot more than the cost of buying a house when they made this list. If I’m not mistaken, the second most expensive US city was LA.

  5. Anonymous

    I’m surprised not to see several cities in California listed here. Seems like a fix-me-upper starter home in a bad neighborhood in any CA city goes for $850,000 these days.

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