(CNN) — It is the maximum dream of many: to move to a big city and make a new life full of glamor; But as we all know, metropolitan life comes at a cost, especially if one chooses Hong Kong, Paris or Zurich, which are the most expensive cities in the world according to a new study.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which rates 133 cities in the world and compares the price of a basket of 138 everyday items in each, has ranked them in the highest places in the table.
European cities have overtaken Singapore and Osaka, which tied with Hong Kong in the previous Global Cost of Living Survey, conducted in March.
The changes are especially marked this time, and the report stands as an assessment of the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on prices around the world.
Currency fluctuations due to the pandemic, which have included a fall in the US dollar, have made destinations in Africa, America and Eastern Europe less expensive since March, while Western Europe, where the euro has risen in value against the dollar , has seen prices rise. The Swiss franc has also risen in value.
The most expensive cities in the world
Singapore and Osaka are now in fourth and fifth place respectively, with Tel Aviv in a tie with Osaka in fifth place. An exodus of foreign workers during the pandemic is behind the fall of Singapore, which saw its population fall for the first time in 17 years, according to the EIU.
The top 10 is completed by Geneva, New York, Copenhagen and Los Angeles.
Sydney is in 15th place, London in 20th and Nairobi in 77th.
Moscow is at 106 and Delhi at 121.
The biggest rise is Tehran, which has risen from 106th to 79th due to the impact of US sanctions on supplies. Reykjavik, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo show the biggest price drops. The EIU attributes the ranking of Brazilian cities to a “weak currency and rising poverty levels.” Brazil, of course, has suffered greatly during the pandemic.
Damascus, in Syria, is the city with the lowest cost of living, followed by Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Lusaka in Zambia, Caracas in Venezuela and Almaty in Kazakhstan.
The last 10 places are completed with Karachi (Pakistan), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Algiers (Algeria) and Bangalore and Chennai, in India. The Argentine government has introduced price controls during the pandemic, which could explain Buenos Aires’ position.
Expensive electronics and cheaper clothes
It is not just the cities that have changed. The survey found that the prices of electronic products have increased globally. Meanwhile, clothing has dropped, presumably due to the increase in people working from home. Staples largely stayed the same price, while personal care products, tobacco and alcohol all increased.
“The covid-19 pandemic has caused the US dollar to weaken, while the currencies of Western Europe and North Asia have strengthened against it, which in turn has modified the prices of goods and services” said Upasana Dutt, the EIU’s head of global cost of living.
“The pandemic has transformed consumer behavior as closures and trends such as working from home have increased the prices of consumer electronics and eating food at home has replaced restaurant meals for middle class families ».
As for the future, things are not looking good. The EIU predicts that trends will continue and people will prioritize commodities and home entertainment over clothing during 2021.
The most expensive cities in the world to live in 2020
1. (tie) Paris, France
1. (tie) Hong Kong
1 (tie) Zurich, Switzerland
5. (tie) Osaka, Japan
5. (tie) Tel Aviv, Israel
7. Geneva, Switzerland
8. New York
9. Copenhagen, Denmark
10. The Angels