August 26, 2014

The 10 Most and Least Expensive Cities in the World

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The 10 Most and Least Expensive Cities in the World

The Economist recently released its annual survey of the world’s most expensive cities, with Singapore taking the top spot in 2014. European cities still dominate the top 10, but many Asian metropolises have risen in the ratings, as Asian economies continue to grow.

No U.S. city made the top 10, but both Switzerland and Australia have two cities on the list.

10 Most Expensive Cities in the World
- Paris, France
- Oslo, Norway
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Sydney, Australia
- Caracas, Venezuela
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Melbourne, Australia
- Tokyo, Japan
- Copenhagen, Denmark

The value of the local currency plays a big role in determining how expensive a city is, but other factors contribute to the rating as well. Singapore, for instance, has few natural resources and must depend on other countries for utility supplies, raising the overall cost of living.

The cost of groceries, gasoline, utilities, and housing all factor into the cost of living in any area. Although the most expensive cities are usually found in countries with healthy economies, inflation and currency restrictions can make places like Caracas, Venezuela, more expensive to live in while the overall economy struggles to remain stable.

10 Least Expensive Cities in the World
- Mumbai, India
- Karachi, Pakistan
- New Delhi, India
- Damascus, Syria
- Kathmandu, Nepal
- Algiers, Algeria
- Bucharest, Romania
- Panama City, Panama
- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Unfavorable exchange rates and security concerns can quickly push a city to the bottom of the list. Several cities in the bottom 10, including Karachi, Damascus, Kathmandu, and Algiers, have all recently struggled with domestic unrest or security concerns, bringing down cost of living in the region. Other cities, like Mumbai and New Delhi, represent cheaper areas to live in a country with a generally healthy economy.

When considering a move abroad, it’s important to consider all factors that will help to determine whether your move is a success. Cost of living, housing markets, local school systems, and safety all come into play.

For potential expats and global relocation managers, the Cartus Global MarketWatch series offers an in-depth look at markets around the world.

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