According to the Worldwide Cost of Living 2018 survey published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Singapore is the most expensive city in the world. Zurich and Geneva however are hot on its tail ranking 2rd and 6th respectively. Zurich is the most expensive in Europe in second position alongside Paris.
The survey compares more than 400 individual prices across over 150 products and services.
One kilogram of bread in Geneva costs US$6.45. This is the second most expensive of the world’s top ten most expensive cities. Only Seoul have more expensive bread, costing US$15.59 per kilogram.
Zurich and Geneva have cost of living scores of 112 and 106, meaning they are 12% and 6% more expensive than New York. Their relative expensiveness has declined significantly since 2015. Back then their cost scores were 136 and 130 respectively.
As the survey’s authors admit, currency fluctuations are a major driver of shifts in scores and ranking. Cities in nations with expensive currencies are expensive.
There are however some price differences that cannot be explained by exchange rates. Why does bread cost 21% more in Geneva (US$6.45) than it does in Zurich ($5.31) and wine in Geneva (US$8.37) 47% less than wine in Zurich (US$15.89)?