The latest Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey of the prices of 200 goods and services in 173 cities placed both Geneva and Zurich in the top 10 most expensive cities in 2021.
Overall, the cost of living across these 173 cities has risen by an average of 3.5%, the highest inflation seen in the last 5 years. This compares with inflation of just 1.9% in 2020 and 2.8% in 2019. Supply-chain problems, as well as exchange-rate shifts and changing consumer demand, have led to rising prices for commodities and other goods. The most rapid increases were for transport, with the price of a litre of petrol up by 21% on average.
This year Tel Aviv was the most expensive city, climbing five places. The city’s rise largely reflects a a sharp rise in the Israeli currency. New York is used as the base city and given an index score of 100. This year it ranked 6th.
Rome saw the biggest drop, falling from 32nd to 48th place, with a particularly sharp decline in the price of groceries and clothing. Tehran moved the most moving from 79th to 29th place. This largely reflects rising prices owing to continued supply-side constraints, goods shortages and rising import prices following the reimposition of US sanctions.
Damascus (173rd) and Tripoli (172nd) were the cheapest cities in the world. Both face a number of economic and political challenges, said the report.
This year Zurich ranked 4th, down from 1st last year, while Geneva remained the world’s 7th most expensive city. In 2020, Zurich tied with Hong Kong and Paris as the most expensive cities to live in.
The top 10 most expensive cities in 2021
1. Tel Aviv (106)
2. Paris (104)
2. Singapore (104)
4. Zurich (103)
5. Hong Kong (101)
6. NewYork (100)
7. Geneva (99)
8. Copenhagen (97)
9. Los Angeles (96)
10. Osaka (94)
The data for the survey were collected between August 16th and September 12th 2021, when US-China shipping prices had risen sharply, resulting in higher prices for goods, said the authors of the report.
EIU study (in English)