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World’s most expensive cities

New research conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has revealed the top 20 most expensive cities to live in throughout 2021.


World's most expensive cities

With the world still reeling from COVID-19 and supply chain blockages pushing up the cost of living in the biggest cities across the globe, many of the list’s cities have experienced rapid change.

The Worldwide Cost of Living Index looked at the price of groceries and transport when factoring in how affordable, or unaffordable, a city was.

Cities with currencies that are stronger against the US dollar were likely to appear higher in the rankings, which was dominated by European and developed Asian markets. On average, prices for the goods and services covered by the index have risen by 3.5 per cent annually in local-currency terms, compared with an increase of just 1.9 per cent this time last year. As 2022 approaches, the research authors expect to see the cost of living rise further in many cities as wages increase in many sectors.


Here is the list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in 2021:

#19 (tie): Shanghai, China



Shanghai, China

People walk along an elevated walkway as an electronic ticker displays stock figures in The Economist Intelligence UnitThe Economist Intelligence Unit in Shanghai, China

With China forecast to become the world’s biggest economy by 2028,it might be surprising to see Shanghaiso low on the list. After all, it is the country’s biggest city and a global financial hub.With a booming commercial hub, it might jump up to take the top spot on next year’s list.

#19 (tie): Frankfurt, Germany


Frankfurt, Germany

A skyline view of Frankfurt Germany.


Frankfurt is a major financial hub that is home to the European Central Bank. Germany enjoys a fantastic healthcare system and free education – this has increased the cost of living within the country. #19 (tie) Dublin, Ireland


Dublin, Ireland

Around 40 per cent of the country’s population resides in the Greater Dublin Area.


Dublin is the capital of Ireland, located on the east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey. One of the factors influencing Dublin’s ranking is the cost of rental accommodation which has been driven by high demand and supply constraints. #17 (tie) London, UK


London, UK

General view of the British Parliament and the Thames in London

London has continued to climb the rankings of the world’s most expensive cities as the cost of living within the capital continues to soar. The city has experienced price growth for household goods, personal care and recreational activities.

#17 (tie) Helsinki, Finland


Helsinki, Finland

A skyline view of Helsinki Finland.

Helsinki is the capital and most populated city of Finland. Its sea-faring landscape, diverse architecture and Nordic cuisine all make it an attractive place for tourists and people who wish to live there.


#16 Melbourne, Australia


Melbourne, Australia

A man runs while his son cycles around Albert Park Lake in Melbourne

The long-term rise in the cost of living in Australia has cemented both Melbourne and Sydney as expensive cities compared to the rest of the globe. High house prices are also a sign that people looking to buy in the Melbourne market may require a bigger wallet.


#14 (tie) Sydney, Australia


Sydney, Australia

The Sydney skyline seen from Dudley Page Reserve, Sydney.


Sydney slightly edges out Melbourne as the most expensive city to live in Australia. Factors such as the cost of moving, rental prices, house prices, living costs, transportation and telecommunications all make the Harbour City tricky to enter from a foreign market. If a person can afford to pay more for education facilities, healthcare and look for the work opportunities unique to Sydney, it makes it all worthwhile.

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