Four European cities are the most expensive in the world claims a survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit's worldwide cost of living survey. Latinamerica on the other hand has the cheapest average cost of living.
The survey shows that Oslo, Paris, Copenhagen and London make up the top four cities, despite stable price inflation. By contrast low inflation, a weak yen and low interest rates have reduced living costs in Tokyo and Osaka, which have seen costs compared against New York prices drop by 12%. Tokyo remains the most expensive city in Asia, but has slipped from second last year to fifth in this year's survey. Osaka fell from fourth to joint-sixth. Japan's fall is not mirrored by the rest of Asia, however. Emerging hubs have seen living costs rise in many south-east Asian nations, with Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Manila all increasing. "The strength of European currencies plays a large part, but prices in Europe are also rising whereas those in Japan have been almost static," Jon Copestake, the survey's editor, commented. Meanwhile US cities fell, mainly because of the weakness of the dollar. New York came in 28th place while Chicago was 35th. Latin America has the cheapest average cost of living. Average prices are less than two third the cost of living in New York and none of the cities in the region features in the 50 most expensive destinations. Guatemala City (63) is the most expensive location in Latin America, having overtaken Mexico City (68) in the last 12 months. Santiago ranks 88. Mexico City and Panama City (109) have both seen the relative cost of living fall significantly in the last 12 months as cities around them become pricier and currencies have remained weak. Paraguay and Brazil were the only countries in the region to experience a rise in the relative cost of living. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo (79) both rose eight places thanks to a cost of living rise of four percentage points. Asuncion in Paraguay (124), however, remains the cheapest city in the region despite seeing its relative cost of living rise by six percentage points. The cost of living top ten cities according to the Economist Intelligence Unit are: Oslo, Paris, Copenhagen, London, Tokyo, Osaka, Reykjavik, Zurich, Frankfurt and Helsinki.