Which Cities Are The Most Expensive In U.S.?

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Tel Aviv climbed the EIU rankings partly due to the strength of the shekel as well increases in prices for transport and groceries
Tel Aviv climbed the EIU rankings partly due to the strength of the shekel as well increases in prices for transport and groceries

The Worldwide Cost of Living index, released annually by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), revealed on Wednesday the world’s most expensive places to live, but only two cities in the United States made the cut.  

The two U.S. cities on the list of the World's Most Expensive were New York City, which came in at number 6, and Los Angeles, which came in at number 9. The results came after the EIU reviewed 173 total cities, 40 more than the year prior. 

As for reasons why certain cities ranked where they did, the most expensive places to live are typically determined by a number of factors, including the sheer volume of people living in them and economic conditions. 

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic made the global economy unpredictable, with different places recovering from the first lockdowns with varying degrees of success, and current global supply chain issues also complicating matters.

The pandemic has “disrupted the supply of goods, leading to shortages and higher prices. We can clearly see the impact in this year’s index, with the rise in petrol prices particularly stark.” said Upasana Dutt, Head of Worldwide Cost of Living at EIU.

COVID-19's spread has led to a rise in inflation, particularly in the U.S., and decimated economies around the world, which are also threatened by the anticipation of the Omicron variant of the virus. 

New York City is bracing for the worst ahead of the variant potentially making its way to U.S. soil, doubling down on the advice that New Yorkers, vaccinated or unvaccinated, wear masks indoors. The expectation is that the Omicron variant will make its way to the largest city in the U.S.

The top 10 most expensive cities on the list also included Tel Aviv, Israel (at number one), Paris and Singapore (tied at number two), Zurich (number four), Hong Kong (number five), Geneva (number seven), Copenhagen, Denmark (number eight)  and Osaka, Japan (at number 10). 

The other cities which landed on the list were: Oslo, Norway, Seoul, South Korea, Tokyo, Vienna, Sydney, Melbourne, Australia, Helsinki, London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Germany and Shanghai. 

 The EIU listed the city of Damascus as the cheapest city to live in out of the 173.

Dutt pointed out “not all cities saw price increases. Many of the cities towards the bottom of our rankings saw prices stagnate or even fall, partly because their currencies weakened against the U.S. dollar.”

The pandemic’s effects on the future are yet to be determined, with the economy feeling uncertain in the midst of the announcement of the Omicron variant. A certainty is that the pandemic’s effects on the economy will be felt for years to come, especially in cities.

“Over the coming year, we expect to see the cost of living rise further in many cities as wages increase in many sectors. However, we are also expecting central banks to raise interest rates, cautiously, to stem inflation. So, the price increases should start to moderate from this year’s level,” Dutt concluded.

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