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Singapore is the Most Expensive City in the World

Singapore is the Most Expensive City in the World main image

Looking for somewhere cheap to study? Singapore probably isn’t the place for you then, as the Asian city has been ranked the most expensive city in the world to live in for the fourth consecutive year, according to the results of The Economist's Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2017.

Singapore pips Hong Kong into first place, and is one of five Asian cities in the top 10. Ranked third, Zurich is the most expensive city in Europe (with fellow Swiss city Geneva also in the top 10). New York is the only US city to be included.

Although Asia dominates the top of the table, Oceania and Brazil are the areas of the world which saw the sharpest rise in the relative cost of living this year – for example, New Zealand’s capital Wellington has shot up 26 places to joint 16th.

Two Japanese cities are in the top 10 most expensive, a fact which can be explained by the renewed strength of the Yen. Conversely, UK cities London and Manchester have fallen significantly from last year’s ranking, due to the fall in the British Pound’s value. London is at its lowest position for 20 years, while Manchester has dropped 25 places to rank 51st.

 

 

The world’s 10 most expensive cities

1

Singapore

2

Hong Kong

3

Zurich

4

 Tokyo

5

 Osaka

6

Seoul

7

Geneva

8

Paris

9

New York

10

Copenhagen

 

At the other end of the scale, the least expensive city of the 133 considered by The Economist is Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, followed by Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos.

It should also be noted that three Indian cities appear in the top 10 for affordability – suggesting India could be a good choice for travelers and students on a budget. A few European cities are also featured in the global top 10 most affordable – Ukraine’s capital Kiev, and Romanian capital Bucharest.

 

 

The world’s 10 most affordable cities

1

Almaty

2

Lagos

3

Bangalore

4

Karachi

5

Mumbai

6

Chennai

7

Algiers

8

New Delhi

9

Bucharest

10

Kiev

 

Comparing rankings: The Economist vs QS

The Economist’s survey results differ from the Affordability ranking of cities published earlier this year in the QS Best Student Cities index, in which Stockholm was ranked as the most expensive city out of the 125 considered. By contrast, Stockholm is only the joint 44th most expensive city, according to The Economist.

There are some areas of agreement between the two rankings, however – for example, New York is the second most expensive city in the Best Student Cities and the ninth most expensive in The Economist’s ranking.

The discrepancies between the QS Best Student Cities and The Economist’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey can largely be explained by the differences in the methodology used. The Economist compares the cost of 160 items, including food costs, fuel costs, and salaries, whereas the Best Student Cities index considers tuition fees and general costs of living. As a result, the QS Best Student Cities ranking is arguably more closely related to student expenses. Although there are interesting things students can learn from The Economist’s ranking, it is focused more on expatriates.   

You can read a detailed explanation of how the Affordability category of the Best Student Cities index is calculated here.

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
Sabrina is a content writer for TopUniversities.com, providing guidance on a wide range of topics. A graduate of Aberystwyth University, Sabrina is originally from the West Midlands but now lives in London. 

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2 Comments

I wish to secure a scholarship and persue an undergraduate degree in counselling psychology in my home country Kenya.

Hi Georgina, please take a look at our list of scholarships for African Students, which includes options to study in Kenya.