As of the latest Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living report for 2023, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco continue to hold their positions as some of the most expensive cities worldwide. The report, conducted between August 14 and September of 2023 and based on data from 173 major cities, reveals noteworthy shifts in the global cost of living landscape.
New York, a perennial contender for the top spot, now shares the third position with Geneva, down from its tie for first place with Singapore in the previous year. Zurich claimed the first rank, displacing both New York and Singapore, attributed in part to the robust Swiss franc and elevated prices for groceries, household goods, and services, as outlined in the report.
Noteworthy factors influencing this trend
While Los Angeles secured the sixth position on the list, San Francisco landed in the tenth spot, solidifying their status as some of the costliest places to reside globally. The survey considered various factors, including inflation averages, excluding Kiev and Caracas, and analyzed the prices of over 200 commonly used goods and services.
The report indicates a 7.4 percent rise in prices for these goods and services over the past year. Although this figure is a slight reduction from the previous year’s 8.1 percent, it still represents a significant increase compared to trends observed between 2017 and 2021. Noteworthy factors influencing this trend include a decrease in supply-chain issues, partly attributed to China lifting its COVID-19 restrictions in the latter part of the preceding year.
Furthermore, the report notes that the surge in energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has tapered off, contributing to a modest reduction in overall energy costs. This multifaceted impact on global prices underscores the intricate interplay of geopolitical events and economic factors shaping the cost of living in most expensive cities.
Policymakers navigating the economic landscape
The list of the world’s top 10 most expensive cities for 2023 includes Singapore and Zurich sharing the first position, followed by Geneva and New York in a tie for the third spot. Hong Kong secures the fifth position, with Los Angeles ranking sixth, and Paris claiming the seventh spot. Copenhagen and Tel Aviv share the eighth position, while San Francisco rounds out the top 10.
As these cities grapple with the challenges of affordability, the rankings shed light on the complex dynamics influencing the cost of living and provide valuable insights for residents, businesses, and policymakers navigating the economic landscape in the coming year.