Move over, Paris: The world's most expensive cities in 2021

Move over Paris, there's a city more expensive than you this year.

The annual Worldwide Cost of Living index was released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the Israeli city of Tel Aviv vaulted from fifth last year to first this year, leapfrogging Paris as the most expensive. The city's rise is accredited to hiked grocery and transport prices as well as the Israeli shekel's strength over the US dollar.

Overall, cities in general were reported to be more expensive and inflation was the fastest growing in five years (3.5 per cent year-on-year), research from the EIU revealed. That's largely as a result of supply-chain blockages and consumer habits changing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Paris tied with Singapore for second place this year. Zurich, Switzerland and Hong Kong, which both tied at the top with Paris last year, slid down to fourth and fifth, respectively.

Sydney tied with Vienna as the 14th most expensive city, thus making it unsurprisingly the most expensive in Australia, followed closely by Melbourne which ranked 16th most expensive city in the world.

New York City (sixth) and Los Angeles (ninth) were the only two US cities to rank in the top 10. Cities with currencies stronger against the US dollar are likely to appear higher in the rankings because the index is benchmarked against prices in New York City.

The Worldwide Cost of Living Index explored the rise and fall of living costs in 173 cities altogether. The EIU's global team of researchers compares the price of more than 200 everyday products and services in the cities every March and September. Data for the survey has been used for more than three decades.

The top 21 most expensive cities in the world

1. Tel Aviv, Israel

2. (tie) Paris, France


3. (tie) Singapore

4. Zurich, Switzerland

5. Hong Kong

6. New York City, New York

7. Geneva, Switzerland

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

9. Los Angeles, California

10. Osaka, Japan

11. Oslo, Norway

12. Seoul, South Korea

13. Tokyo, Japan

14. (tie) Vienna, Austria

15. (tie) Sydney, Australia

16. Melbourne, Australia

17. (tie) Helsinki, Finland

18. (tie) London, UK

19. (tie) Dublin, Ireland

20. (tie) Frankfurt, Germany

21. (tie) Shanghai, China

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