The Strategist

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the World

03/10/2016 - 17:13

Worldwide Cost of Living is a study of Economist Intelligence Unit, carried out every two years. The study compares more than 400 retail prices of 160 products and services.
Among them are food, beverages, clothing, household goods and personal care, rent, travel expenses, the cost of housing and communal services, private schools, the cost of home help and holiday expenses.

This study is a tool for HR-specialists and financial managers to calculate cost of accommodation and compensation packages for expatriates and employees who are sent on missions.

The report provides a comparison of cities. New York is taken as a basis of comparison, its index is set at around 100. The study’s history dates back more than 30 years.

Below are the 10 most expensive cities in the world.

10. Los Angeles

Country: USA
Cost of living index: 99
Change in rank: 19

The city is the administrative center of the same district, as well as the center of the Greater Los Angeles – an agglomeration with a population of over 17 million people.

Los Angeles is one of the world's major cultural, scientific, economic, educational centers. In addition, the city - one of the largest world centers of the entertainment industry in the field of cinema, music, television, and computer games.

The main industrial sectors enhancing economic development of the city are international trade, television and cinema industry, military, aerospace, petroleum, electrical, automobile assembly, instrument, food-processing industry.

Los Angeles hosts a number of major international exhibitions, among which are Electronic Entertainment Expo ( "E3"), and Greater Los Angeles Auto Show (often referred to as a major international auto show). One of the largest exhibition centers in the city is the Los Angeles Convention Center.

9. Seoul

Country: South Korea
Cost of living index: 99
Change in rank: 1

The main political, economic and cultural center of the Republic of Korea. One of the leading financial centers of Asia.

The city's current population makes a quarter of the population of entire South Korea.

Seoul is one of the largest industrial and financial centers of the world. Here we can find corporate headquarters of Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia and SK.

About 20 thousand companies operate here. Although Seoul occupies just 0.6% of the territory of the Republic of Korea, the town produces 21% of GDP.

Main industries: trade, engineering, telecommunications, electronics, and construction.

International bank Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Grupo Santander, UBS, Credit Suisse, UniCredit, Société Générale, Calyon, BBVA, Macquarie Group, ING Bank, State Street, and Standard Chartered have branches in the city.

8. Copenhagen

Country: Denmark
Cost of living index: 99
Change in rank: 0

The population of the historic city is just over 0.5 million people, yet the suburbs are home for more than 1 million inhabitants.

Copenhagen is a major transport hub in Northern Europe. Six railway lines connect Copenhagen with the entire country.

Sea routes connect the city to St. Petersburg, Liepaja, main ports in Germany, Sweden, Norway, England, France, Mediterranean and Black Seas, as well as New York.

7. New York

Country: USA
Cost of living index: 100
Change in rank: 15

New York City is the largest city in the US, part of one of the largest agglomerations in the world. The city's population is over 8.5 million people, and the agglomeration accounts for about 20,630,000.

New York is the most important economic and financial center of the United States and the world.

New York was chosen by such financial institutions as Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., American International Group, Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and others, which placed their headquarters there.

In addition, the city hosts many large non-financial corporations, including Verizon Communications, Pfizer, Alcoa, News Corp., Colgate-Palmolive and others.

The city boasts with such exchanges as NYSE, NASDAQ, American Stock Exchange, New York Mercantile Exchange and the New York Board of Trade. New York-based financial industry is focused on Wall Street in lower Manhattan.

6. London

Country: United Kingdom
Cost of living index: 101
Change in rank: 5

The population exceeds 8.5 million people. This is the second largest city in Europe and the largest in the European Union. It’s formed agglomeration "Greater London" and a more extensive metropolitan.

The city's economy is the fifth part of the country's economy. It is one of the global cities of the highest rank, the world's leading financial center.

London is one of the two largest centers in the world by number of English-language publications (along with New York) since the headquarters of daily national newspapers and international Financial Times are located there.

Despite the fact that several national daily newspapers are printed in other areas of the UK, they largely remain "London-centered".

5. Paris

Country: France
Cost of living index: 107
Change in rank: -3

The main political, economic and cultural center of France, the global city, and the world's financial center. UNESCO and other international organizations have headquarters here.

Paris is the most important economic center of France, 10% of the country's GDP is made here. Almost a quarter of all industrial enterprises in the country have opened their offices and headquarters in the metropolis. The city created 349 thousand companies.

The bulk (85%) of working places in Paris belongs to the service sector. Despite the fact that the industry is actively excreted outside the city limits, it continues to provide about 100 thousand jobs.

Approximately the same number of jobs falls on small enterprises engaged in service (35%), manufacturing (30%), construction (20%) and food (15%).

Paris is known for its developed tourist industry, which employs 160 thousand people, its share is 13% of the Paris economy.

Most of the French banks, insurance companies and other financial enterprises are located in Paris.

4. Geneva

Country: Switzerland
Cost of living index: 108
Change in rank: 3

The city hosts numerous international organizations, including the European branch of the UN, the Red Cross, the WTO, WHO, CERN, League of Nations before 1946. Geneva is also a global financial center. Large Hadron Collider is located nearby.

Geneva's economy is mainly focused on the service sector. The city is an important and oldest center for financial services, specializing primarily in private banking (managing assets worth about $ 1 trillion), as well as finance and international trade.

For many years, Geneva has nurtured the wrist watch manufacturing tradition (Baume & Mercier, Charriol, Chopard, Franck Muller, Patek Philippe, Gallet & Co., Jaeger-LeCoultre, Rolex, Universal Genève, Raymond Weil, Omega, Vacheron Constantin, Frédérique Constant).

Two major international producer of food flavorings and fragrances for perfumery, cosmetics and household chemistry Firmenich and Givaudan accomodated their headquarters and main production facilities in Geneva.

3. Hong Kong

Country: Hong Kong
Cost of living index: 114
Change in rank: 7

The economy is based on the territory of the free market, low taxation and state non-interference in the economy.

Hong Kong is not an offshore area but a free port, and it does not charge customs duties on imports. There is no value-added tax or its equivalent.

Excise taxes are levied from only four kinds of goods, regardless of whether they are imported or locally produced. These are alcoholic beverages, tobacco, mineral oil, and methyl alcohol.

Hong Kong is an important center of international finance and trade, and the level of concentration of headquarters is the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.

In Hong Kong, there are no taxes on capital gains, dividends, interest, royalties received from abroad or sent abroad. The income tax rate for companies operating in Hong Kong is 16.5%.

Hong Kong has a small amount of arable land and few natural resources, so it has to import most of the food and raw materials.

2. Zurich

Country: Switzerland
Cost of living index: 114
Change in rank: 2

The largest financial center of Switzerland, the location of the headquarters of insurance companies and banks, including international UBS and Credit Suisse, the Swiss Stock Exchange and one of the headquarters of the central bank of Switzerland.

Zurich is often called the economic and financial capital of Switzerland.

1. Singapore

Country: Singapore
Cost of living index: 116
Change in rank: 0

Singapore is a highly developed country with market economy and low taxation where an important role is played by transnational corporations. Gross national product per capita - one of the highest in the world.

Singapore is attractive to investors because of the low tax rates. There are just five taxes in Singapore, one of which is the income tax, and other is the payroll tax. The total tax rate - 27.1%.

Singapore ranked among the East Asian tigers for the quick jump that lifted the economy to the level of developed countries. The country has developed production of electronics, shipbuilding and financial services sector.

One of the largest manufacturers of CD-drives and extensive research center in the field of biotechnology.

Economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in consumer electronics, information technology, pharmaceuticals.