The world’s ten most expensive cities are all found in Australia, Asia and Western Europe, according to the bi-annual cost of living index from the Economist Intelligence Unit, our corporate sibling. Singapore retains the top spot, while weak inflation and the yen’s devaluation have pushed Tokyo and Osaka to 11th and 16th place respectively. Seoul has risen from 50th place five years ago to joint ninth at the end of 2014. Asia is also home to many of the world’s cheapest cities: Karachi and Bangalore are the joint cheapest locations among the 133 cities in the survey, and five of the six cheapest cities surveyed are in Pakistan and India. Caracas’s descent from top ten to bottom five is due to the survey’s use of an alternative exchange rate. The cost of living in New York has risen by about 23% over the past five years.
From The Economist (March, 2015)