Survey: Eight of ten most expensive cities are in Europe

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March 6, 2007

It is now more expensive to live in London than Tokyo, and the least expensive city in the United States, Atlanta, costs less than Casablanca, Morocco or Shenzhen, China. It is now also more expensive to live in Moscow than to live in New York City. A new survey from the Economist Group assessing the worldwide cost of living shows that the four most expensive cities in the world are in Europe, with eight out of the top ten located there. The other two of the top-ten most expensive cities are in Japan, while the eight least expensive cities are all in Asia.The survey rates the cost of living in 132 countries around the world by comparing the costs of 160 goods and services. The comparisons are made by assigning a base index number of 100 to New York City and then comparing the price of everything from toothpaste to theatre tickets there to prices in other cities around the world.Much of the reason that there are so many European cities at the top of the survey, according to the editor of the report, can be attributed to the strength of the euro, which has gained ten percent in relation to the US dollar in the past year. But prices are also rising in Europe, while they are nearly unchanged in Japan.The top four most expensive cities, according to the survey, are Oslo, Norway; Paris; Copenhagen, Denmark; and London. They are followed by Tokyo and Osaka in Japan. The rest of the top ten, in order, are Reykjavic, Iceland; Zurich, Switzerland; Frankfurt, Germany; and Helsinki, Finland. In other parts of the world, Sydney is the most expensive city in Oceania; the cost of living in Vancouver is the highest in Canada; Guatemala City, Guatemala is the most expensive city in Latin America. Abidjian, Cote dIvoire (Ivory Coast), is the most expensive city in Africa.And the least expensive city in the survey? Tehran, Iran, where the cost of living is one-fourth what it is in Oslo.



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