Where Are the World’s Most Expensive Cities?

THE WORLD

The Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked the world’s priciest cities. This is one time where most Americans don’t want to be No. 1. (MarketWatch)

Where are the world’s most expensive cities? Check out today’s MapMaker Interactive for some help.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit, including today’s MapMaker Interactive map.

Where are the world’s most expensive cities?

Discussion Ideas

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit recently ranked the world’s priciest cities. How did they conduct their research?
    • According to the survey, it “compares more than 50,000 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help, and recreational costs.” For example:
      • The average price of a 1 kilogram of bread (about 2-3 loaves) in New York is $7.95. In Singapore, it’s $3.55. In Lagos, it’s $1.27.
      • The average price of a gallon of gas is about $2.39 in New York. In Hong Kong, it’s about $6.66. In Almaty, it’s about $1.85.
      • The base World Cost of Living Index is 100, always set in the city of New York.

 

  • Why was the survey conducted?
    • The survey is designed to help human resources and finance managers calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travelers.

 

  • Take a look at the first bookmark on today’s MapMaker Interactive map. Why do you think cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Zurich, and New York are so expensive?
    • All the cities on the “most expensive” list are major international business centers. Dozens of global corporations have offices there, and infrastructure such as airports, police and security, restaurants, electric grids, and hotel complexes support the finance-driven economy.
    • Most of the most expensive cities have experienced years of price inflation, meaning the standard price of common goods and services has risen.
    • All of the most expensive cities are already densely populated, with limited space to sprawl. This means real estate prices, along with real estate itself, literally has nowhere to go but up.

 

  • In the U.S., only the cities of San Francisco, California, and Lexington, Kentucky, became more expensive over the last six months. Why do you think cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis are becoming (slightly) more affordable?
    • MarketWatch points to a “weaker U.S. dollar.” A weak dollar simply describes an economic situation in which U.S. currency (a dollar) can buy fewer goods and services abroad.
      • Many U.S. businesses interpret a weak dollar as a sign of strength, as it means foreign businesses and tourists can spend more money on more U.S. goods and services.

 

Where are the world’s least expensive cities?

  • Take a look at the third bookmark on today’s MapMaker Interactive map, which locates the least expensive cities in the world. Why do you think cities such as Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Lagos, Nigeria, are so inexpensive?
    • Although urban areas in India and Pakistan have growing economies, all the cities on the “least expensive” list are developing countries with lower standards of living than the developed nations that dominate the “most expensive” list.
    • Many of these areas (Lagos, Almaty, Algiers) are experiencing political or social unrest, which discourages people from moving there and businesses from establishing offices there.

 

TEACHERS TOOLKIT

MarketWatch: The most expensive city in the world is NOT New York or San Francisco

The Economist: Measuring the cost of living worldwide

Nat Geo: Where are the world’s most expensive cities? map

The Economist Intelligence Unit: Worldwide Cost of Living Report 2017

4 responses to “Where Are the World’s Most Expensive Cities?

  1. I think that New York has make its mark in the most expensive cities of the world as it has all the technologies hub and business ventures form all over the world at one place.

    Like

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