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Here Are the World's Most Expensive Cities

Judging just by the gripes, you'd swear that New York is the most expensive city in the universe. It turns out, however, that mere volume of complaints is no substitute for hard data, and the data says that New York isn't even in the top five...

Hong Kong | Shutterstock
Hong Kong | Shutterstock

Judging just by the gripes, you'd swear that New York is the most expensive city in the universe. It turns out, however, that mere volume of complaints is no substitute for hard data, and the data says that New York isn't even in the top five. 

This ego-shattering insight comes via the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, an annual report from The Economist. The study was put together by surveying the cost of over 150 items in 133 cities and assembling a comprehensive ranking based upon the results. We've listed just the top 10 below, but check out the full report for more information.

The top 10 most expensive cities

10. (tie) Los Angeles
10. (tie) Tel Aviv, Israel
7. (tie) New York
7. (tie) Copenhagen, Denmark
7. (tie) Seoul, South Korea
5. (tie) Osaka, Japan
5. (tie) Geneva, Switzerland
4. Zurich, Switzerland
1. (tie) Hong Kong
1. (tie) Paris, France
1. (tie) Singapore

As a student of geography, you've probably already noticed that these are mostly Asian and European cities. There only two American ones, New York and Los Angeles. New York jumped six spots from last year to No. 7, which it shares with Copenhagen, and Los Angeles is tied for No. 10 with Tel Aviv. Interestingly, though, the US cities were the most expensive for utilities and domestic help.

The most surprising thing about the ranking, though, is the number of ties. The top spot, for instance, was split between Singapore, Paris, and Hong Kong. Last year, no slots were shared, and Singapore led the pack. Paris, as CNN points out, has been in the top 10 since 2003 and moved to tie for No. 1 this year, whereas Hong Kong jumped all the way from fourth to first. Though you can't see it here, the most dramatic shift in the report was Istanbul's drop 48-place drop to 120th, which has been attributed to the weakening of the Turkish lira.

Anyway, we're sure no New Yorkers will take any of this into account. 

h/t The Economist, CNN 


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James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.