Cape Town - The Economist Intelligence Unit has released their list of the world's most expensive cities. The Worldwide Cost of Living survey is released twice a year by the EIU and compares prices across 160 products and services, including food, drink, rentals, utility bills, schooling costs and household supplies.
The Guardian reports that Asia and Australasia account for 11 of the top 20 most expensive cities, Europe eight and South America one. No North American cities featured on the list.
Jon Copestake, editor of the index, said one of the most notable changes was the rising costs in Australia, with Sydney third in the list and Melbourne fifth. Sandwiched between them was Oslo. As Reuters points out, this has pushed up the cost of living the "Australian dream" for many expats.
He explained that 10 years ago there were no Australian cities in the top 50, but that economic growth had supported inflation, and the strength of the Australian dollar against other currencies had driven up costs.
The Venezuelan city of Caracas rose a whopping 25 places to ninth, making it the most expensive city across the Americas. CNN reports that the EIU links the climb to price volatility (inflation has reached 20 percent) and fixed exchange rates to the U.S. dollar.
The survey revealed that Vancouver, Canada is the most expensive location in North America, at position 21, while Los Angeles and New York City tie at 27th as the most expensive U.S. cities.
While Asia and Australasia may have 11 of the 20 most expensive cities, they are also home to six of the cheapest. These include Karachi in Pakistan, Mumbai in India and Colombo in Sri Lanka.
Here is the list of top 10 most expensive cities according to the EIU:
1. Tokyo, Japan (+1 place)
2. Osaka, Japan (+1)
3. Sydney, Australia (+4)
4=. Oslo, Norway (+1)
4=. Melbourne, Australia (+4)
6. Singapore (+3)
7. Zurich, Switzerland (-6)
8. Paris, France (-2)
9. Caracas, Venezuela (+25)
10. Geneva, Switzerland (-7)