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10 most expensive cities for expats in the world

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Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong have all been named the world’s most expensive cities by the latest Economist Intelligence worldwide cost of living report.

This is the first time in history that three cities have shared the dubious honour of being the world’s most expensive city.

Australian citizens can breathe out – no Australian cities are among the top 10 most expensive cities in the world, with European hotspots and the world’s mega-cities instead receiving the honour.

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Most expensive cities in the world. Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit

Zurich is the world’s fourth-most expensive place to live, followed by Geneva and Osaka – equal fifth.

Seoul, Copenhagen and New York all slide into 7th place, with Tel Aviv and Los Angeles equal tenth.

The ranking was based off the cost of living around the world, with the average price of a loaf of bread, a beer bottle, a two-piece men’s business suit and a woman’s haircut used to measure how much people pay to live there.

A loaf of bread in South Korea’s Seoul costs an incredible US$15.59 (A$22), while a two-piece suit will set you back US$2,729.77 in New York.

New York also isn’t the best place for a cheap haircut: the average cost of woman’s haircut is US$210 in the city that never sleeps.

Cheapest cities
Cheapest cities in the world. Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit

On the other end of the spectrum, Venezuela’s Caracus, Syria’s Damascus, Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Almaty in Kazakhstan and Bangalore in India are the world’s five cheapest countries.

In war-torn Damascus, a loaf of bread costs US$0.60 and a bottle of beer costs US$0.87.

Caracas’ inclusion is also unsurprising – inflation in Venezuela reached nearly 1,000,000 per cent last year. And as the troubled Venezuelan government reels from leadership battles and efforts to introduce a new currency, it’s unlikely the situation will amend itself soon.

Closer to home, Adelaide had a remarkable fall down the ladder, now placing as the 51st-most expensive city in the world, down 21 spots.

Perth also fell 18 spots to become the 64th-most expensive city.

“The cost of living is always fluctuating, and there are already indications of further changes that are set to take place during the coming year,” the report’s authors said.

“After an encouraging albeit slower 2018, The Economist Intelligence Unit expects 2019 to proceed along similar lines, with global growth slowing further this year and reaching its nadir in 2020.”

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