The 10 most expensive cities in the world

Zürich, Switzerland. Picture: iStock

Zurich is world’s most expensive city, but salaries go furthest in Los Angeles.

The Swiss banking capital is still the world’s most expensive city, according to the 17th edition of a report from the Swiss bank UBS.

When it comes to buying power, however, Los Angeles residents’ salaries go furthest.

This UBS ranking, first carried out in 1971, compares salaries and the cost of living in 77 international cities based on a basket of 128 goods and services, as well as the average earnings of 15 professions.

When it comes to prices, Zurich (Switzerland, 1st), Geneva (Switzerland, 2nd) and Oslo (Norway, 3rd) have the world’s highest.

Europe is particularly well represented in the top 10 most expensive cities, with Copenhagen (Denmark, 4th), Milan (Italy, 7th), London (UK, 8th) and Helsinki (Finland, 10th).

Helsinki, Finland. Picture: iStock

The USA also has some pricey cities, with New York (5th) and Chicago (9th) both making the top 10.

Johannesburg was ranked 53 out of the 77 countries comprising the report, making it the most expensive city in Africa. Nairobi (68th), Lagos (76th) and Egypt (77th) followed close behind.

Purchasing power

When it comes to purchasing power, Los Angeles leads the way, with LA residents now able to afford almost a quarter more than New Yorkers. Zurich, despite its high prices, follows in second place.

New York City

At the other end of the scale, Lagos, in Nigeria, has the lowest buying power, behind Cairo (Egypt) and Jakarta (Indonesia). Note that Lagos and Cairo are also the cities with the lowest prices.

Comparatively, although pricing policy differs from one country to the next, workers in Zurich would need to work 4.7 days to buy an iPhone X, whereas those in Lagos would need to work 133.3 days to buy one.

Additional reporting by Citizen reporter.

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