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EIU WCOL Index: Singapore & New York Becomes ‘Most Expensive City in the World’

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Singapore becomes 'most expensive city,According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) Index, Singapore and New York(United States of America) has been declared as joint most expensive cities in the world to live in.

  • New York has topped the rankings for the first time along with Singapore which has topped the list 8 times in 10 years.
  • Tel Aviv of Israel which topped the list in 2021 has secured the 3rd rank in the 2022 index.


  • In 2022, the two most expensive items in Singapore were housing and cars, whose rental increased by 20% and 30% respectively.
  • In Singapore, an average meal (including drinks) at a local hawker centre costs around 5 Singapore dollar(SGD)(~USD 3.70).

Top 5 Cities on the Index: 

RankCity (Country)Index
1New York(USA)100
3Tel Aviv(Israel)99
4Hong Kong(Hong Kong)98
4Los Angeles(USA)98

Highlights of the index:

i.The top 10 cities on the index include Zurich(Switzerland) on the 6th,  Geneva (Switzerland) on the 7th, San Francisco (USA) on the 8th, Paris (France) on the 9th, and Copenhagen (Denmark) and Sydney (Australia) on the 10th.

ii.According to the index, the cheapest cities in the world are Damascus(Syria) ranked 172nd, Tripoli(Libya) at 171 and Tehran(Iran) at 170.

iii.Indian cities like Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bengaluru are among the Bottom 10 positions of the index, ranked 165th, 164th and 161st respectively.

iv.Other cities on the bottom 10 are, Colombo (Sri Lanka) on 161, Algiers (Algeria) on 161, Almaty (Kazakhstan) on 166, Karachi (Pakistan) on 167, Tashkent (Uzbekistan) on 168, and Tunis (Tunisia) on 169.

Points to note: 

i.The survey states that the cost of living in 172 major cities across the globe has increased by an average of 8.1% over the past years. The major factors affecting the cost of living were the war in Ukraine and supply-chain snarls.

ii.The ranking of Russian cities – Moscow and St Petersburg has raised by 88 and 70 places respectively as Western sanctions lead to higher prices, and buoyant energy markets and financial restrictions support the rouble.

About WCOL:

i.Annually, the WCOL is conducted twice in 172 cities. In 2021, the number of cities covered increased to 173 when Kyiv was included.

ii.The survey, carried out in August and September 2022, compares more than 400 individual prices across over 200 products and services in 172 cities globally.

iii.The report predicts that the price increase are set to ease in 2023.

iv.Overall, EIU forecasts that global consumer price inflation will fall from an average of 9.4% in 2022 to a still-high 6.5% in 2023.

Recent Related News:

On September 29, 2022, the 15th Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was launched in which India ranked at 40th position. It is a huge leap of 41 places in 7 years as India was at 81st position in 2015.

It should be noted that India along with Turkiye (37th) entered the top 40 for the first time. It stood at 46th in 2021 GII.

About Singapore: 

Prime Minister– Lee Hsien Loong
Capital– Singapore
Currency– Singapore Dollar