The Economist Intelligence Unit—which is the research division of the Economist Group—has ranked the most expensive cities across the world. And while many New Yorkers suspect their city is about as expensive as it gets, it actually ranks 10th—tying with Copenhagen—in the Economist's tally.
New York is actually the only North American city that made the ranking, which does make this the most expensive city in the country. But the list is dominated by urban areas across Asia and Western Europe: Singapore came in first place, followed by Hong Kong and then Switzerland.
New York was in seventh place last year, but fell in the rankings due to "a slight weakening of the US dollar, which has also affected the position of other US cities," according to the Economist. They point out that the tenth place ranking still represents a "comparatively sharp increase in the relative cost of living compared with five years ago, when New York was ranked 46th."
Los Angeles was ranked in 11th place, down from eighth place last year. And though the cost of living has risen across US cites in recent years, of the 16 American cities studied, all fell in expense except for San Francisco and Lexington, Kentucky.
What the Economist calls the "Worldwide Cost of Living" is essentially a survey that compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. That includes food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help, and recreational costs.
The study does provide some interesting insight in how the cost of living has changed in New York City. For example, the average loaf of bread cost $5.75 ten years ago in New York, $6.42 five years ago, and $7.95 today. A bottle of wine cost $9.93 ten years ago as opposed to $14.74 today. Cigarettes saw a huge jump, from $6.67 for a pack ten years ago and now at $14.25. Finally, one liter of gasoline costed $1.61 ten years ago, $2.33 five years ago, and $1.63 now.
There's no shortage of lists ranking the world's most expensive cities, and New York almost always makes an appearance. This summer, Manhattan ranked as having the majority of the country's priciest zip codes. And last year, New York dethroned London as being the most expensive city for workers.