Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Tel Aviv named most expensive city in the world

Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, December 7th 2021 à 15:50 | Read 1299 times

Tel Aviv jumps to the top of the list of the most expensive city in the world (photo F.Dubessy)
Tel Aviv jumps to the top of the list of the most expensive city in the world (photo F.Dubessy)
ISRAEL. Tel Aviv will become the most expensive city in the world in 2021, according to a study published annually by The Economist Intelligence Unit, a company belonging to the British group The Economist.
Fifth in the previous ranking, the Israeli city of 460,000 inhabitants (1.5 million for the whole district) dethroned Paris, which this year had to be content with second place, tied with Singapore (see table below). This meteoric rise of the country's second city and its economic and financial centre is explained by the soaring value of its national currency, the Shekel, and the rise in prices, mainly for food and transport. It ranks second for the price of alcohol as well as for the price of transport.

The survey assigns Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) indices to 173 cities. New York is taken as the benchmark (100). The scores are based on an analysis comparing the prices of 200 everyday items (petrol, alcohol, clothing, tobacco, food, etc.) and services (transport, leisure, electricity, etc.) between 16 August 2021 and 12 September 2021. They would have risen by 3.5% in one year, the most in the last five years (1.9% in 2020 and 2.8% in 2019). The rise in raw materials is explained in particular by "sanitary restrictions, which disrupt international deliveries and, consequently, create shortages and therefore price increases", the report states. The price of petrol, for example, rose by 21% between 2020 and 2021. Unleaded petrol at the pump costs an average of $2.05 per litre in Tel Aviv compared to $1.45 in 2016. The city is in fourth place in this respect behind Hong Kong ($2.13), Amsterdam ($2.40) and Oslo ($2.62).

The study does not include property prices or rents.

The cheapest city in the ranking is Damascus (173rd) in Syria. It comes just behind another Mediterranean city, Tripoli (172nd) in Libya, which is one of the forty new entrants in this survey. Tunis (170th) ranks fourth among the least expensive cities in the world and Algiers (166th) ranks eighth.

It is worth noting that Rome will suffer the biggest drop in 2021 compared to 2020. The Italian capital falls from 32nd to 48th place, due in particular to the fall in the price of food and clothing.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Top 10 most expensive cities

Rank City Country WCOL Index
1st Tel Aviv Israel 106
2nd tied Paris France 104
2nd tied Singapore Singapore 104
4th Zurich Switzerland 103
5th Hong Kong China 101
6th New York USA 100
7th Genève Switzerland 99
8th Copenhagen Denmark 97
9th Los Angeles USA 96
10th Osaka Japan 94

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