Sustainability Infrastructure

New York most expensive city in the world, research shows

Two other American cities made it to the 10 most expensive cities list.
A view of uptown Manhattan from the Empire State Building is seen in New York City on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

Story at a glance


  • New York City and Singapore are tied for the world’s most expensive city, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit annual survey.

  • Both cities have pushed down last year’s most expensive major city, Tel Aviv, to third place.

  •  Survey crafters attribute NYC’s climb to the top of the list to inflation and rising gas prices.

For the first time ever, New York City is the most expensive city in the world sharing the top spot with Singapore, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit annual survey.  

Both cities have bumped last year’s most costly city, Tel Aviv, down to third place in the survey’s top 10 most expensive cities list.  

The Big Apple’s new spot as the priciest place to live comes after a year of soaring rent prices in the city. Real estate firm Douglas Elliman released a report earlier this year showing the median price of Manhattan apartments shot up by 25 percent in 2022 with the average monthly rent in the borough reaching around $5,000.  


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Inflation, supply-chain snags and increased gas prices stemming from the war in Ukraine have raised the cost of living 172 cities across the globe by 8.1 percent this year, according to the survey.  

“The war in Ukraine, Western sanctions on Russia and China’s zero-covid policies have caused supply-chain problems that, combined with rising interest rates and exchange-rate shifts, have resulted in a cost-of-living crisis across the world,” said Upasana Dutt, head of worldwide cost of living at EIU.  

“We expect prices to start easing over the coming year as supply bottle-necks start to ease and slowing economies weigh on consumer demand.” 

Los Angeles and San Francisco also moved up in their ranking making it to the ten most expensive cities in the world. L.A. is tied with Hong Kong and for the fourth priciest city on the planet and San Francisco beat Paris for the survey’s number eight spot.  

The survey also breaks down which cities have seen the greatest change in cost of living and the cheapest places to live.  

Moscow and St. Petersburg jumped up 88 and 70 places respectively to the 37 and 73rd most costly cities in the world. That change stems in part from consumer prices shooting up in the country amid Western sanctions and “buoyant energy markets” supported by the ruble, according to the survey.  

The least expensive cities continue to be Damascus, Syria and Tripoli, Libya.