Tel Aviv, Israel’s economic and technological center, has pushed all cities to the top of the list of the most expensive cities now in 2021, according to the World Index ()pdfIt tracks living expenses in 173 cities around the world twice a year.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) 2021 Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) Index today announced that Tel Aviv jumped from 5th place to win the title and jointly overtook Paris and Singapore to 2nd place. This is the first time Tel Aviv has taken the top spot, mainly due to rising prices for food and transportation. House prices in Israeli cities are also rising.
Rome, Italy, fell the most on the list from 32nd to 48th. Prices have plummeted in the shopping basket and clothing category.
US sanctions have helped Iran’s Tehran jump the most on the list. Hyperinflation has led to sharp price increases and product shortages. The city jumped 50 places from 79th to 29th.
To collect data while editing the list, researchers will be provided with a list of 200 products and services, with over 50,000 individual prices collected every 6 months. The WCOL index is released in June and December each year.
Products include “food, beverages, clothing, household items, personal care items, rent, transportation, utilities, private schools, household chores, entertainment expenses”. Prices are collected from supermarkets and specialty stores in the city. Data for all cities are compared to New York with an index value of 100.
Shortages and supply chain disruptions contribute to rising prices for many products around the world. Based on the data collected from August 16th to September 12th in this survey, prices for goods and services rose 3.5% from 1.9% in 2020. This does not include cities with hyperinflation such as Tehran (Iran), Damascus (Syria), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Caracas (Venezuela).
Transport saw the largest rise in the index at 3.8 points, while the average price of gasoline rose 21%.
Cities in Europe and developed Asia topped the rankings, but poor regions in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia were the most livable regions. US cities, on the other hand, were more affordable, mainly due to the stronger dollar.
Damascus in Syria and Tripoli in Libya were the cheapest cities in the world. 40 new cities have been added to this year’s list. The most expensive in this category was Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, which ranked 27th overall.
Top 21 on the WCOL list: Tel Aviv, Paris, Singapore, Zurich, Hong Kong, New York, Geneva, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Osaka, Oslo, Seoul, Tokyo, Vienna, Sydney, Melbourne, Helsinki, London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Sydney.