Zurich and Geneva found to be Europe's most expensive cities to live in

Zurich and Geneva found to be Europe's most expensive cities to live in

Zurich and Geneva have been named as two of the top 10 most expensive cities in the world to live in and the two most expensive cities in Europe, according to a new ranking by the Economist. Amid a cost of living crisis, the report found that prices have risen worldwide, especially in countries affected by sanctions.

The Economist’s Worldwide Cost of Living Index for 2022

To create the ranking, factors like inflation, currency strength and salaries were used to compare which cities are the most pricey. The report, compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), found that prices for goods and services have shot up by an average of 8,1 percent per year in 172 cities analysed.

The accolade of being the most expensive city in the world to live in was won jointly in 2022 by Singapore and New York. The two Swiss cities that made it onto the ranking, Zurich and Geneva, came in sixth and seventh place respectively - making the two metropolises the most expensive areas to live in Europe. 

Prices across the board have risen sharply, but thanks to Switzerland’s strong currency and economy, the country has been sheltered from the economic turmoil seen elsewhere. However, the EIU found that despite high salaries in Switzerland and significant price increases in other nations, the cost of living in Zurich and Geneva has still not been overtaken by any other European area.

Russian cities face sharp increase in prices after Ukraine invasion

Some of the cities that have seen the most significant increase in prices are those in Russia. Moscow and St. Petersburg climbed the ranking by the most places compared to 2021, with both cities having jumped 16 places up the list - something the EIU blamed on economic sanctions. Inflation in Moscow is 17,1 percent year-on-year, while in St. Petersburg it has reached 19,4 percent. 

The cities that have fallen down the list, i.e have become less expensive, include Brussels, Osaka, Manchester, Douala and Lyon. The city that has moved down the ranking the most was Stockholm. 

The Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living 2022

According to the Economist’s ranking, the top 10 most expensive cities in the world in terms of cost of living are:

  • 1. Singapore
  • 1. New York
  • 2. Tel Aviv
  • 3. Hong Kong 
  • 4. Los Angeles 
  • 5. Zurich 
  • 6. Geneva
  • 7. San Francisco
  • 8. Paris 
  • 9. Copenhagen 
  • 10. Sydney

For the full ranking, or more information about how the ranking was created, see The Economist’s website

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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