Category: Current Affairs
Published on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 00:00
With the ever increasing cost of living in basically every single aspect you can think of, it is no wonder that Singapore has come out on top of 131 cities to be named the most expensive city to live in 2014, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Singaporeans know first-hand how simply living in Singapore can take a huge toll out of you. The stress with trying to keep up with inflation; the massive sum of money you have to fork out on food, housing, education and transport can practically drive you to the brink of insanity, especially when you take into consideration the crazy amount of loans that are tying you down.
A decade ago, the Lion City ranked number 18 in the EIU's Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, and since then, Singapore has always been steadily rising in the list. Singapore jumped up five places from number 6 last year, taking over Tokyo, to come out number 1 in 2014's list. Boy, that escalated quickly.
It is mainly Singapore's strong currency combined with the high cost of buying and maintaining a car, along with the soaring utility bills that contributed to Singapore coming out top, according to EIU. It is also the most expensive place in the world to buy clothes. Yup, this is probably the only list that Singapore will emerge number 1 in.
Following Singapore is Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney. Tokyo fell to 6th place alongside Melbourne, Geneva, and Caracas, while Copenhagen came in at the 10th position.
The EIU's Worldwide Cost of Living Survey is a relocation tool that uses New York city as a base and is published twice a year. It compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services which include food, clothing, household supplies, home rentals, transport and utility prices.
"Improving sentiment in structurally expensive European cities combined with the continued rise of Asian hubs means that these two regions continue to supply most of the world's most expensive cities," said the editor of the report, Jon Copestake.
"But Asian cities also continue to make up many of the world's cheapest, especially in the Indian subcontinent."
Most of the Asian cities that rank at the top are predominantly there for their higher costs of groceries. Tokyo still ranks in the top 10 for everyday food items.
Not all Asian cities are able to burn a hole in your pocket though. India's major cities – Mumbai and New Delhi – were found to be among the least expensive in the world. Mumbai's standard of living is kept low by the large income inequality. The low wages of many of the city's workers keep spending low, and government subsidies have helped them stay that way.
Outside of the subcontinent, Damascus in Syria saw the biggest drop, becoming the fourth cheapest country in the world as the country's ongoing conflict has led to plummeting prices.
While the EIU's survey takes into account the cost of living in general, other firms employ different research methods that target a specific audience, like Mercer who conducts their research to determine the most expensive cities for expatriate living.
What do you think of Singapore being the most expensive city to live in? Does it fill you with pride and joy, or does it reinforce your desire to GTFO of this country?