Turns out NYC’s not the most expensive place in the world to live

Shocker: According to serious data crunching, Gotham is not the priciest city in the world—it didn’t even make the top ten



Add +

Photograph: Shutterstock

Unless you’re a high-flying member of the 1 percent, New York City life is generally a case of worrying about the cost of your heating bill, crossing fingers in the hope that your MetroCard hasn't yet expired and generally just watching your pennies like a tightfisted hawk. That’s except for on payday, of course, when you head to the bar, hoof tequila like a rock star then splash out on an taxi home. It’s a citywide consensus that we New Yorkers are overworked, underpaid and entirely ripped off, pretty much all the time…yet we’ve discovered some news that has thrown this into total disarray. 

Last month, The Guardian published the Economist Intelligence Unit’s list of the world’s ten most expensive cities, and unbelievably NYC wasn’t on it. Are you messing around with us, you ask? Nope. Shockingly, our beloved metropolis was topped by the likes of Tokyo, which came in as the most costly city in which to live, with Sydney, Singapore and Paris all ranking just below.

What with necessities including fancy cocktails costing $12 a pop and leviathan rents, we New Yorkers are prone to the occasional finance-related weep, but the poor (quite literally, we’re guessing) people of Tokyo are on average paying over nine bucks for a loaf of bread. On the other end of the scale, Karachi in Pakistan and Mumbai and New Delhi in India rank as the three cheapest cities (Karachi being the cheapest) in which to reside, with a one-kilogram loaf of bread costing as little as 86 cents in Mumbai. So much for using NYC's high cost of living to justify our lack of a savings account. Damn.

Here are the world's ten most expensive cities in 2013:

1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Osaka, Japan
3. Sydney, Australia
4. Oslo, Norway
5. Melbourne, Australia
6. Singapore, Singapore
7. Zurich, Switzerland
8. Paris, France
9. Caracas, Venezuela
10. Geneva, Switzerland

Users say


Send tips and cat photos to:

Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)


Time Out videos

Subscribe to Time Out New York on Spotify for playlists and recommendations from our Music team.

Check out New York's best restaurants, hottest street style, cool apartments and more.