Photo: Catriona Palo/Unsplash Osaka city skyline as seen from the top of Osaka Castle

Survey: Osaka is still one of the world’s most expensive cities as of 2021

Surprisingly, Tokyo isn’t even in the top 10

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

There are lots of ways to appraise a city. A few months ago, we saw Tokyo ranked as the fourth most expensive city to live in as an expat. But in a more recent survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Tokyo didn’t even make it to the top ten most expensive cities to live in overall. 

Up until about ten years ago, Tokyo frequently ranked at the top of the list in the EIU’s annual Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. Over the years, however, our beloved metropolis gradually slipped down the top ten list before getting knocked off entirely. For obvious reasons, we feel rather fortunate that Tokyo isn’t the priciest capital anymore: Tel Aviv has taken that title for 2021, but there is one Japanese city that’s still clinging on. 

Osaka still holds the reputation of being one of the world’s most expensive places to live in, albeit at tenth place. The Kansai city has dropped five places since last year, when Osaka was labeled as the world’s fifth most expensive city. 

This year’s survey was conducted by comparing the prices of over 200 products in 173 cities around the globe. You can see the full list below, where Paris and Singapore have been tied for second place. 

1.Tel Aviv, Israel

2. Paris, France

2. Singapore

4. Zurich, Switzerland

5. Hong Kong, China

6. New York, U.S.A

7. Geneva, Switzerland

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

9. Los Angeles, U.S.A

10. Osaka, Japan

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