Alexander Spatari/Moment RF/Getty Images
World's most expensive cities: The Economist Intelligence Unit's annual Worldwide Cost of Living Index ranks San Francisco as the 10th most expensive city in the world. Click through the gallery for nine more even pricey cities.
Daniel Rasmussen/Visit Copenhagen
8. Copenhagen (tie): Denmark's capital was one of four European cities in the top 10, tying for eighth place.
Maremagnum/Corbis Documentary RF/Getty Images
8. Tel Aviv (tie): Set on Israel's Mediterranean coast, the nation's second-largest city in population also came in eighth place on the list.
Delpixart/iStock Editorial/Getty Images
7. Paris: The French capital is the seventh most expensive city in the world, according to the EIU's 2023 Worldwide Cost of Living Index.
ViewApart/iStock Editorial/Getty Images
6. Los Angeles: The "City of Angels" is one of three US cities in the top 10, ranking in sixth place.
Chunyip Wong/iStockphoto/Getty Images
5. Hong Kong: The "Pearl of the Orient" came in fifth on the annual list of the world's most expensive cities.
Stefano Politi Markovina/Alamy Stock Photo
3. Geneva, Switzerland (tie): Switzerland's second-largest city shares third place with an iconic US destination.
Maremagnum/Corbis Documentary RF/Getty Images
3. New York (tie): "The Big Apple" was the highest US city on the list, dropping from its first place position in 2022.
John Seaton Callahan/The Image Bank Unreleased/Getty Images
1: Singapore (tie): The city-state shared the top spot with New York in 2022, and it has tied for first place again this year.
Pol Albarrán/Moment RF/Getty Images
1. Zurich, Switzerland (tie): The largest city in Switzerland has jumped from sixth place in 2022 to No. 1 on the 2023 list, tying with Singapore.
CNN  — 

In news that won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been feeling the pinch, the global cost of living crisis is far from over. And big-city dwellers can really take a hit.

According to the annual Worldwide Cost of Living Index that’s published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the average cost of living rose by 7.4% this year. Grocery prices increased the fastest.

Although this is slightly lower than the 8.1% jump the same survey recorded in 2022, the numbers remain significantly higher than “historic trends.”

But there is some good news. Utility prices, the fastest rising category in the 2022 survey, showed the least amount of inflation this time around.

Inflation predictions

Pol Albarrán/Moment RF/Getty Images
Zurich, Switzerland (pictured) tied with Singapore as the world's most expensive city on the Worldwide Cost of Living Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Price increases are slowing in pace because of the waning of supply chain issues since China lifted its Covid-19 restrictions in late 2022.

However, grocery prices are continuing to rise as retailers pass on higher costs to consumers.

“We expect inflation to continue to decelerate in 2024, as the lagged impact of interest-rate rises starts affecting economic activity, and in turn, consumer demand,” Upasana Dutt, Head of Worldwide Cost of Living at EIU, said in a statement.

Dutt went on to warn the upside risks of armed conflict and extreme weather remain.

“Further escalations of the Israel-Hamas war would drive up energy prices, while a greater than expected impact from El Niño would push up food prices even further,” she added.

Inevitably, increasing living costs have meant that many cities have become more expensive to live in – but some get hit harder than others.

The most expensive cities

Maremagnum/Corbis Documentary RF/Getty Images
Israel's Tel Aviv tied with Denmark's Copenhagen at eighth place.

The city-state of Singapore and Switzerland’s Zurich were named as the most expensive cities in the world.

The rise of the latter, which jumped from sixth place on last year’s list, was attributed to the strength of the Swiss Franc along with the high prices of groceries, household goods and recreation. Singapore’s costly transport and clothing were also noted.

Although New York tied with Singapore for first place last year, the popular US destination, where prices have increased by 1.9% according to the study, slipped to third, tying with Switzerland’s Geneva.

Hong Kong, the only other Asian destination in the top 10, was fifth, while Los Angeles was at No. 6, and Paris was named the seventh most expensive city in the world.

Israel’s Tel Aviv shares eighth place with Denmark’s Copenhagen. However, it’s worth noting that survey was conducted before the October outbreak of Israel-Hamas conflict.

Finally, San Francisco, one of three US cities in the top 10, came in 10th place.

Movers and shakers

Chunyip Wong/iStockphoto/Getty Images
Hong Kong, the "Pearl of the Orient," came in fifth on the list of the world's most expensive cities to live in.

Further down the list, Russian cities Moscow and St. Petersburg saw some of the sharpest drops, falling 105 places to 142 and 74 places to 147 respectively in this year’s ranking. The value of the ruble has dropped considerably since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The survey said the slow post-pandemic recovery and “subdued consumer demand” were among the factors that led to Chinese cities such as Beijing, which ranked at 34 last year, dropping several places down the list.

Damascus, Syria, remains the world’s cheapest city. Tehran, Iran, and Tripoli, Libya, are also near the bottom, ranking in 172nd and 171st place respectively.

Utility, domestic help and tobacco costs were highest in US cities, while Western European cities were some of the most expensive when it came to recreation, transport and household goods.

Groceries and alcohol were most costly in Asian cities, according to the survey.

The 2023 Worldwide Cost of Living surveyed 173 major cities, comparing more than 400 individual prices across 200 products and services. It excluded Venezuela’s Caracas, where prices have risen by 450% since 2022.

The world’s 10 most expensive cities for 2023

1. Zurich and Singapore (tie)

3. New York and Geneva (tie)

5. Hong Kong 

6. Los Angeles 

7. Paris

8. Tel Aviv and Copenhagen (tie)

10. San Francisco