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Economist survey Geneva and Zurich rise up rankings of most expensive cities

Zurich was second only to Singapore in the ranking of the world's priciest cities.


Swiss cities Geneva and Zurich have once again made the cut as some of the world’s most expensive cities, with both placing in the top five in a new survey from The Economist. 

Zurich came in second, after Singapore, while Geneva placed fourth, after Hong Kong. The survey examines the prices of key items and necessities such as bread, wine, petrol, rents, transport, private schools and domestic help. It does, however, not take into account purchasing power in those places. 

Both Swiss cities have risen in the rankings since a year ago, when Zurich was in fourth place and Geneva in seventh.

The rise in placement can largely be attributed to the Swiss National Bank’s decision in January 2015 to un-peg the Swiss franc from the euro, sending the value of the Swiss currency skyrocketing.

But, as The Economist Intelligence Unit points out in its survey summary, “Neither city has suffered from Eurozone austerity or economic fallout from falling oil prices to the degree of their EU or Norwegian peers.”

Currency fluctuation has also affected other regions of the world, with the strength of the United States dollar contributing to two American cities – New York and Los Angeles – placing in the top ten for the first time. Conversely, Japanese cities like Tokyo and Osaka, and Australian cities like Melbourne and Sydney, have slid down the rankings due to the weakening of the Japanese Yen and Australian Dollar. 

Here's how much items have cost, on average, in the world's most expensive cities over the past decade, in order of the survey results. Rounding out the top ten, in order, are Copenhagen at the eighth most expensive followed by Seoul and Los Angeles.

expensive cities

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