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Swiss cities among the world's most expensive

Zurich is one of the world's most expensive cities. Keystone

Zurich and Geneva remain among the most expensive cities in the world, but salaries are commensurately high, according to a new survey by the Swiss bank, UBS.

This content was published on September 13, 2000 - 22:41

The study, released on Wednesday, comes a day after the World Bank said Switzerland was still the richest country on earth, with per capita income well ahead of that in the United States.

The UBS survey placed Tokyo at the top of the list for prices and wages in a comparative study of 58 cities. After the Japanese capital, the most expensive cities were judged to be Oslo, New York, Chicago, Zurich and Stockholm.

The survey said prices in these places were up to 40 per cent higher than the global average, with Tokyo in a class of its own - prices there are up to 90 per cent higher.

Geneva came in as the 11th most expensive city, one place behind London, but considerably more pricey than Paris (19th), Vienna (21st) and Berlin (32nd). The cheapest places were Bombay, Budapest, Warsaw and Manila, where prices are roughly half those in Zurich.

In terms of earnings, workers in Zurich and Geneva were just behind those in Tokyo and New York as the highest paid people on earth. Their counterparts in Manila take home less than six per cent of the average Zurich wage.

The UBS survey was published a day after the World Bank released its country list of salary rankings for 1999.

Switzerland again came out on top with an average per capita income of $38,350 (SFr67,972). That's a slight fall on 1998, when the Swiss average was $40,080 (SFr72,038).

In second position last year was Norway ($32,880), followed by Japan ($32,230) and Denmark ($32,030). The United States came in fifth with an average per capita income of $29,340.

The UBS study, entitled "Prices and earnings around the globe" is based on 25,000 items relating to the prices of goods and services, as well as wages, deductions and working hours.

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