Hong Kong has one of the highest costs of living. Source: Img Nooz

The Intelligence Unit of the Economist’s magazine just released its 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living report. The report compares 400 individual prices across 160 products and services in a total of 133 cities globally. The aim is to give us a picture of the most expensive cities and of course the cheapest. Well, we crunched the data and came up with a short summarized version. Our analysis looks at four different products and how much they would cost in said cities. We are talking about the cost of bread, beer, a suit, and a haircut.

Top 6 Cities with the Highest Cost of Living

The top three cities in this category have actually tied. We have three cities all ranking first and they are Paris, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Coming fourth is the Swiss capital Zurich while another city in the country Geneva comes in at fifth. The spot is also shared with Japanese city Osaka.

Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living

Venezuela has one of the lowest costs of living. Source: Best Districts

There are also cities where you won’t need to spend a lot to get by. Unsurprisingly, these cities are not in Europe. Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, is ranked first. Damascus in Syria comes second with Tashkent, Uzbekistan taking the third spot. Almaty in Kazakhstan is ranked fourth while Bangalore in India wraps up the top five list.

The Economist says that this is the first time that three cities have shared the top spot. Additionally, cities with the highest cost of living have traditionally been located in Western Europe. However, in this year’s report, we are starting to see Asian cities making the top list. But not all of Asia is represented. In recent years, East Asia has done well to be represented in the most expensive list of cities. As for the cheapest cities to live in, South America, Central Asia, and South Asia have often dominated.

Geneva has a high cost of living. Source: CNN

Our analysis shows that the more expensive cities to live in had higher prices across all four products and services. In essence, it would cost you more to get a beer, a suit, a haircut, or bread in these cities. But there are some cities with one or two expensive products and services that still failed to make it to the top list. This is probably because the other two products and services that we tracked were cheaper.

For example, Seoul has the most expensive bread priced at $15.59. However, a haircut, a suit, or a beer would probably cost less. This is the reason why the city fails to make it to the high ranked cities. Additionally, a city like New York, where a one-piece suit will cost you $2,729 didn’t make it to the final list of the most expensive cities. There are of course other factors too that may affect the cost of living that haven’t been captured in the report. Accounting for most of these factors is not easy because they are very fluid.