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This Japanese city has overtaken Paris as one of the three most expensive places in the world

Night view of Shinsekai, Osaka
SammyVision | Getty Images

The Japanese city of Osaka has surpassed Paris as one of the world's most expensive cities, according to new research.

Published Wednesday, the annual report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) named Osaka, Singapore and Hong Kong jointly as the cities with the highest cost of living worldwide.

The French capital fell four places in the 2020 ranking, overtaken by New York which climbed three places higher from 2019 to be named the world's fourth most expensive hub.

The ranking was calculated by comparing the cost of 160 items and services, such as food, household supplies and rent, in 133 cities around the world, giving each location an overall score.

Analysts at the EIU noted that a strong U.S. dollar and a slowing euro zone had led to American cities climbing up the ranking while European hubs generally heading in the opposite direction.

Of the 37 European cities included in the study, 31 experienced a decline in the cost of living.

While Asian cities dominated the top positions, the report's authors emphasized that "the fastest overall risers in recent years have been North American cities." Boston, Atlanta and San Francisco were the three U.S. locations to surge the furthest up the ranking.

At the other end of the scale, Damascus, Syria and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, were named the cheapest cities in the world.

Globally, the biggest upward movers in 2020 were Istanbul, Turkey, which was named the 96th most expensive city, and Kyiv, Ukraine, which was ranked in 86th position. Both countries had seen their currencies appreciate, which played a part in raising prices alongside double-digit inflation in Turkey and strong Ukrainian wage growth, economists said.

Bulgarian capital Sofia and Casablanca, Morocco, were the cities that saw the furthest moves down the ranking between 2019 and 2020.

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