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The List of The World’s Most Expensive Cities 2010 via [forbes and businessweek]

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The World’s Most Expensive Cities 2010

by Venessa Wong

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For Americans overseas, exchange rates and cost-of-living
adjustments can make living overseas more expensive than back home.

New York ranks only No. 29

If you think $43 is too much to pay for lunch, you shouldn’t live in
Oslo. According to “ECA
International”
, a global human resources company, that’s how much an
average lunch costs in Norway’s capital. But Oslo is only the
second-most expensive city on ECA’s ranking of 399 global locations. And
while the price of an average lunch in Tokyo is a comparatively modest
$17.86, other costs, such as a $22 movie ticket and an $8.47 kilo of
rice, earn it the dubious honor as the world’s most expensive city.

ECA’s ranking is based on a basket of 128 goods that includes food,
daily goods, clothing, electronics, and entertainment, but not rent,
utilities, and school fees, which are not typically included in a
cost-of-living adjustment. ECA researchers and local partners gathered
prices in September 2009 and March 2010 for domestic and imported brands
that are internationally recognized—such as Kellogg’s cereal or
Sapporo beer. While lower-priced goods and services are available in
these markets, the study estimated the cost of supporting the standard
of living expected by expatriate employees, says Lee Quane, ECA’s
regional director for Asia. Some of the cities, such as Seoul and
Stockholm, jumped up in the ranking as the local currency strengthened
against the U.S. dollar. Quane says that while a slowdown in business
may tempt employers to scale back compensation, “recessions only last
so long” and retaining top talent in these places is critical to
companies’ success when the global economy recovers.
Source: “ECA International
1. Tokyo, Japan

dc.jpg

Rank in 2009: 2

Food: Lunch at a
restaurant:
$18
Can of beer from grocer:
$3.37
One kg of rice: $8.47
One dozen
eggs:
$3.78

Entertainment: Movie ticket:
$22

Appliances: Washing machine: $879

The strength of the yen has brought Tokyo back to the No. 1 spot on
ECA International’s ranking for the first time since 2005. In addition
to the costs above, rent for a two-bedroom apartment for expats is
typically more than $5,000 per month in Tokyo, according to data from
EuroCost International. While visitors need more pocket money here than
in any other city, the monthly consumer price index in Tokyo’s wards
has actually dropped year-on-year for 14 straight months as of May
2010, based on figures from Japan‘s statistics bureau.
2. Oslo, Norway

austin.jpg

Rank in 2009: 8

Food: Lunch at a
restaurant:
$43
Can of beer from grocer:
$4.71
One kg of rice: $5.66
One dozen
eggs:
$6.72

Entertainment: Movie ticket:
$16

Appliances: Washing machine: $880

Oslo rose above Copenhagen as the most expensive city in Europe when
the kroner strengthened against other currencies. ECA International
says an upward trend in oil prices, a short recession, and Norway’s
reputation as a safe haven for investors contributed to the kroner’s
rise.
3. Luanda, Angola

dallas.jpg

Rank in 2009: 1

Food: Lunch at a
restaurant:
$47
Can of beer from grocer:
$1.62
One kg of rice: $4.73
One dozen
eggs:
$4.75

Entertainment: Movie ticket:
$13

Appliances: Washing machine: $912

Angola’s capital slipped to third place this year as the kwanza
depreciated. Prices in Luanda have actually increased in the past year,
but currency changes offset any inflation, according to ECA
International. In addition to everyday goods, EuroCost International
estimates that the average expat pays more than $3,500 per month for a
two-bedroom flat in Luanda.
4. Nagoya, Japan

minn.jpg

Rank in 2009: 3

Food: Lunch at a
restaurant:
$19
Can of beer from grocer:
$3.08
One kg of rice: $9.14
One dozen
eggs:
$3.33

Entertainment: Movie ticket:
$20

Appliances: Washing machine: $621

Japan’s fourth most populous city, Nagoya is also among the country’s
most expensive. The city ranks No. 1 for the cost of rice: $9.14 per
kilogram, according to ECA International data. As Japan’s auto hub, the
Nagoya area is an important center of business: about 44 percent of
automobiles produced in Japan are made here, according to the Greater
Nagoya Initiative Center. Such companies as Toyota, Honda, Suzuki,
Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, and General Motors have headquarters,
manufacturing operations, or distribution points in the Nagoya region.
5. Yokohama, Japan

houston.jpg

Rank in 2009: 4

Food: Lunch at a
restaurant:
$17.39
Can of beer from grocer:
$3.26
One kg of rice: $6.54
One dozen
eggs:
$3.72

Entertainment: Movie ticket:
$19.50

Appliances: Washing machine: $630

About half an hour by commuter train from Tokyo, this port city has
active shipping, biotechnology, and semiconductor industries. Yokohama
is one of the world’s most expensive cities, but companies here enjoy
lower operating costs compared with the nearby capital. Nissan opened a
new headquarters in Yokohama this year and reportedly will sell its
office in Tokyo to cut costs.
6. Stavanger, Norway

dc.jpg

Rank in 2009: 14

Food: Lunch at a
restaurant:
$33
Can of beer from grocer:
$4.76
One kg of rice: $5.71
One dozen
eggs:
$6.34

Entertainment: Movie ticket:
$15.50

Appliances: Washing machine: $749

This small seaside city earned its riches from oil in the North Sea
and has become known as Norway’s petroleum capital. Stavangerexpats.com
says food expenses in Norway are about 50 percent higher than the EU
average: A can of soda is about $2.80, and a beer at a bar can be $12.
7. Kobe, Japan

austin.jpg

Rank in 2009: 6

Food: Lunch at a
restaurant:
$16
Can of beer from grocer:
$3.09
One kg of rice: $8.57
One dozen
eggs:
$2.81

Entertainment: Movie ticket:
$20

Appliances: Washing machine: $470

The city has one of Japan’s largest ports and has become home to many
heavy machinery, iron and steel, and food product companies. According
to the Japan External Trade Organization, 117 foreign and
foreign-affiliated companies have offices in Kobe. As the price of Kobe
beef, the style of high-grade meat named after the city, suggests,
food is costly here, as are other living expenses.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark

dallas.jpg

Rank in 2009: 7

Food: Lunch at
a restaurant:
$36
Can of beer from grocer:
$2.10
One kg of rice: $4.85
One dozen
eggs:
$6.99

Entertainment: Movie ticket:
$15

Appliances: Washing machine: $1,196

A 2009 “survey” of 73 international cities by UBS found that employees
in Copenhagen have the highest income. Places with higher salaries
often have higher prices, but residents here enjoy good living
standards overall. Some examples of the cost of living: Renting a DVD
costs about $8 per night, a pair of women’s jeans is more than $150,
and a one-way ticket on public transport costs about $3.70.
9. Geneva, Switzerland

minn.jpg

Rank in 2009: 9

Food: Lunch at a
restaurant:
$30
Can of beer from grocer:
$2.02
One kg of rice: $3.81
One dozen
eggs:
$7.64

Entertainment: Movie ticket:
$16

Appliances: Washing machine: $1,304

Geneva, home to many companies and U.N. organizations, is one of the
most expensive cities for food and household appliances. Food prices in
Switzerland are 45 percent more expensive than in the rest of Western
Europe, and the cost of electronics and appliances in Geneva is among
the highest worldwide, according to a 2009 UBS report.
10. Zurich, Switzerland

houston.jpg

Rank in 2009: 10

Food: Lunch at a
restaurant:
$25
Can of beer from grocer:
$2.01
One kg of rice: $3.36
One dozen
eggs:
$5.81

Entertainment: Movie ticket:
$16

Appliances: Washing machine: $974

Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, is the country’s main business
center and the headquarters city for many financial companies,
including UBS and Credit Suisse. Although Zurich had the greatest
number of company bankruptcies in Switzerland last year, according to
Dun & Bradstreet, the inflation rate started to increase again this
year after falling in 2009.
//

Click
here to see the full list of the World’s Most Expensive Cities 2010



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