The Cost of Living Index

The cost of living index affects each and every one of us. It impacts the quality of life where we live and the costs of goods and services when we travel. And these days, since so many people are digital nomads or spend a portion of their careers as an expat it is especially good to know which cities are expensive and which cities aren’t.

Twice a year the website Numbero releases a report, the Cost of Living Index 2020 is now live.

We all have an impression that the fast growing cities in Asia are getting out of control, and they may be for the local market, but it is interesting to see that most Asian capitals like Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Jakarta are actually affordable by global standards.

According to Numbeo, the most expensive city at the beginning of 2020 is Zurich in Switzerland. Other cities in Switzerland get spots no. 2-5 of the most expensive cities in Numbeo’s list: Basel, Lausanne, Geneva, Bern.

Three cities in Norway are on the spots no. 6-8: Stavanger, Oslo, Trondheim.

New York in the United States is ranked 11th, while San Francisco 12th (out of 440 cities in the world).

Tokyo, ranked globally 18th (out of 440 cities), is the most expensive city in Asia.

Cities in Africa are all in the bottom half of the list, with the most expensive ranked city being Pretoria in South Africa on the spot at 252.

The report doesn’t separate the Middle East from Asia but the results are quite interesting. Asian cities aren’t as expensive as we tend to think they are.

This semiannual publication is released twice per year – in January and in July  by using a snapshot of current indices on the day of the release. The cost of living around the world does impact us in many ways, so this is important data to understand.

Numbeo is a market leader in comparing the cost of living worldwide, according to Internet traffic estimators, such as Similarweb or Alexa.

You can access the rankings here.