Paris back on top as world’s most expensive city to live in

Paris back on top as world's most expensive city to live in
Paris seen from above. Photo: AFP
A new report has named Paris as the world’s most expensive city to live in, together with Zurich and Hong Kong.

The report, which measured living costs in 133 cities around the world, concluded that Paris was pricier than cities such as New York and Geneva, overtaking overtaking Osaka and Singapore, which topped the last study.

Published twice-yearly by research company The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU), the Worldwide Cost of Living study compared more than 400 individual prices of a wide range of 138 different products and services including food, drink, clothing, rents, utility bills and schooling.

This was not the first time Paris claimed the title as the priciest city to live with in The EIU's survey, however last year the French capital dropped down to fifth place.

One of the main reasons behind the shifts in the rankings was, according to The EIU, local currency changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“By September 2020, when our survey was taken, currencies were weakest in the Americas and strongest in Western Europe,” the report stated.

Paris is notoriously expensive to both rent and buy property in – the average price per square metre is over €10,500 – so it might not come as a surprise that the capital made it to the top 10. 

READ ALSO Rent or buy? What you need to know about France's changing property market

 

However, there seems to be some methodological weaknesses to the study, such as the average price of 1 kilo loaf of bread in Paris being set at $6.1 (€5.13), up from $5.2 in 2019 (€4.37), which seems overly expensive to anyone who has visited a Paris boulangerie

According to the price comparison website Combien coûte.net,  the average price of a 500g loaf in France was roughly €1.36 in 2020, so €2.72 per kilo. 

Of course, some Parisian bakeries charge more than others, but the price of a baguette (which should be around 250g) generally fluctuates somewhere around €1, depending on the arrondissement.

If your to-go lunch place is one of Paris' more famous restaurants such as the iconic Café de Flore, your living expenses will probably be higher than if you frequent lesser-known places. Photo: AFP

Those who know Paris will also know that how expensive it is to live there depends on where you go and what you do. There are many ways to enjoy the capital without exploding your budget.

READ ALSO From bargain chicken to  markets – locals reveal how to live cheaply in Paris

Here's the list of the top 10 most expensive cities (and how their ranking changed from last year):

Zurich  – rank 1 (+4)

Paris  – rank 1 (+4)

Hong Kong – rank 1 (0)

Singapore – rank 4 (-3)

Tel Aviv  – rank 5 (+2)

Osaka  – rank 5 (-4)

Geneva  – rank 7 (+3)

New York  – rank 7 (-3)

Copenhagen – rank 9 (+2)

Los Angeles  – rank 9 (-1)

 


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