17 December 2021, by Victoria Séveno

Published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the 2021 Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) Index sees Amsterdam drop eight places, making it the 40th most expensive city in the world.

Worldwide Cost of Living Index 2021

This year, EIU tracked the cost of living in 173 international cities, comparing the costs of over 200 products and services across 10 different categories – everything from utilities and rents to clothing – in order to determine the cheapest and most expensive cities in the world. Prices across all cities are benchmarked against prices in New York City.

EIU notes that this year’s ranking was greatly impacted by the coronavirus, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic pushing up prices in a number of cities, with prices for goods and services rising by an average of 3,5 percent in 2021. This increase is attributed to various factors, including supply-chain disruptions and changing consumer demand as a result of various lockdowns and restrictions.

For the first time ever, Tel Aviv tops the WOCL Index, knocking Paris off the top spot, with EIU highlighting the city’s soaring transport and food and drink prices, as well as rising house prices. Two Swiss cities also secured spots in the top 10.

Amsterdam drops to 40th place for cost of living

In various international city rankings, Amsterdam is regularly criticised for its high living costs and unaffordable housing. While this year’s WOCL Index does place the Dutch capital in the top 50 most expensive cities, Amsterdam has fallen eight places over the last 12 months, and now lies in joint 40th place alongside Düsseldorf.

However, it likely won’t come as a surprise to people who own a car or drive in the Netherlands that EIU found Amsterdam to be one of the most expensive cities in the world for petrol, coming in second place behind Hong Kong. According to the report, unleaded petrol in Amsterdam costs 2,18 US Dollars per litre (up from 1,91 US Dollars in 2020), which equates to approximately 1,92 euros per litre.

The 10 most expensive cities in the world

According to the EIU 2021 Index, the most expensive cities in the world are:

  1. Tel Aviv, Israel
  2. Paris, France
  3. Singapore, Singapore
  4. Zurich, Switzerland
  5. Hong Kong, China
  6. New York, USA
  7. Geneva, Switzerland
  8. Copenhagen, Denmark
  9. Los Angeles, USA
  10. Osaka, Japan

The 10 cheapest cities in the world

The cities found to be the cheapest in the world are:

  1. Damascus, Syria
  2. Tripoli, Libya
  3. Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  4. Tunis, Tunisia
  5. Almaty, Kazakhstan
  6. Karachi, Pakistan
  7. Ahmedabad, India
  8. Algiers, Algeria
  9. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  10. Lusaka, Zambia

For more information about the 2021 Index, visit the EIU website.

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