Corona changes (almost) nothing: these are the most expensive places on earth

Each year, The Economist lists the most expensive places to live in the World Cost of Living Index. The cities in the top 10 are almost the same as last year, although not every city is in the same place as in 2019. The corona pandemic does not affect every place in the same way.


For example, last year’s number 1, Singapore, has been dethroned. Singapore is a place where a lot of expats normally work. Many of them went home because of the corona pandemic.

And they are precisely the driving force behind the urban economy, especially in the nightlife. For the first time since 2003, the population of Singapore was declining, not increasing.

This results in lower demand, resulting in lower prices. Singapore now has to settle for fourth place. Paris takes over from the former leader.

Currency developments

In general, the cost of living actually went up. Sometimes for technical reasons, such as currency developments. The researchers assume prices in dollars, which automatically makes life in countries with a weaker currency, such as in Latin America, more expensive.

In other cases it is logistics. Corona has hit global trade. The supply of products and raw materials has sometimes become so confused that scarcity has arisen, resulting in rising prices.


In the Iranian capital Tehran, US sanctions were also added, giving the residents of Tehran the strongest price rises in the ranking.

On average, the World Cost of Living index rose by a little less than 0.5 percent. The price for outings and dinners went up considerably, while new clothes became cheaper.


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