These are the world’s most expensive cities to live in 2022

Dec 1, 2022, 10:28 AM
A general view of the city skyline is seen with the lights switched on just before the Earth Hour e...
A general view of the city skyline is seen with the lights switched on just before the Earth Hour environmental campaign in Singapore on March 26. (Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images via CNN)
(Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images via CNN)

(CNN) — It seems like every month when household bills come due, we grumble about how the cost of living has gone up again.

But it’s not just anecdotal. According to this year’s Worldwide Cost of Living Index, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the average cost of living is up 8.1% in 2022, owing to the Russian war in Ukraine and the lingering effects of the pandemic.

In other words — no, it’s not just you.

“The war in Ukraine, Western sanctions on Russia and China’s zero-COVID policies have caused supply-chain problems that, combined with rising interest rates and exchange-rate shifts, have resulted in a cost-of-living crisis across the world,” Upasana Dutt, head of worldwide cost of living at EIU, said in a media statement.

She added: “We can clearly see the impact in this year’s index, with the average price rise across the 172 cities in our survey being the strongest we’ve seen in the 20 years for which we have digital data. The rise in petrol prices in cities was particularly strong (as it was last year), but food, utilities and household goods are all getting more expensive for city-dwellers.”

So, in an expensive year, what are the most expensive cities to live in?

Europe in transition

The EIU, which tracks everyday expenses in 172 cities around the world, is based in London. The British capital fell significantly down the list this year, landing in 27th place.

There were four European cities in the top 10 — Zurich (sixth place) was the highest, with Paris, Copenhagen and fellow Swiss city Geneva rounding out the rest.

Copenhagen fell from 8th to 10th place in 2022. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images via CNN)

The most significant cause of price upticks in western Europe was increasing gas prices, the result of the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine and the region trying to find alternate sources of gas. The cost of one liter of gasoline has gone up a whopping 22% compared to this period last year.

Unsurprisingly, Russian cities Moscow and St. Petersburg both saw significant hikes in cost of living expenses, while Ukraine capital Kyiv was not analyzed this year.

In addition to gas costs, one factor cited by the EIU was the uneven value of the Euro, which is used by some but not all of the European cities on this year’s list — the U.K. is on the pound, and Switzerland has the franc.

Two cities in Switzerland made the list, one of which was Geneva. (Adobe Stock via CNN)

Three other cities in Europe — Stockholm, Lyon and Luxembourg — also declined on the list.

A first-ever winner

Although it seems like New York City should have topped the list by now, this is the first time the biggest city in the U.S. has landed in first place — albeit in a tie with frequent winner Singapore.

A general view of the city skyline is seen with the lights switched on just before the Earth Hour environmental campaign in Singapore on March 26. (Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images via CNN)

In 2021’s accounting, New York was in sixth place.

Two other American metropolises also made the top 10 — Los Angeles in a tie for fourth place with Hong Kong and San Francisco in eighth.

San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities to live in 2022. (Sergey Novikov/Adobe Stock via CNN)

In total, 22 of the 172 cities the EIU tracks annually are in the U.S., including Portland, Boston, Chicago and Charlotte. Every single one of those 22 experienced a rise in inflation this year.

Meanwhile, last year’s winner, Tel Aviv, fell to third place.

How the list is made

In order to create the list, the EIU compares more than 400 individual prices across more than 200 products and services in 172 cities. They survey a range of businesses, both high and low end, to get a sense of how much prices have fluctuated over the past year.

Another company, the global mobility firm ECA International, publishes its own rankings of the world’s priciest cities every year. The ECA list uses slightly different methodology, looking at everyday expenses like rent and the cost of public transit and does not include luxury products in its calculations.

Its list, published in June, awarded Hong Kong the title of most expensive city for the third year straight and New York in second. However, the ECA’s list leans heavily toward big cities in Asia, as Seoul, Shanghai and other East Asian urban centers all landed in the top 10.

The EIU list is benchmarked against prices in New York City, hence cities with currencies that are stronger against the U.S. dollar are likely to appear higher in the rankings.

The world’s 10 most expensive cities to live in 2022

1. New York and Singapore (tie)

3. Tel Aviv, Israel

4. Hong Kong and Los Angeles (tie)

6. Zurich, Switzerland

7. Geneva, Switzerland

8. San Francisco, California

9. Paris, France

10. Copenhagen, Denmark

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

World News

An Egyptian archeologist speaks at a recently discovered tomb dated to the Old Kingdom, 2700–2200...

Egypt unveils tombs and sarcophagus in new excavation

Egypt on Thursday unveiled dozens of new archaeological discoveries, including two ancient tombs, at a Pharaonic necropolis just outside of the capital Cairo.
4 days ago
A Yanomami youth carries a toddler on his shoulders at the Saude Indigenous House, a center respons...
Eleoneore Hughes and Edmar Barros, Associated Press

Why Brazil’s Yanomami are being decimated by disease, mining

Severe malnutrition and disease, particularly malaria, are decimating the Yanomami population in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, and on Jan. 20 the federal government declared a public health emergency.
4 days ago
Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, tours a neighborhood in Kharkiv ...
Hanna Arhirova, Associated Press

Russian attacks on Ukraine reported; tank training to start

Ukrainian officials say Russia has launched a new wave of missile and self-exploding drone attacks on the country.
5 days ago
woman leans off skyscraper for video content...
Larry D. Curtis

Sundance: ‘Fantastic Machine’ entertains while examining relationship between humans and camera

While the Utah's political leaders grapple with laws to combat the dangers of social media, Utah's Sundance Film Festival premiered "Fantastic Machine," turning the camera lens not only the camera but what it has meant to humans — spoiler: it has drastically changed us.
6 days ago
U.S. M1/A1 Abrams tanks...
TARA COPP and LOLITA BALDOR Associated Press

Why the US flipped on sending tanks to Ukraine

For months, U.S. officials balked at sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, insisting they were too complicated and too hard to maintain and repair.
6 days ago
This diagram made available by NASA shows the estimated trajectory of asteroid 2023 BU, in red, aff...
Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

Asteroid coming exceedingly close to Earth, but will miss

An asteroid the size of a delivery truck will whip past Earth on Thursday night, one of the closest encounters ever recorded.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
These are the world’s most expensive cities to live in 2022