Oslo, Zurich World’s Most Expensive Cities; Mumbai Cheapest, Says Report

By Peter Valk
Peter Valk
Peter Valk
Peter Valk is a tea expert who has extensively travelled in Asia, interrupted by odd jobs and a short spell of studying anthropology in the Netherlands. In his travels, he steeped himself in Asian culture, learned Chinese, met his wife and found his passion. He has been in tea business over seven years, selling Chinese tea and giving workshops on Chinese tea and culture. Currently, he is living in the Netherlands where he is busily but mostly happily making up for his travel time.
September 16, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Skyline in Oslo, rated the most expensive city, at the Norwegian capital's waterfront and entertainment area, as a break in the cloud cover lets light in, at dusk.  (Odd Andersen/Getty Images )
Skyline in Oslo, rated the most expensive city, at the Norwegian capital's waterfront and entertainment area, as a break in the cloud cover lets light in, at dusk. (Odd Andersen/Getty Images )
Oslo, Zurich, and Geneva are the most expensive cities in the world, followed closely by Tokyo, Copenhagen, and New York, according to a "global purchasing power comparison" survey published this week by UBS, Wealth Management Research.

The survey covers the price of 122 different goods and services and includes 112 questions related to wages, payroll deductions, and working hours for 15 occupations in 73 cities around the world.

At the bottom of the price level list were Mumbai, Manila, Bucharest and Delhi.

While price tags for everyday items were high in the cities that top the list, salaries in most of those cities are also among the highest in the world. However, the differences in payroll deductions can make for considerable differences in net wage. For example, gross wages in Copenhagen and Zurich are at the same level, but net wages in Zurich are 30 percent higher after deductions.

In terms of how to optimize your purchasing power, your best bet would be to receive your salary in Zurich and spend it in Mumbai—apart from the logistical challenges of course. If you just want to spend your salary at home, with optimum purchasing power, then best to live, and more importantly work in, Zurich, Sydney, Miami, Los Angeles, or Luxemburg.

Auckland and Sydney quickly rose in the price level ranking this year, about 20 places, due to the large appreciation of the New Zealand and Australian dollars. The quickest risers in terms of purchasing power were Doha, Dublin, and Riga. While the largest relative decreases were seen in Hong Kong and Taiwan's Taipei.

 

 

Peter Valk
Peter Valk
Peter Valk is a tea expert who has extensively travelled in Asia, interrupted by odd jobs and a short spell of studying anthropology in the Netherlands. In his travels, he steeped himself in Asian culture, learned Chinese, met his wife and found his passion. He has been in tea business over seven years, selling Chinese tea and giving workshops on Chinese tea and culture. Currently, he is living in the Netherlands where he is busily but mostly happily making up for his travel time.