The Most Expensive Cities in the World After the Pandemic

A recent survey revealed the most expensive cities in the world after the pandemic. To prepare the ranking, the publication took into account the results of the World Cost of Living Survey 2020. For 30 years, this survey has evaluated the prices of 160 goods and services in 133 localities located around the world.

Beautiful night Dubai cityscape

Which were the most expensive cities in the world before the pandemic?

The report was released this November and, as might be expected, revealed that the pandemic has changed people’s lifestyles. In addition, the restrictive measures caused a drastic contraction in world finances. Last June, the World Bank warned that globally it would experience the worst recession since World War II. It also explained that it would be the first time since 1870 that so many economies would suffer a decrease in per capita product. These facts affected the list of the most expensive cities in the world. Until mid-March, before the pandemic, the scenario was a little different. Before the end of the first quarter of 2021, several countries will declare a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, the ten most expensive cities in the world were as follows:

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

In 2019, for the first time in ranking history, Singapore, Osaka and Hong Kong tied for first place. New York rose to fourth place and Los Angeles to eighth. At that time it was specified that this scenario was created in the United States by the strength of its local currency. It even highlighted the stability of its domestic demand. This had an impact on the increase in the prices of basic items, such as clothing. The report revealed that in most Chinese cities, costs increased due to trade tensions between the America the Asia.

Which are the most expensive cities in the world after the pandemic?

According to the report, the variation in the cost of living in 2020 was due to the following factors:

  • Currency volatility
  • Supply chain problems
  • Impact of taxes
  • Changes in consumer habits
10. Copenhagen, Denmark
9. Los Angeles United States
8. Geneva, Switzerland
7. New York, USA
6. Tel Aviv, Israel

According to the latest survey, Singapore was displaced to the fourth most expensive city in the world after its prices fell. This was caused by the departure of foreign workers after the pandemic.

5. Osaka, Japan

Osaka, Japan at Osaka Castle

In Osaka, consumer goods costs stagnated. As a result, the Japanese government was forced to subsidize expenses such as public transport. In the United States, New York fell several places. In the end, it was next to Geneva, Los Angeles and Copenhagen in the list of the most expensive cities in the world.

4. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore Skyline

According to the report, the impact of the pandemic on the dollar was a decisive factor for the variation in the cost of living. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the US dollar to lose value. For their part, the currencies of Western Europe and North Asia have strengthened. This had consequences on the price of goods and services.

3. Paris, France

Symbol of Paris

2. Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong

1. Zurich, Switzerland


Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong were tied for first place in the world’s most expensive cities after the pandemic by two factors:

  • The rise of the euro
  • Increase in the Swiss franc
  • Both currencies strengthened against the dollar. This caused the basic basket to rise 0.3 points on average so far this year.

The pandemic caused an increase in consumption categories such as tobacco or recreational activities. In particular, the latter is related to electronic devices. These, in turn, became commodities through teleworking. In contrast, the sector with the lowest sales was clothing. The lockdown slowed down this market as workers began working at home.