Some places are much more expensive than others, but to what degree? To help global investors, workers and travelers compare prices and earnings worldwide, UBS Wealth Management conducts an in-depth survey every few years and updates the data yearly. Questions are asked about the cost of 122 goods and services and about wages in 14 key professions in 73 of the world’s most populous cities.
The latest findings account for factors like cumulative inflation, GDP growth and changes in foreign-exchange rates, but exclude rent. New York is used as the benchmark at 100, and 13 cities were found to be costlier to live and work in than the Big Apple in 2011.
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is located less than 100 miles from the equator and is one of the world's leading financial and trading centers. It’s also home to about 5 million people and more “millionaire households” per capita than any other country. The World Bank says it’s the easiest place in the world to do business. Dining and shopping are considered to be among residents’ favorite activities.
Toronto is the largest city in Canada, with more than 2.5 million residents in the central area and more than 5 million in the broader metro region. It is Canada’s economic capital and has more corporate headquarters than any other Canadian city. It’s also the most expensive Canadian city and home to teams in seven major-league sports.
Helsinki, in southern Finland on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, is home to about 1.1 million people in the metro area. The capital city is also located within 250 miles of Stockholm, St. Peterburg and Tallinn, Estonia. It features the National Museum of Finland, University of Helsinki, Finnish National Gallery, Finnish National Theatre, Finnish National Opera and the Helsinki Ice Hall.
Sydney is Australia’s most populous city with about 3.5 million inhabitants and is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson or Sydney Harbour, which includes the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. The city is known for its temperate climate and as the home of several notable parks, including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens. It has a growing reputation as an international commercial and cultural center.
Tokyo is the capital of Japan and home to more than 8 million people. The wider metro area includes about 35 million people and an economy worth roughly $1.5 trillion. It is the base of nearly 50 of the Fortune Global 500 companies and has the largest urban railway network in the world. Along with Tokyo Tower, other popular areas in the city are Ueno Park, the Imperial Palace, Shunjuku and Harajuku, known for its youth style and fashion.
Stockholm is the largest city in Sweden. With about 2 million people, its metro area constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. It is the site of the national Swedish government, the Riksdag (parliament) and the official residence of the Swedish monarch as well as the prime minister. Its strategic location on 14 islands at the mouth of Lake Mälaren has helped it earn the nickname “Venice of the North.”
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with a metropolitan population of about 2 million. It is situated on the islands of Zealand and Amager and is a major regional center of culture, business, media and science. It is also considered one of the world's most environmentally friendly cities with more than one-third of its residents commuting to work by bicycle.
Geneva is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland (after Zurich) and the most populous city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated on the Rhone, where the river exits Lake Geneva, the financial center is also home to many international and U.N. organizations. The scenic city is located near Mont Salève and Mont Blanc.
Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city with about 2 million residents, is located in the center of the country and on the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich. The German-speaking global financial center includes a large number of financial institutions and banks. It also boasts a low tax rate that attracts overseas companies and investors.
Oslo is the capital of Norway, as well as the cultural, scientific, economic and governmental center of the country. The city is also a hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping.
Its population is roughly 1.4 million, with immigrants now representing about one-fourth of its total residents. Surrounded by green hills and mountains, Oslo has 40 islands within its city limits, the largest being Malmøya.
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