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Visualized: The Most (and Least) Expensive Cities to Live In

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Infographic showing the Most and Least Expensive Cities in the world

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Visualizing The Most (and Least) Expensive Cities to Live In

There are many benefits to living in an iconic city like New York or Singapore, but the amenities and exclusivity can come at a high cost.

Cities become “expensive” due to a variety of factors such as high demand for housing, a concentration of high-paying businesses and industries, and a high standard of living. Additionally, factors such as taxes, transportation costs, and availability of goods and services can also contribute to the overall cost of living in global cities.

The infographic above uses data from EIU to rank the world most and least expensive cities to live in. To make the list, the EIU examines 400+ prices for over 200 products and services in 172 cities, surveying a variety of businesses to track price fluctuations over the last year.

Inflation + Strong Currency = Expensive Cities

If you live in a city where many residents find it challenging to put a roof over their heads, food on their plates, and make ends meet, you live in an expensive city.

But if this inflation is compounded with a strong national currency, you may live in one of the world’s most expensive cities.

Rank CityCountryIndex Score
#1Singapore🇸🇬 Singapore100
#1New York 🇺🇸 U.S.100
#3Tel Aviv🇮🇱 Israel99
#4Hong Kong🇭🇰 Hong Kong98
#4Los Angeles🇺🇸 U.S.98
#6Zurich🇨🇭 Switzerland94
#7Geneva🇨🇭 Switzerland91
#8San Francisco🇺🇸 U.S.85
#9Paris🇫🇷 France84
#10Copenhagen🇩🇰 Denmark83

Singapore and New York City tied for the first rank amongst the world’s most expensive cities in 2022, pushing Israel’s Tel Aviv from the first place in 2021 to the third place in 2022. Both these cities had high inflation and a strong currency. Surprisingly, this is the Big Apple’s first time atop the ranking.

The city with one of the most expensive real estate markets worldwide, Hong Kong ranked fourth in this list, followed by Los Angeles, which moved up from its ninth rank in 2021.

Poor Economies = Cheaper Cities

Asia continues to dominate the list of the world’s least expensive cities, followed by parts of North Africa and the Middle East. Though affordability sounds good at face value, sitting at the bottom of the ranking isn’t necessarily a coveted position.

While the cost of living in some of the cities in these nations is low, it comes at the price of a weak currency, poor economy, and, in many cases, political and economic turmoil.

RankCityCountryIndex Score
#161Colombo🇱🇰 Sri Lanka38
#161Bangalore🇮🇳 India38
#161Algiers🇩🇿 Algeria38
#164Chennai🇮🇳 India37
#165Ahmedabad🇮🇳 India35
#166Almaty🇰🇿 Kazakhstan34
#167Karachi🇵🇰 Pakistan32
#168Tashkent🇺🇿 Uzbekistan31
#169Tunis🇹🇳 Tunisia30
#170Tehran🇮🇷 Iran23
#171Tripoli🇱🇾 Libya22
#172Dasmascus 🇸🇾 Syria11

The decade-long conflict in Syria weakened the Syrian pound, led to a spiraling inflation and fuel shortages, and further collapsed its economy. It’s no surprise that its capital city of Damascus has maintained its position as the world’s cheapest city.

Tripoli and Tehran, the capitals of Libya and Iran, respectively, follow next on this list, reflecting their weakened economies.

Meanwhile, seven cities in Asia with the common denominator of high-income inequality and low wages dominate the list of the world’s cheapest cities. These include three Indian cities, Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Almaty in Kazakhstan, Pakistan’s most populous city of Karachi, and Sri Lankan capital–Colombo.

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Demographics

The Smallest Gender Wage Gaps in OECD Countries

Which OECD countries have the smallest gender wage gaps? We look at the 10 countries with gaps lower than the average.

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Chart showing the OECD countries with the 10 smallest gender pay gaps

The Smallest Gender Pay Gaps in OECD Countries

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Among the 38 member countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), several have made significant strides in addressing income inequality between men and women.

In this graphic we’ve ranked the OECD countries with the 10 smallest gender pay gaps, using the latest data from the OECD for 2022.

The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between median full-time earnings for men and women divided by the median full-time earnings of men.

Which Countries Have the Smallest Gender Pay Gaps?

Luxembourg’s gender pay gap is the lowest among OECD members at only 0.4%—well below the OECD average of 11.6%.

RankCountryPercentage Difference in Men's & Women's Full-time Earnings
1🇱🇺 Luxembourg0.4%
2🇧🇪 Belgium1.1%
3🇨🇷 Costa Rica1.4%
4🇨🇴 Colombia1.9%
5🇮🇪 Ireland2.0%
6🇭🇷 Croatia3.2%
7🇮🇹 Italy3.3%
8🇳🇴 Norway4.5%
9🇩🇰 Denmark5.8%
10🇵🇹 Portugal6.1%
OECD Average11.6%

Notably, eight of the top 10 countries with the smallest gender pay gaps are located in Europe, as labor equality laws designed to target gender differences have begun to pay off.

The two other countries that made the list were Costa Rica (1.4%) and Colombia (1.9%), which came in third and fourth place, respectively.

How Did Luxembourg (Nearly) Eliminate its Gender Wage Gap?

Luxembourg’s virtually-non-existent gender wage gap in 2020 can be traced back to its diligent efforts to prioritize equal pay. Since 2016, firms that have not complied with the Labor Code’s equal pay laws have been subjected to penalizing fines ranging from €251 to €25,000.

Higher female education rates also contribute to the diminishing pay gap, with Luxembourg tied for first in the educational attainment rankings of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index Report for 2023.

See More Graphics about Demographics and Money

While these 10 countries are well below the OECD’s average gender pay gap of 11.6%, many OECD member countries including the U.S. are significantly above the average. To see the full list of the top 10 OECD countries with the largest gender pay gaps, check out this visualization.

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