If you just looked at the prices of goods and services in the area, Zurich would be the most expensive city on earth. Residents of this Swiss city spend more than $3,600 a month on goods and services (compared with just over $3,300 in New York City). But factor in rent — which is less than in New York (a furnished, two-room apartment there rents for just $2,500, nearly $2,000 less than in New York) — and Zurich moves down to the second most expensive city on earth.
Prices in Geneva are close to those in Zurich. Rent is just over $2,800 for a furnished two-room apartment and the average family spends more than $3,500 a month on goods and services.
High prices on goods and services — families spend more than $3,100 a month on these — put Oslo in the No. 4 spot on this list. Rents, though high (at $1,940 for a furnished two-room apartment), are still just over half of what they are in New York.
A combination of high rents (more than $2,800 a month for a furnished two-room) and high prices (an average month of goods and services costs more than $2,800) land London on the No. 5 spot on this list.
Rents in Hong Kong are astronomical (more than $4,400 for a furnished two-room, the second highest in the world), which helps cement Hong Kong’s No. 6 spot on the list. Prices for goods and services in the area are more reasonable (it ranks 19th in terms of the cost of goods and services).
The Windy City, which ranks 7th on this list, boasts both high prices and high rents. Renting a furnished two-room will cost you an average of more than $2,500 a month (roughly the same as in Zurich) and a month of goods and services will cost nearly $2,800.