As population grows people need to find more engaging, stable means of livelihood. They gravitate from small towns to the big city. Over time, the big city become too overloaded and population pressures drive up the cost of living in these cities. People still hang around and more keep coming. Infrastructure is scaled up to cater to the new requirements and the cost distributed amongst the inhabitants. This goes on ad infinitum driving up the costliness of a city over the years. They are costly but at the same time they are heavenly to live in or even visit.
Here, we look at the top 5 most expensive cities in the world:
Singapore is a city in South-Eastern Asia. It became a self-governing state after dissociating from Malaysia in 1965. Land is at a premium in Singapore, heavily so. Almost 50% of the landmass, comprising of 63 islands, is covered with greenery. The GDP PPP per capita of this city-country is a whopping US$59,936 which ranks at number three in the world. The economy is based on manufacturing and service industries. Tourism is a very large chunk of the income. The government is exceptionally proactive in keeping Singapore a clean and progressive city. Cars for instance are not easy to own in Singapore, one needs to pay up to $40000 for a Certificate of Entitlement just to be allowed to purchase a car and keep it for 10years. Public transport is very well maintained and is the best mode of transport. Similarly, housing is also very expensive, a three room HDB (public housing flat) costs $250000 per month. Usually a bunch of office workers rent a flat and stay together to offset the costs. It is, however, so clean, organized, modern and at the same time so beautiful that you might overlook the fact that it’s actually pretty darn expensive.
4. Oslo, Norway
Oslo, the capital of Norway, is a compact, very well organized city. It would be possible to cover the whole city on a bicycle if one so desired. The population is relatively low at 550,000 inhabitants. Oslo is the city where most European maritime industries are headquartered. Oil and gas companies are also located in Oslo. In all, there are headquarters of around 3000 of the world’s biggest oil and shipping industries located in the relatively small city of Oslo. Transportation is relatively simple as city bikes are available on rent. Oslo has a lot of green cover and is also rated as second on the list of world’s greenest most liveable cities. The extent of costliness of the city is probably most starkly evident the moment you walk into any bar and ask for a beer, alcohol availability and consumption like everything else is highly regulated and state controlled. So a beer is pretty much all you would probably get at an Oslo pub and you would probably pay around $15 for that beer. The flip side is that because of the stringent state controlled of prices and availability Oslo has not seen any impact of the economic meltdown and unemployment has never gone over 3%, that being said people are happy in Oslo as cost of living is lavishly offset by the wages.
3. Sydney, Australia
Sydney is a harbour city in Australia built on the hills surrounding Port Jackson. It is the most populous city in Australia. Single handed Sydney provides 25% of the national GDP of Australia; the economy is mainly based on the services and information sectors. Four out of the top ten companies in Australia are head quartered in Sydney. One of the reasons Sydney is costly, is that manual labour or any kind of services are very highly priced, the minimum wage being $12, and strictly implemented. Nonetheless, Sydney is a beautiful place to live in and people are very friendly.
2. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is the capital of Japan, it is located on the south-eastern side of the main island of Honshu, Japan. Tokyo is populated by over 35 million people who collectively make it the world’s largest metropolitan economy in the world ahead of even New York. 51 out of the companies listed in the Global 500 are head quartered in Tokyo, that’s exactly 100% more than Paris which has the second highest number of Fortune 500 headquarters. The mainstay of Tokyo’s economy is international finance as most of the world’s insurance companies and largest investment bankers are situated in Tokyo. Just for perspectives sake, a loaf of bread in Tokyo costs $7.96.
1. Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich is a beautiful city in Switzerland. It is the largest city in Switzerland. Zurich is home to most of the world’s largest financial and banking giants. Zurich also has a booming tourist industry owing to the huge amount of history and the beauty of the surroundings. It is situated at the tip of Lake Zurich, with loads of green cover, snowcapped mountains surrounding it and dreamy architecture evident all over the city. Public transport is very well developed and is the most preferred mode of transport for local inhabitants. The charming thing about Zurich is that it is a conglomeration of people from multiple nationalities who have settled here. The cost of living is the highest in the world, but for a city so beautiful and so critical to the financial world, $2.26 for a liter of petrol is not something that would sound too high, after all they call it the city made for romance when selling honeymoon packages to Zurich.