World Economy

Zurich Tops World’s Most Expensive Cities

Zurich Tops World’s Most Expensive CitiesZurich Tops World’s Most Expensive Cities

Switzerland has never had a reputation as a cheap place to live, and now a study undertaken by investment bank UBS AG has named Zurich and Geneva as the world’s most expensive cities, not including rent.

Everyone likes to complain about the cost of living in their city of choice, but it turns out two cities in Switzerland are the world’s most expensive, Ledger Gazette reported.

When it comes to wage levels, however, Tel Aviv is down in thirty-third place, meaning that salaries don’t keep up with what Tel Avivians have to pay for goods and services. In Nairobi, Jakarta and Kiev, the lowest-ranked cities, workers receive only around 5% of average gross earnings in Zurich.

However a Big Mac costs the equivalent of 12 minutes work–significantly less than in the Kenyan capital Nairobi where on average it takes three hours to earn enough for the trademark burger. In Cairo, an iPhone 6 costs 353 hours’ average earnings, longer than any other Middle Eastern city in the study.

In Dublin it takes over 43 hours or about 6 work days to earn the price of the iPhone (the upfront price is lower where there is a carrier contract).

The shortest working hours were found to be in Paris, while Manama had the most paid vacation, with an average of 34 days a year.

While the wage level is the fourth-highest among Asian cities, next to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul, home rental prices in Taipei are comparatively higher than Tokyo and Seoul, according to the report. Haircuts cost the most in Oslo and are 19 times pricier on average than in Jakarta.

London has been ranked the fifth most expensive city in the world to live in which includes rent. The average rent for a two-room furnished apartment in London would be £1,828 ($2,840) compared to Beijing where it would be £740 ($1,150), according to the study.

But London is cheaper than New York where the rent would be £2,974. However, it is a lot more expensive than cities in most emerging economies like New Delhi, India's capital, where a similar apartment would cost an average of £367 per month.

The study compares purchasing power in 71 cities across the globe taking into account factors that may have affected the economy. An average Londoner earns a gross wage of £48.8 an hour compared to New York where one earns £64. Zurich is the highest paying city in the world with an average gross salary of £84.35 per hour.