Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv has been officially crowned as the most expensive city in the world, knocking last year’s winners, Paris, Hong Kong, and Zurich off their pedestal.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Tel Aviv ranks first overall out of 173 cities, second for the cost of alcohol and transportation, fifth for personal care, and sixth for recreation. Last year, Tel Aviv ranked sixth overall; the strength of the shekel, along with price increases for transport and groceries, are considered responsible for its higher ranking this year, along with the increased volatility of markets and prices due to the coronavirus epidemic.

In second place this year are Paris and Singapore, followed by Zurich in third place and then Hong Kong. New York is in sixth place, Geneva in seventh, followed by Copenhagen, Los Angeles, and Osaka.

The biggest drop in rank was that of Rome, which fell 16 places to become the 48th most expensive city in the world, largely due to a drop in the prices of groceries and clothing. By contrast, Tehran, Iran’s capital, rose 50 places to become the 29th most expensive city, due to shortages of goods and rising import prices following the reimposition of sanctions by the United States.

Damascus, the Syrian capital, was bottom of the list as the world’s cheapest city, beating out Tripoli in Libya and Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

The Economist Intelligence Unit uses data compiled from 50,000 goods and services, including rental prices, in 173 cities. On average, it found, prices have risen by 3.5% in local currency terms, which is the fastest inflation rate recorded in the last five years.