Tel Aviv has been named the most expensive city in the world to live in a new report published by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
What Happened: This marks the first time that the Israeli city secured the top spot in the EIU’s worldwide cost of living index analysis. Last year, it placed fifth.
Tel Aviv’s ascension was primarily fueled by the strength of the Israeli shekel, which the EIU noted was “buoyed against the dollar by Israel’s successful Covid-19 vaccine rollout.” This contributed to a significant rise in consumer goods and gasoline — the EIU research determined the local inflation rate for the prices of 200 goods and services that it tracked was up by 3.5% year-on-year in local currency in September, the fastest pace of inflation recorded by its index in five years.
What Else Happened: Last year, Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong tied for first place. This year, Paris tied with Singapore in second place, with Zurich in fourth and Hong Kong in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 most expensive cities were New York, Geneva, Copenhagen, Los Angeles and Osaka. The fastest rising city among the 173 localities surveyed was Tehran, with the Iranian capital rising from 79th last year to 29th due to rising import prices and good shortages created by the U.S. economic sanctions.
What Happens Next: Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai wasn't exactly jubilant to learn about his city’s new status, adding that rising property prices — which were not a factor in the EIU analysis — would further exacerbate efforts to keep the city from becoming excessively expensive.
"Tel Aviv will become increasingly more expensive, just as the entire country is becoming more expensive," he said in an interview with Haaretz. "The fundamental problem is that in Israel there is no alternative metropolitan center. In the United States, there is New York, Chicago, Miami and so on. In Britain, there's Greater London, Manchester and Liverpool. There you can move to another city if the cost of living is too onerous."
Photo: Kirk K / Flickr Creative Commons
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