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Most Expensive City To Live In The World Survey

First Posted: 02/16/2012 11:46 am Updated: 02/16/2012 11:55 am

Looking to relocate? You might want to take a peek at the Economist Intelligence Unit's new report on which cities have the most expensive cost-of-living before settling on a destination.

Their conclusion? As in previous years, steer clear of Japan and Switzerland if you're keen on saving. Both countries dominate the top-ten of most expensive locations in the world.

The group explains:

Both Japan and Switzerland have seen strong currency movements over the last few years which have made them relatively more expensive. This has become especially true of Switzerland in the last year, where investors looking for a haven currency outside the beleaguered Eurozone have invested heavily in the Swiss Franc, prompting an unprecedented move by the Swiss government to peg the Swiss Franc to the Europe to keep the currency competitive.

The cheapest cities in the world are located on the Indian subcontinent and in the Middle East. According to the study, the world's cheapest destinations are Karachi, Pakistan; Mumbai, India; and Tehran, Iran.

The Economist's bi-annual report analyzes the cost of living in 140 cities in 93 countries worldwide, comparing prices of costs such as food, drink, clothing, renting a home, transport and schooling. However, as The Atlantic Wire points out, determining what makes a city more expensive than others is a complicated affair: "The most expensive loaf of bread belongs to Tokyo, where a 1 kg-supermarket loaf costs $7.96, compared to Hong Kong ($2.91). But a liter of gas in Hong Kong costs $2.13, more than a liter in Tokyo."

Can you guess the world's most expensive city? Find out if you're right in the slideshow below!


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  • 10. Frankfurt, Germany

    Nightly view of the skyline of Frankfurt/Main, Germany, in this photo taken Tuesday night, Sept. 3, 2002. (AP)

  • 9. Singapore

    Telefonica Black sails on a close reach course with the Singapore skyline in the background during the fourth leg of their round the world race to Qindao, China, Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009 in Singapore. (AP)

  • 8. Melbourne, Australia

    In this photo released by Australian Grand Prix, the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix hot-air balloon flies over the city of Melbourne on Wednesday March 1, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. (AP)

  • 7. Sydney, Australia

    People walk past a shop front window with a sculpture of a kangaroo made entirely of Louis Vuitton bags in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. (AP)

  • 6. Paris, France

    Bare-chested models pose in front of the Abercrombie & Fitch shop on the Champs Elysees in Paris Thursday May 12, 2011, as of the promotion of the opening of the new U.S. brand shop in Paris. (AP)

  • 5. Oslo, Norway

    Winner Therese Johaug of Norway competes in front of the Oslo skyline during the women's 30 km mass start race at the Ski World Championships in Holmenkollen near Oslo, Norway, Saturday, March 5, 2011. (AP)

  • Tied for 3rd - Osaka Kobe, Japan

    Undated photo showing exterior view of a castle in Osaka, Japan. (AP)

  • Tied For 3rd - Geneva, Switzerland

    In this July 16, 2009 photo, two women attempt to jump into Lake Geneva in the center of Geneva, Switzerland. (AP)

  • 2. Tokyo, Japan

    In this Nov. 3, 2011 photo, people walk in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district. (AP)

  • 1. Zurich, Switzerland

    Thousands of shoppers visit the newly opened entertainment and shopping center Sihlcity in Zurich, Switzerland, Thursday, March 22, 2007. (AP)

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Filed by Eline Gordts  |