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The ten most expensive cities in the world in 2023

The metropolises where people spend the most to live well according to the report by the Swiss bank The Julius Bear. The podium? It’s all Asian

What are the cities where people spend the most to live well (and therefore, ultimately, the most expensive)? For the second year, The Julius Bear Global Wealth & Lifestyle Report asked this question , comparing twenty expenditure items (from dinners to health insurance, from cars to handbags) drawing up a list of the twenty-five most expensive cities in 2023 . Driving consumption is Asia , which takes home the entire podium: in first place, the most expensive metropolis among the expensive, is Singapore .

Italy is left out of the list of the top ten cities for wealthy people ( Milan comes in sixteenth place , while in 2022 it was thirteenth) and entire continents, such as Africa and Australia (to find Johannesburg and Sydney you have to scroll down to at number 25 and number 17). Paris also bids farewell to the top ten, slipping from tenth to thirteenth position .

The unit of measurement

But how does the Lifestyle Index developed by the Swiss bank The Julius Bear work? The index is based on a basket of twelve consumer goods and eight services which represent an example of the purchases that could be made by an HNWI , or High Net Worth Individual . So there are jewels, cars, women’s handbags and shoes, men’s suits, dinners in high-end restaurants. But also bicycles, treadmills , watches, whiskey, wine, houses , technological products, private schools, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), health insurance. And more business class flights , hotel suites, lawyers and Lasik, the surgical technology to correct vision defects.

In short: the consumption of the rich in cities for the rich tends to be analysed , the data for which were collected between November 2022 and March 2023. In general, the report explains, compared to 2022 the overall price of goods and services has increased in average of 13 percent in local currencies and 6 percent in dollars. The document, which can be consulted online , also highlights how after the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a greater tendency to spend and enjoy one’s wealth, despite the uncertainties due for example to Russia’s war in Ukraine .

  • SingaporePEXELS01SingaporeIn first place in the ranking of the most expensive cities in the world according to the report is Singapore . The island city-state jumped to the top of the list from fifth place last year (in 2021 it was ninth). According to the document, the high demand for housing , rare school places and the general cost of living contribute to making the city particularly expensive .
  • ShanghaiPEXELS02ShanghaiConsidered the economic capital of China, Shanghai has slipped from first to second place in the space of a year. Here, the report explains, average prices increased by only 3 percent in twelve months: among the reasons there are probably the strict restrictions wanted by the Chinese government to combat Covid-19 .
  • Hong KongPEXELS03Hong KongClosing the all-Asian podium is Hong Kong , an autonomous territory in the south-east of China. In 2022 it was in fourth place, but the growth of recent months (especially in the hospitality sector , thanks to the easing of the lockdown earlier than in other areas of the area) made it gain a position. The International Monetary Fund , explains the report, forecasts economic growth of 3.5 percent this year.
  • LondraPEXELS04LondonAt the top of the Europe of the rich is London , which in twelve months has lost two positions in the rankings (and a queen ). Although it remains the most expensive and attractive metropolis outside Asia, according to the report it is still suffering from the after-effects of Brexit and the political instability of the Boris Johnson era . An example comes from Heathrow : it remains one of the busiest airports in the world, but it has miscalculated the return to post-pandemic travel and has suffered delays and strikes .

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  • New YorkPEXELS05New YorkFifth place in the ranking goes to the Big Apple , which rises six positions (last year it was eleventh ). The growth in New York is explained by the stability of the dollar in the last twelve months and the strong recovery after the pandemic, although it started slowly and uncertainly. In fact, in the post-Covid 19 era, the metropolis has established itself as a place where it is easy to travel for work and pleasure.
  • MonacoPEXELS06MonkThe principality of Monaco , nestled in the French Riviera, remains firmly in sixth place in the rankings. In the reign of Prince Albert II, the prices of dinners, hotels, whiskey and wine especially increased in one year.
  • DubaiPEXELS07DubaiDubai makes a leap forward in the list of the most expensive cities, moving from fourteenth to seventh position . “The emirate remains objective proof of the adage  build it and they will come’ , and also a testament to the government’s power to create hubs using financial and other incentives ,” the report writes. Thanks to a more exuberant lifestyle than classic financial centers, Dubai has prevailed over Zurich , for example , with which it exchanged positions in the rankings from 2022 to 2023.

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  • TaipeiPEXELS08TaipeiThe capital of Taiwan Taipei slips in the rankings: in 2022 it was fourth, today we find it in eighth place . Among the goods that have risen in price here in the last year are hotel rooms , wine and whisky.
  • San PaoloPEXELS09St. PaulBrazilian Sao Paulo is the first Latin American city to reach the top ten of the most expensive metropolises in the world. However, the country’s financial capital, according to the report, “contains more contrast than most other cities in our index and is significantly cheaper than the global average for prime real estate, fine dining, hotels and legal services . “
  • MiamiPEXELS10You love meClosing out the top ten of the most expensive cities according to The Julius Bear’s Global Wealth & Lifestyle Report is Miami , which gains eight positions in the space of a year. In the metropolis of Florida in twelve months the prices of all twenty indicators have increased or at least remained unchanged (excluding eye operations).

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