Singapore: World’s Costliest City

The city-state of Singapore is now officially the costliest, or most expensive, city to live in the world. This news was released in the 2014 Worldwide Cost of Living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) which, by what The Wall Street Journal reports, a relocation tool that compares the cost of living between 131 cities worldwide to New York, which has a score of 100. The main purpose for the survey is to examine prices across 160 products and services in 140 cities to help companies calculate allowances for executives being sent overseas.

According to MSN News, the declining value of the yen is the reason last year’s costliest city, Tokyo, slid down to sixth place this year giving Singapore the opportunity to take the top spot. Their position, however, is a jump from last year since they were the one in the sixth place position. The 40% rise in the Singapore dollar along with solid price inflation, especially with transport costs, utilities, and alcohol, are the primary reasons for why Singapore is now number one.

To better understand how expensive it is to live in Singapore, it is best to look at the price curb for ownership for automobiles, which includes a quota system and high taxes. For example, a new Toyota Corolla Altis costs $110,000 in Singapore compared to around $35,000 in Malaysia. Overall, transport costs are almost three times higher than that of New York City.

As it pertains to utilities, the survey had this explanation:

In addition, as a city-state with very few natural resources to speak of, Singapore is reliant on other countries for energy and water supplies, making it the third most expensive destination for utility costs.

It should also be reported that Singapore has the highest concentration of millionaires to its 5.4 million population. Ergo, malls and boutiques in its popular Orchard Road retail hub import luxury European brands to “satisfy a wealthy and fashion-conscious consumer base”. Its per capita income of more than $51,000 in 2012 masks a widening income gap between the richest and poorest.

Singapore isn’t the only city to rise dramatically in expensiveness. Paris jumped six places to become the second costliest city in the world. This is a trend the EIU said was indicative of recovering European prices and currencies. The editor of the survey report, Jon Copestack, said this about Paris’s improvement though it relates to European cities as a whole:

Improving sentiment in structurally expensive European cities combined with the continued rise of Asian hubs means that these two regions continue to supply most of the world’s most expensive cities.

Other cities to be in the top ten include Sydney, Melbourne, Caracas, Geneva, and Tokyo. New York City, the city which is the base for the survey, came in at the 26th place. As for Singapore, they may not be the costliest city by this time, next year. That’s how long it took for Tokyo to lose its number one spot so it is possible that is how long it will take Singapore to lose its spot too. Tokyo actually might be back on top in 2020, since they are the city to host the 2020 Olympic Games, which was earlier reported here on The Inquisitr.

[Photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons]