Findings from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’s 2020 Worldwide Cost of Living survey revealed that Singapore no longer tops the list of the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates.
Singapore occupying fourth place in the survey this year marks the first time in seven years in which the city-state did not rank first place in the EIU Worldwide Cost of Living survey.
The new rankings, published on Wednesday (Nov 18), saw the city of Zurich in Switzerland listed as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates to live in.
Zurich tied with France’s capital Paris as well as with Hong Kong.
Israel’s Tel Aviv ranked one place below Singapore in the survey, sharing the fifth spot with Japan’s Osaka.
Singapore’s place reportedly fell due to factors such as the mass exit of migrant workers linked to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, an overall decrease in population for the first time since 2003, and falling demand in addition to deflation.
Compared to Zurich and Paris, the cost of living in Singapore had decreased, the EIU survey found.
The rise of Zurich and Paris in the survey, on the other hand, is attributed to a strengthened Swiss Franc and Euro against the United States Dollar.
The survey compares the cost of living across 133 cities globally using 10 categories of nearly 140 consumer goods and services, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the prices of such goods and services.
Other factors cited in the change in rankings include supply chain issues leading to shortages of certain goods such as pasta and toilet rolls and subsequent price hikes, global decrease in wages resulting in less consumer spending, and government policies such as price controls.