New York is Expensive, But Not As Expensive As Before

A stronger dollar and the rising price of goods has pushed New York City up in the ranks of the world’s most expensive cities, but living in the five boroughs remains relatively affordable on a cost-of-living list compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Financial instability in Europe and a slow recovery from the recession in the U.S. has resulted in a stronger dollar and an increase in prices, boosting New York 19 places in the latest survey and lifting the ranks of all 16 U.S. cities profiled. New York is currently the 27th most expensive out of 131 cities in the study, up from 48 two years ago.

In a ranking of the most expensive cities in the world, New York is ranked 27th and is tied with Los Angeles according to a cost-of-living index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Japan’s Tokyo and Osaka rank 1 and 2, respectively, and The Wall Street Journal reminds us that although it’s no longer the 10th most expensive city in the world (which was what NYC ranked a decade ago), it’s still a “challenging place to live for lower-income families.” Yes, we certainly haven’t forgotten that.


10 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

I didn’t find Tokyo all that expensive, but I guess I was only there for 10 days.

Oh and the EIU survey is a little biased because it measures the cost of “an expatriate lifestyle” (it’s targeted at international business folks) and specifically a Western, Anglo-Saxon one. For instance, on the homepage of the survey they show a price comparison of the cost of 1kg of sliced white bread, which apparently costs $10 in Paris, the most expensive city.

If you’re somehow paying $10 to buy a loaf of Wonder Bread or whatever in Paris then yeah, it’s going to be expensive for you to live there, and also your life sucks.

EM (#1,012)

@stuffisthings On the other hand if you are paying $10 to buy a loaf of bread in Paris and you don’t have to think twice about it then your life is AMAZING because you are obviously rich and in Paris.

Trilby (#191)

Not as expensive as before WHAT? The costs of everything here have never been higher. Other places may be even more expenses but that doesn’t mean NYC is “not as expensive as before.”

Ti:Sapph (#2,050)

Yep. There Sydney is at #3. That sounds about right to me.

saritasara (#2,710)

I realize this is calculated in Western expat dollars, like @stuffisthings says, but shouldn’t the cost of real-estate alone bump up New York’s ranking?
I live in Tokyo and it is expensive — my apt right now is about 27 sq meters and I’m paying 87000 yen (about $930 with current exchange rate). Which is totally expensive, but it sounds maybe cheaper than New York?

Tokyo is one of those places that’s objectively expensive, but you can live really cheaply if you put in even a little bit of effort.

nutmeg (#1,383)

Oh man the perfect forum to trot out my oft-repeated anecdatum on this! My boyfriend’s friend’s friend (sorry) was visiting Boston from NYC and we were all at a bar. BFFF sez, “We got two beers and two shots for $26, can you believe how-” all of us pause, holding back the shouts of “overpriced”- “inexpensive that is?”

I later found out he rents in a 1.5 bedroom (which, what is that) for $1800 a month.

Liz (#504)

Yeah, I always get confused about how Tokyo and Osaka could possibly be on this list. I lived for a year in a VERY central area of Tokyo (one station away from Shinjuku) and paid $700 a month for a room in a classy guesthouse (which is like a really huge communal house–I think mine had 10-12 people in it). You could definitely get a room a lot cheaper than that–I was paying for location + cleanliness (the place paid for a cleaner for common areas.) And I strongly suspect real estate in Osaka is dirt cheap compared to Tokyo. When I lived there it was in a dorm in the suburbs, but things certainly seemed cheaper than Tokyo.

As a chronically poor person, I would way rather live in Tokyo than New York, just based on what I’ve read in this very blog about trying to get apartments there. Plus Tokyo is one of the safest cities in the world, so you can pretty much take all the money-shortcuts you need to without worrying about being anything.

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