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World's most expensive cities
Below we publish a cross-sections of recent comments by City Mayors readers. If you wish to join our worldwide dialogue on urban affairs, then please post your views, comments or suggestions using the form at the bottom of this page.
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World’s most expensive cities
From Raul Robles, Brasilia, Brazil:
I saw your table with The world's most expensive cities in 2008, and don’t agree. I live in Brasilia DF, capital of Brazil, for a diplomatic mission and I have certainty Brasilia is more expensive than many cities in your table. In general, Brasilian principals cities are very expensive because the government establishes hghg taxes. But I visited Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and that least expensives like Brasilia. However Brasilia d'ont appear in the table. I don’t understand how a capital of any important country does not appear in a table. Besides, know many diplomatic people of American and European countries, from cities like Toronto, Madrid, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Miami, Caracas, México, Santiago de Chile think Brasilia is more expensive than their cities. All things, properties, services, food, housing, dressing, etc. are very expensive. For example, one car Toyota Corolla made in Brazil, full and new cost in this country US Dollar $54,000. That car in others countries including United States costs about US Dollar $ 20,000. I wish your table ‘Most expensive cities’ with real information and including Brasilia. (Posted 9 July 2008)
From TJ, San Francisco, USA:
The article needs to publish the population threshold of who gets included and it needs to clarify the definition of city. This chart can substantially change as a metropolitan region is brought into consideration. Many American metropolitan regions are artificially impoverished on these types of lists because American cities tend to concentrate wealthier populations in neighbouring metropolitan regions, whereas in Europe of Asia such separation does not happen to the same degree.
From Donna C, Boston, USA:
Although I am from Boston, I have been living in Abuja, Nigeria for the past year, and I am quite surprised not to see Abuja on your list. I am sure Abuja is more expensive than London.
From Gideon, Singapore:
This would be a better list if 50 or 100 more cities were included.
From John C.W:
In compiling your list of most expensive cities worldwide, why do you insist on standardizing all costs relative to the American Dollar? This means that the cost of those cities only pertains to a person spending or earning American dollars. It does not address the costs relative to what a person typically earns in that city. Wouldn’t it be far more meaningful and informative if you took the median income earned in that particular city and compared it to costs incurred in that city such as food, transportation and housing (which itself should be the median price). For example, prices may be cheap in American dollars in Lagos, Nigeria thus giving it a low ranking in terms of costs. But what if a person living in Lagos is earning an income similar to the median income for that city and the prices for food transportation and the median house price/rent is high relative to that person’s wages then Lagos should score a higher rank in the table of expensive cities. Even within the same country wages are not the same for identical occupations in different cities. A corporate lawyer in New York will earn more than a corporate lawyer in Mobile, Alabama but how do their wages compare to costs within their respective cities? This is how cost of living in cities should be ranked, not to the baseline of the American dollar.
From Salomon, Montreal, Canada:
I think Montreal is an affordable city and also provides all essentials services one can expect.
From Kirill, Moscow, Russia:
Yes, I agree that Moscow is the most expensive city. I find it very difficult to buy a one-room apartment.
From John D., Edmonton, Canada:
Edmonton is now the most expensive place to live in Canada.It cost $300 amonth to heat a house. And since power and gaz has been deregulated, electricity is going up without any end in sight.
From Ms H., London, UK:
I am appalled at the cost of every day items in London. It’s getting ridiculous!
From Glasgow Dweller, Glasgow, UK:
I was initially shocked to find Glasgow had leapt from 60 to 36 on the list but the fact that house prices, interest rates, tax on everything, petrol, diesel, gas, electricity, food prices and basically everything has risen considerably in the last year (and every year but especially this year) means the cost of living here is extremely high. However, I started a new job earlier this year and the starting salary for the role was almost identical to the starting salary when I got my first full time admin job in the city centre 10 years ago... How can we be expected to carry on like this? No wonder people's houses are being repossessed left right and centre. The only way we could afford more than a 2-bed house in a semi decent area would be to sell our overpriced and mortgaged to the hilt house in a pretty rough area and look to buy a repossessed house in a better area!
From Ahmad, Dubai:
I think Dubai should be higher on your list of most expensive cities because accommodation expenses are increasing day by day. Also the price of other goods are linked to the cost of housing and thus also rising sharply.
From Danny, Singapore:
I don't agree with the list. I think Singapore is the most expensive city in the world. You can calculate expensive as comparison between price index and income index. For example for a bachelor graduate in Singapore, earning S$2500 a month, the average price of a 2000-sqft house is S$5million is considerably more expensive than the same house of AUS$300thousand for a person with an average monthly income of AUS$3500 in Sydney.
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