Business & Economy

Los Angeles ranked 8th most expensive city in the world, according to new report

LA has been ranked the eighth most expensive city in the world.
LA has been ranked the eighth most expensive city in the world.
Photo by Brendan Biele via Flickr Creative Commons

Los Angeles is the eighth most expensive city in the world, a survey released Thursday found.

The latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, conducted by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit, saw L.A. move up from number 19 on the list and place right behind place New York, the only other U.S. city in the top 10.

Los Angeles tied Copenhagen, Denmark and last year’s most expensive city, Seoul, South Korea, according to the survey.

Singapore ranked the most expensive city and Lusaka, Zambia ranked the least expensive city. Four cities in India made the top 10 least expensive cities list.

Measuring the cost of living 

Now in its 30th year, the survey is conducted twice a year and compares more than 400 individual prices of 160 products and services. 

These products and services include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs, the report states. 

The survey is designed to help human resources and finance managers calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travelers. 

The latest survey found Asian cities tended to be the priciest locations for general grocery shopping, while European cities tended to be priciest for recreation and entertainment.

Explaining LA’s ranking

“New York and Los Angeles move up the ranking because of currency headwinds rather than significant local price rises,” the report noted. “In fact, the opposite may be true.”

The stronger U.S. dollar and weaker euro pushed euro zone cities further down the ranking.

Meanwhile, stagnant inflation and a devaluation of the Japanese yen pushed the cities of Tokyo and Osaka further down the ranking — they’re usually the top two most expensive cities — and a weakened Australian dollar pushed cities like Sydney and Melbourne (20th and 21st, respectively) out of this year’s top ten, the report stated.

Notably, the cost of gasoline was more expensive in Los Angeles at 99 cents per liter than in New York at 63 cents per liter, though LA’s cost of gas was less than all the other top 10 cities.

See the report for the most recent Worldwide Cost of Living Survey below.