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Switzerland’s cities dominate high cost of living

Switzerland’s Cities dominate the high cost of living index

Several cities have topped the high cost of living index, with several cities coming from Switzerland. According to Numbeo, these are the top 10.

    1. Hamilton
    2. Basel
    3. Zurich
    4. Lausanne
    5. Zug
    6. Bern
    7. Santa Barbara
    8. George Town
    9. Geneva
    10. Honolulu

Bermuda

Hamilton in Bermuda has been identified as the city in the world with the highest cost of living, according to the latest figures published by the rankings website Numbeo. 

Hamilton is known for its high cost of living, and the island nation is a major offshore financial centre and tourist destination, which drives up prices for goods and services. Bermuda is also a relatively small island, which means that many goods have to be imported, further driving up costs.

Housing in Hamilton is costly, costing the average home around $1 million. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city can cost around $3,000 per month. Groceries and dining out can also be costly, with prices similar to major cities such as New York or London. 

Whilst the cost of living in Hamilton is higher than in most other parts of the world, the island’s natural beauty, warm climate, and vibrant culture can make it a desirable place to live for some despite the high costs.

Cost of living Switzerland

Switzerland

Beneath Hamilton, Switzerland’s major cities dominate the rest of the top 10. Basel, Zurich, Lausanne, Zug and Bern rank 2nd to 6th in that order. Perhaps slightly surprisingly, Geneva then appears in 9th position – these days only the 6th most expensive city in Switzerland!! 

Switzerland is known for being an expensive country, and the cost of living in its major cities is significantly higher than other major cities in Europe. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centres of Basel, Zurich and Geneva can range from 2,000 to 4,500 Swiss francs (CHF) per month, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost 4,000 to 6,000 CHF per month. The prices for purchasing property in these cities are also exceptionally high. 

Food and transportation also contribute to the high cost of living – groceries are more expensive than in other parts of Europe, and dining out can also be costly. Public transportation is efficient and reliable across Switzerland, but in some parts can also be relatively expensive, with a monthly pass starting at 100 CHF. 

The cost of living in Switzerland is high, and it can be challenging for those on a budget to make ends meet. Still, the country’s cities will almost always dominate Quality of Life rankings which is one of the reasons the wealthy are attracted in droves. 

Elsewhere

Elsewhere in the top 10, Santa Barbara in California is at number 7 – ranking particularly high when it comes to groceries, consumer goods, eating out and entertainment. George Town (Cayman Islands) is in 8th place, and Honolulu completes the top 10.

All the cities above are identified as having a higher cost of living than the survey’s benchmark city New York – which sits in 11th place on the overall list. Rents in New York, however, are still the highest of all the cities on the list.

Other notable entries include Dakar in Senegal, which ranks quite clearly as the city with the highest cost of living in Africa. Singapore sits at the top of the list for Asia but in only 23rd place in the overall index. A notable entry is London, placed down in a lowly 82nd place – mainly due to the devalued GBP in 2022 since the ranking uses USD as its base.

Numbeo has collected data on 540 capital and major cities worldwide – the top 20 looks like this:

1. Hamilton 

Bermuda 

142.1 

2. Basel 

Switzerland 

127.0 

3. Zurich 

Switzerland 

120.8 

4. Lausanne 

Switzerland 

119.7 

5. Zug 

Switzerland 

118.5 

6. Bern 

Switzerland 

116.1 

7. Santa Barbara 

United States 

112.2 

8. George Town 

Cayman Islands 

107.2 

9. Geneva 

Switzerland 

107.1 

10. Honolulu 

United States 

102.7 

11. New York 

United States 

100.0 

12. San Francisco 

United States 

99.6 

13. Nassau 

Bahamas 

97.0 

14. Oslo 

Norway 

93.5 

15. Seattle 

United States 

92.9 

16. Stavanger 

Norway 

91.0 

17. Oakland 

United States 

90.1 

18. Bergen 

Norway 

90.0 

19. Anchorage 

United States 

88.0 

20. Trondheim 

Norway 

86.7 

 

 

 

23. Singapore 

Singapore 

85.9 

 

 

 

32. Brisbane 

Australia 

82.5 

 

 

 

82. London 

United Kingdom 

74.2 

 

 

 

182. Dubai 

United Arab Emirates 

65.3 

 

 

 

318. Dakar 

Senegal 

47.2 

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Hoxton Capital

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