Oslo and London are the world's most expensive cities, while Zurich and
Geneva residents have the highest buying power, according to a report
released on last Wednesday.
Europe dominates the list of 71 cities compiled by Swiss bank UBS,
while Asian cities -- including Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai -- are among the
cheapest places to live, based on the cost of a basket of 122 goods and
Oslo maintained its top position from 2005, while London rose three
places to second.
Copenhagen, Zurich and Tokyo round out the top five, with New York in
seventh place globally.
But London and New York are the most expensive cities when housing
costs are included, said the 52-page report.
"It's no wonder that their residents often tolerate extreme commutes in
order to find affordable housing," it said.
North American workers earn the highest wages, closely followed by
Western Europe. But European net earnings are significantly lower because
of higher taxes and social security contributions.
deductions, people living in the Swiss cities, Dublin and Los Angeles have
the most left over from their wages," said the report.
London rose from 15th place to sixth in the gross wages ranking, but was only 20th in
domestic purchasing power.
Kuala Lumpur was the cheapest city, followed by Mumbai, Buenos Aires
and Delhi. Delhi was also among the bottom five cities in both the wages
and purchasing power rankings.
Cities in eastern Europe and China were among the least expensive,
while Asian cities have the longest working hours, with Seoul workers
averaging 50.2 hours a week.
Workers in Asia also have the fewest vacation days, on average 12 per
year, compared to a global 20 days.
"Western Europe, by contrast, is very attractive for employees who
value their leisure time," the report added.