London is the most expensive city in the world to live and work in for the year 2008, followed by Oslo, Dublin, Copenhagen and New York.
The study, which was finalized in March 2008, was made by UBS, a leading banking and financial firm from Switzerland, and published in major mainstream news, including The Times and Guardian.
The study took account the prices of products and services, and property and residential value.
Most of the cities which are listed in the top 30 came from the European continent, while the rest are from the United States, Asia and Scandinavia.
1. London (United Kingdom)
London is a world center for a broad range of activities including business, entertainment, technology development, fashion, politics, cultural and education. The capital of England has also been the witness of many historical events such as the Industrial Revolution, the Gothic Revival and the English Renaissance. With more than 7 million citizens in total, it is the most populous city in the whole of Europe.
The rapid growth of the city began in the 19th century, and before the end of the century London became the world’s largest city. The German bombing in the World War II killed more than 30,000 Londoners but it bounced back with a bang and has never stopped expanding since. London ranks alongside New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Paris as the cities with the most prosperous economy.
2. Oslo (Norway)
Oslo is the capital of Norway, and also the country’s largest city. It has been ranked alongside the world’s most expensive cities for the past few recent years. The maritime industry is one of the key pillars of the city’s economy, and houses close to 1,000 companies in the maritime sector, including world leading logistic and shipping companies. More than 8,000 employees work in this industry.
Prices of goods, services and property are high in Oslo, but while being an expensive city does not sound good, the fact that the employers in the city pay one of the highest salaries around the market may bring some cheers. Public transportation such as tram, metro, bus and ferry is widely used.
3. Dublin (Ireland)
Dublin is Ireland’s capital, which used to be one of the poorest countries in the Western Europe but now regarded as one of the most economically free countries. Dublin is also home to a number of prestigious education in the field of medicine and business studies. Additionally, it is an attractive destination for immigrants which now makes up about 10% of the population.
With an annual growth of 2.5%, the city is considered as one of the fastest growing population. Agricultural used to be one of the primary activities but the problem of pollution arising from the agricultural activity has reduced the size of the sector. However, modern technology is reviving the industry and is turning the city and the country into a territory for modern economy.
4. Copenhagen (Denmark)
The capital and the largest city in Denmark. Despite being an expensive town, Copenhagen is always considered as one of the most livable cities in the world. It began as a fishing village which grew and became an important center for economic and political activities, mainly stimulated by the presence of a well-built harbor.
The city is not rich with high-rise building but that is about to change in the future with the development of new, modern and state-of-the-art buildings and architectural landmarks. Some of the world’s biggest companies, such as Maersk, Microsoft, as well as pharmaceutical giants e.g. Novo and Bavarian established their worldwide headquarters in Copenhagen.
5. New York (United States)
New York is widely known with its reputation as the home to business, financial, cultural, manufacturing, technology and transportation center. It is also rich with its agricultural products that include dairy, vegetables, cattle, apples and so on as well as industrial output such as instrument, machinery, chemicals, printing, publishing and equipment.
New York is a city where the world’s earliest skyscrapers were built, and is the third largest city in the United States in terms of population after California and Texas. It also houses the world’s largest stock exchange by dollar volume, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Top multinational corporations set up their main offices in the New York city.
6. Zurich (Switzerland)
Zurich, the city of Switzerland is known for its one of the most reliable public transportation systems around encompassing rail, road and air traffic system. Additionally, it is a worldwide known financial center with many of the top financial institutions and companies setting up their headquarter in Zurich such as UBS, Credit Suisse, Zurich Financial Services and so on.
One of the city’s best attractions is the comparatively lower tax rate and liability for both the working class people as well as companies operating in the city. On top of that, it accommodates powerful facilities for the research and development (R&D) work. If that is not enough, Mercer Consulting, the established research firm named Zurich as the city with the highest quality of life for for consecutive years.
7. Geneva (Switzerland)
Behind Zurich is another city from Switzerland, Geneva, which perhaps made famous due to its role as the host to the Geneva Convention. The city’s economy is mainly driven by service-oriented industry such as finance, banking, international business and commodity trade. The history of the city’s settlement is closely related to the migration of foreign communities, which results in a broad range of cultural diversity.
Some of the world famous companies operating from Geneva include Hewlett Packard, ST Microelectronics, JT International (JTI), SITA, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Sun Microsystems, Caterpillar and others. The International School of Geneva, which was built in 1924, is the world’s oldest international school.
8. Tokyo (Japan)
The only city in Asia ranked in the top 10. Tokyo has been the country’s capital since the Meiji era and remained as the capital until today. It began as a small village with fishing as its main economic activity. Today, it is the largest metropolitan city in the world, and one of the three giants of economic powerhouse, alongside New York and London.
The city is a center for financial, tourism, transportation, publication, media, entertainment, technology and logistic activities. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is the world’s second largest stock exchange by market capitalization after the NYSE. More than 8 million people are residing in Tokyo at the moment.
9. Paris (France)
The capital of France, Paris is populated by more than 2 million citizens and has major influence in the field of education, politics, entertainment, fashion, media, arts, science and mostly tourism. It is the world’s most popular tourist destination with as many as 30 million visitors flocking into the country every year. About 10% of the employees based in Paris work in the public administration and defense.
France has also made a move to shift its economy towards service-oriented and high-tech industries such as financial, information technology, manufacturing and aerospace. In terms of academic, with over 300,000 students registered in various institutions in Paris, more students can be found in the city than anywhere else in the world.
10. Helsinki (Finland)
Hesinki is Finland’s capital and while it is also the country’s largest city, it is only populated by merely half a million people. The city is a center for business, financial, research, education, culture and country’s administration. For many decades, the economy of the city has been generated by service-oriented industries, especially in the information technology, staffing & recruitment, finance and public sector.
The employment rate in Helsinki stands at about 60%, made up of financial services, trading, manufacturing and construction, transportation, as well as hotels and restaurants. While the economy is sustaining, there is a trend of major companies moving their offices and operation to another city in Finland, Espoo, which is presently growing and providing attractive economic benefits.