2013’s Most Expensive Cities to Live in

February 26, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. outrank 
[out-RANGK(v.) – to be in a higher rank or position than others
Example: The island of Boracay outranked other places as the most popular vacation spot in the Philippines.

2. deflation [dih-FLEY-shuhn(n.) – an overall decrease in prices in an economy
Example: Companies worry that deflation will lead to much loss in profit.

3. trend [trend(n.) – a direction in which things behave or move
Example: The current trend in India is for people to leave rural communities and to find work in cities.

4. upscale [UHP-SKEYL(adj.) – expensive or costly
Example: Many famous actors and actresses live an upscale lifestyle.

5. bi-annually [bahy-AN-yoo-uh-lee(adv.) – twice a year
Example: The magazine is released bi-annually, usually in June and in December.

Read the text below.

Tokyo has outranked Zurich [ZOOR-ik], Switzerland as the world’s most expensive city to live in, a recent Worldwide Cost of Living Survey revealed.

The city of Tokyo ranked number one despite the Japanese deflation and the weakening of yen. Australian cities, Sydney and Melbourne, went up four places from last year, with Sydney in third place and Melbourne in 4th place this year. The city of Singapore took 6th place, jumping from last year’s 9th place.

The top 20 expensive cities on the list consisted of eleven Asian cities, eight European cities and two Australian cities.  The list reflected the increasing trend of upscale living in the Asia-Pacific region.

No U.S. city reached the top 20. New York and Los Angeles were tied in 27th place. Vancouver city in Canada ranked as the most expensive city in North America. 

Caracas, Venezuela ranked 9th, making the city the most expensive in both North and South America. Caracas was also the biggest mover on the list, as it was number 34 last year.

On the other hand, the survey revealed that cities from South Asia are the cheapest to live in, with low cost of living mostly in cities from Pakistan, India and Nepal.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) bi-annually publishes the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. To come up with the list of cities, the EIU checks and compares the prices of 160 products such as food, drinks and household supplies among the cities. The EIU also considers the cost of services such as rent, water, electricity, transportation and education.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         Do you think it is important to know which cities have a high living cost? Why or why not?
·          Why do you think some cities become very expensive to live in?

Discussion B

·          What do you think about the cost of living in your area?
·         Without thinking of how expensive it could be, which place do you think would be interesting to live in?


February 26, 2013