Economist: Tel Aviv 11th-Most-Expensive City in the World

The Azrieli buildings, as seen over the Ayalon Highway and River at night in Tel Aviv. (Esther Rubyan/Flash90)

Living in Tel Aviv is more expensive than living in London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Boston or Montreal, according to this year’s edition of the Economist Cost of Living Report. Worldwide, living in Tel Aviv is almost as expensive as living in New York (which ranked ninth most expensive), but it was more expensive than any other North American city.

The Worldwide Cost of Living Report, by the Economist Intelligence Unit, examines what it costs to live in 117 of the top cities around the world, examines factors such as food costs, fuel costs, and salaries in determining a city’s position on the report’s WCOL (World Cost of Living) Index. In the case of Tel Aviv, it’s real estate that is the biggest factor in cost of living.

Real estate in the city is among the most expensive anywhere in Israel, and prices compare to the top areas of cities in Western Europe. Prices are in line with any other world financial center, the report says, as are salaries for top earners, especially in tech and financial companies. Salaries for workers in less prestigious industries, however, are far lower, and those lower earners cannot afford to live in the city. Add to that mix the attraction of foreign buyers to top-notch projects in the city, and you have a formula for an extremely high cost of living that matches those of top cities in the world, the report added.

According to the report, Asia is now home to five out of the top six cities in the survey, as Asian cities have become comparatively more expensive. The city-state of Singapore is the most expensive place to live in the world, followed by Hong Kong, Zurich, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Geneva, Paris, New York and Copenhagen, which just beat out Tel Aviv. London is the 11th most expensive city in Europe, ranking 24th worldwide, the report said.

In a report last week, Bloomberg ranked Israel as the ninth-healthiest country in the world, while a report issued on the occasion of World Happiness Day (celebrated Monday) has Israel as number 11 among 165 countries for happiness.