Cost of living in Sydney soars

Sydney harbourThe cost of living in Australia has shot up over the last 12 months, with Sydney and Melbourne now among the five most expensive cities in the world.

Tokyo is once again the most expensive city in the world though, after being knocked off the top spot by Zurich due to currency fluctuations last year.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%

Interestingly, no North American cities featured in the top 20 of this year's EIU Worldwide Cost of Living Index, despite Caracas in Venezuela coming in at number nine.

European cities also slid down the cost scale, with just eight making the top 20 compared to 11 in Asia and Australasia.

And no UK cities were in the top 10 this year, with the most expensive - London - coming in at 16.

At the other end of the list, meanwhile, Indian cities dominate. Mumbai holds the honour of being the cheapest city jointly with Karachi in Pakistan, while Delhi and Kathmandu in Nepal are next on the list.

Index editor Jon Copestake told Reuters that rising costs in Australia was one of the most notable changes this year.

They put Sydney third on the list and Melbourne joint fourth with the notoriously expensive Norwegian city of Oslo.

"Ten years ago there were no Australian cities in the top 50," Copestake said. "But economic growth has supported inflation, and the strength of the Australian dollar has driven up costs.

"Visitors will certainly feel the difference and people living there will have noticed prices have crept up."

The survey is based on costs of more than 160 items ranging from food and clothing to domestic help, transport and utilities, the Guardian newspaper said.

The 10 most expensive cities in the world
1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Osaka, Japan
3. Sydney, Australia
4=. Oslo, Norway
4=. Melbourne, Australia
6. Singapore
7. Zurich, Switzerland
8. Paris, France
9. Caracas, Venezuela
10. Geneva, Switzerland

The 10 least expensive cities in the world
1=. Karachi, Pakistan
1=. Mumbai, India
3. Delhi, India
4. Kathmandu, Nepal
5=. Algiers, Algeria
5=. Bucharest, Romania
7. Colombo, Sri Lanka
8. Panama City, Panama
9. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
10. Tehran, Iran

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