Report: Tel Aviv world’s 9th most expensive city

A survey of cities throughout the world ranked Tel Aviv as the ninth most expensive, taking the place of New York. 

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

According to the  Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Tel Aviv cracked the top 10 in a dubious category this year, ranking as the ninth most expensive city in the world to live in.

Israel’s “city that never sleeps” has jumped 25 spots over the past five years. It now nestles in among Western European and Asian cities, and a lone Australian – Sydney (10th place). It took the spot held last year by the top American city, New York, which only came in at #13 this time according to the report, “owing to a weakening of the US dollar in 2017” that lowered the cost of living.

The EIU gave a few reasons for Tel Aviv’s escalation, including the strength of the shekel.

Currency appreciation played a part in this rise, but Tel Aviv also has some specific costs that drive up prices, notably those of buying, insuring and maintaining a car, which push transport costs 79% above New York prices. Tel Aviv is also the second most expensive city in the survey in which to buy alcohol,” it said, as a 750 ml. bottle of table wine costs $28.77 on average.

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In stark contrast, the Middle East also has a lone representative among the lowest-ranking cities, with Damascus, Syria, coming dead last, as the cheapest country in which to live, falling 14 places since last year. With its political, security and infrastructural challenges due to its long-running civil war, this is not surprising, with the report noting that there is “a considerable element of risk” in living in several cities at the bottom due to these factors.

The research and analysis division of the Economist group covered 133 cities worldwide, looking at what ordinary citizens pay for 160 different products and services, including food, drink, clothes, rent, transport, utility costs and recreation. The base city in the survey was New York, with an index of 100, and more than 50,000 individual prices were collected.

There are, however, many ways to study the cost of living, and in other surveys Tel Aviv was ranked lower. International consulting firm Mercer, for example, had it ranked 16th, according to CNN, while Business Insider reported that ECA International put Tel Aviv in 14th place – and Jerusalem in 17th.