Moscow is the Priciest of the Pricey as a Hometown

June 26, 2006 ( - Moscow residents must dig into their stash of rubles these days just to get by, according to a new study, which measured such comparative costs as housing, transportation and food of 144 cities across six continents.

Moscow has replaced Tokyo as the world’s most expensive locale, according to the latest survey of living expenses in cities worldwide.

Seoul placed second and had climbed three places since last year, according to the survey conducted by Mercer Human Resources Consulting. Tokyo moved down two positions in the rankings to take third place, followed by Hong Kong. Asuncion in Paraguay remains the least expensive address, according to the survey.

With New York as the base city scoring 100 points, Moscow scored 123.9 and is nearly three times costlier than Asuncion, which has an index of 43.5, Mercer said.

New York is still the priciest locale in North America , according to the survey, and climbed three places to 10th position. The main reason for its high cost of living is currency appreciation, but price increases in fuel and certain consumer goods have also contributed to New York’s rise in the rankings.

Other high-ranking North America cities include Los Angeles in position 29 (score 86.7), San Francisco in 34th place (score 85) and Chicago in 38th position (score 84.1). Washington , D.C. takes 83rd place (score 77). Winston-Salem is the cheapest U.S. city surveyed, ranked 124th (score 66.7).

Despite the relatively inexpensive living of Canadian cites and their benefit from stable inflation, Canadian cities continue to move up the rankings due to the strength of the Canadian dollar. Toronto is the most expensive city in Canada and moves up from 82nd to 47th place (score 82.6). Ottawa remains the least expensive Canadian address, but has climbed 32 places from 122nd to 90th (score 75.6).