London and Manchester make the list for most expensive cities to live in Europe

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
A worker looks at his phone as he crosses London Bridge, with Tower Bridge seen behind during the morning rush hour in the city of London, Britain, February 27, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville

London and Manchester in the UK made the list for the most expensive cities to live in Europe.

That’s according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, which looked at the cost of 160 items across 133 cities across the world to determine the ranking.

London is the 12th most expensive city to live in Europe and joint 22nd most costly city to live in the world, alongside Milan, Italy. The northern English city of Manchester ranked 23rd in Europe — ahead of Luxembourg. Over the last year, Manchester rose five places.

“The previous sharp fall in the ranking for UK cities, which are now significantly cheaper internationally, has been reversed partially in the latest ranking,” said the EIU in a statement.

“The slight appreciation in the pound sterling has been enough to cause increases in domestic prices and push London (joint 22nd) and Manchester (joint 51st) up the ranking by eight and five spots respectively. Nevertheless, London is still 14% cheaper than New York overall.”

The EIU looked at more than 50,000 individual prices of items in annual survey rounds conducted in March and September, which are then published in June and December. Researchers also surveyed a range of stores — from supermarkets to higher priced specialty outlets — to gather data. The final prices reflect the costs of 160 items, from food and clothing, to domestic help, transport, and utility bills. All prices are what customers are charged — not recommended retail prices or manufacturers’ costs.

The prices are then converted into US dollars using a main exchange rate and weighted in order to achieve comparative indices. Cities are compared to a base city — New York, US — which is set at 100. In total, data from 160 items across 133 cities were crunched.

Table: EIU