Singapore is now the most expensive — and most competitive — city on earth

Singapore is holding on to its No. 1 position as the world's most expensive city for the fifth consecutive year.

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Singapore is holding on to its No. 1 position as the world’s most expensive city for the fifth consecutive year.
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Singapore’s economy is now the most competitive in the world, according to IMD Business School’s annual rankings. Bloomberg reported that the US, which was ranked No. 1 in 2018, dropped down to the third spot this year, behind Singapore and Hong Kong.

The report analyzes 63 economies around the world based on 235 indicators, which include unemployment, GDP, and corruption. This year marks the first time that Singapore has occupied the top spot since 2010; its rise, according to IMD Business School, can partially be attributed to its technological infrastructure and favorable immigration laws.

Singapore is also one of the world’s most expensive cities, a title the five-time winner now shares in a three-way tie with Paris and Hong Kong. The Economist Intelligence Unit announced the updated standings in its annual Worldwide Cost of Living report, which compares prices of more than 160 items across 133 cities around the world.

The only European city in the top seat, Paris moved up one place from last year in the ranking of expensive cities. The city is home to two of Europe’s richest people: Bernard Arnault and François Pinault. Arnault recently made headlines for surpassing Warren Buffett on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, while Pinault – the owner of Christie’s auction house – continues to manage high-end brands such as the flourishing Gucci fashion house. The French capital is also home to some of the finest shopping and luxury hotels.

Read more: Take a look inside the best hotel in Europe, a boutique hotel in the heart of Paris with personal butlers, a hidden smoking room, and views of the Eiffel Tower

Rising up from its No. 4 position in 2018 is Hong Kong. The city has the highest concentration of superrich people, with approximately 93 billionaires. Business Insider’s Katie Warren also reported that the city in southeast China has been among the most expensive cities for housing for the past eight years, with a market known for both its “nano” apartments and its mansions.

Read more: What it’s like living in Hong Kong as a billionaire, where the ultra-rich live in high-security mansions and spend $16 billion a year betting on horse racing

Finally, though it now shares the title, Singapore continues to hold its first-place status as the world’s most expensive city – a distinction it has held for the past five years. It also remains the only city from last year’s top 10 to keep its position.

Business Insider’s Lina Batarags previously reported that its top placement among expensive cities is in part because of the cost of buying and running a car, with government permits costing up to $37,000 apiece. With its five-year streak, Singapore is on track to follow Tokyo’s lead, a city that held the No. 1 position for 12 years before Singapore surpassed it in 2014.