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Singapore's cost of living may not be the highest in the world: report

The city may not be the costliest after all, if tax-adjusted values are taken into account.

For the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU), Singapore has been holding the crown as the costliest city in the world for five years. However, if the study took into account the tax-adjusted values of costs, the city would only be in 11th place, Sovereign Group said.

EIU’s study said that Singapore's cost of living is 16% more expensive than the benchmark city of New York. However, for Sovereign Group, Copenhagen is once again the most expensive city in the world, if the tax-adjusted values of costs ($6,300) are taken into account.

Furthermore, the cost of living for Singapore’s top earners was down by 3.33% from $2,640 last year to $2,552. Despite the decline, Singapore edged up the rankings from 13th to 11th place.

Meanwhile, cost of living for Singapore’s average earners, which includes tax and social security contributions, dramatically jumped by 88% from $798 last year to $1,500.

Sovereign Group clarified that it did not take into account social security contributions when it computed the cost of living for top earners and said, “We have not taken account of social security contributions because these have only a marginal impact on top earners who pay the top rate of tax.”

Other high-ranking cities in Sovereign Group's index included France ($5,600), Israel ($5,150), and Australia ($4,590). Other Asian cities were Seoul ($4,028) at sixth place and Hong Kong ($1,887) at 14th place.

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