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Which Cities Have the Highest & Lowest Purchasing Power?

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Katharina Buchholz

According to website Numbeo, salaries go furthest in U.S. cities. Towards the top of the list is East Coast tech hub San Francisco, which is know for its high cost of living but also the premium it pays top talent in its leading industries. At an index score of 123, residents can buy 23 percent more products from an average salary than residents of New York City, which represents 100 index points. San Francisco is surpassed on the list of the world's cities with the most purchasing power by its neighbor San Jose as well as Texas locales Dallas, Houston and Austin. Atlanta also reaches more than 120 index points, as do Seattle, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, Ohio and Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina.

More places known for their high cost of living actually fare well in the comparison. Zurich, Switzerland, comes in at 121.2 points, while Melbourne, Australia, scores 101.5 points. German financial center Frankfurt also comes in high at 103.3 points. Most other European cities show less purchasing power than New York City, among them Paris and London.

Asian cities appear lower on the ranking, the highest-scoring being Tokyo at 76.4 points, followed by Seoul, then Gurgaon, Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram, in India as well as Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and finally Beijing and Shanghai with 56.4 points and 55.9 points, respectively. Latin American cities show up in the ranking even lower, with Brazil's capital Brasilia achieving the highest score of 48.9 points and Sao Paulo scoring just 32.9 index points. South African cities were ranked in the low 70s and high 60s. However, the next African city on the list is Casablanca, Morocco, at 30.7 points while Lagos, Nigeria, lands at the absolute bottom of the ranking at 9.8 points.

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