This year our Prices and Earnings study covers 77 cities across the globe. For each city we measure how much people earn and how much the items in their average shopping basket cost, and compare the two to come up with our purchasing power index. Put simply, it's a ranking of earnings versus prices. The higher the city is in the ranking, the more people in that city can afford.
We’ve also checked how this year's ranking compares to our last edition in 2015. Read on for our highlights of the biggest changes over the last three years.*
The highest climber on our list, up 18 spots from three years ago. The capital of Qatar is now in the top twenty.
The Danish capital climbed 11 spots in terms of purchasing power, the highest of any Western European city, but a cup of coffee in one of its stylish cafes will still cost you a small fortune.
Climbing less spots than its Middle Eastern neighbors, the capital of Bahrain nevertheless broke into the Top 10 this year.
Toronto recorded the biggest climb among North American cities, rising nine spots to break into the top 10, landing 7th on the list in 2018. Read how much it costs to be an expat here or what you'd pay for millennial favorites like jeans, sneakers or avocados.
The windy city retained its 6th spot in 2018, coming in ahead of New York (10th on our list).
Plummeting 13 spots, Slovakia's capital registered the biggest fall in purchasing power among the Eastern European cities on our list.
The French capital slid 8 spots from its 2015 ranking, but it's still a pretty great destination for a dinner or a night out.
The South African city has fallen 7 spots since 2015, but remains one of the most expensive places to be a millennial.
*Some cities have benefited from a stronger currency relative to our reference, the US dollar. In others the economy has been booming so workers have been earning more while prices have remained steady. In some cases, much needed political reform has not been carried out, causing the city to fall in the rankings. Most of the time, though, numerous factors contribute to the change.
Note: all rankings are based on Net Annual Income.