Toronto one of world’s most expensive cities but pay doesn’t match (report)
If you live and work in Toronto, you probably don’t get paid enough. Just as you suspected, right?
That seems to be one of the findings of Swiss Bank’s latest Prices and Earning report, which compares cities around the world by earnings and purchasing power, and has been released every three years or so since 1971. The index uses a standardized survey on prices of 122 goods and services crossed with earnings for 15 professions in 71 cities worldwide.
Toronto as the world’s 12th most expensive city in which to live, excluding rent, but our earnings only come in at No.15. Montrealers, meanwhile, come in at No.11 for wages and No.15 for prices levels, meaning they have it better in terms of buying power with what they make.
The top five priciest cities on the list were were Zurich, Geneva, New York City, Oslo and Copenhagen. For wages, Zurich, Geneva, Luxembourg, New York City and Miami were the top five.
Luxembourg falls way down at No. 21 for prices, so it looks like a great place to get a lot of bang for your buck as it sits at No. 3 for earnings. Similarly, Miami must also be a good place to live as far as purchase power, as it only ranks at No. 16 for prices, but hits No. 5 for earnings.
USB illustrates some of the more gaping disparities across the globe using four consumer goods that are available in every city, calculating how much time an average worker in each city must work to earn enough to purchase each one. These items are a Big Mac, a kilo of bread, a kilo of rice, and an iPhone 6.
“As staple consumer goods, the McDonald’s Big Mac and the Apple iPhone will be the same quality and nature whether bought in Doha or Rio de Janeiro. This makes their worldwide prices and affordability comparable.”
Workers in Hong Kong get their Big Macs the fastest, after just nine minutes. Torontonians have to work 15 minutes to buy a Big Mac, while Montrealers have to work 13 minutes.
But we are still fortunate. People in Nairobi must work for a full 173 minutes for a big Mac. That’s almost three hours for a McDonald’s sandwich. Meanwhile, in Kiev, it takes 627.2 hours of work – or nearly a month – to earn enough to buy an iPhone 6, compared with just 37.2 hours in Toronto and 32.1 in Montreal.
Kiev, in fact, has both the lowest price levels and the lowest wage levels.
See the full report here. And here is how long people in 71 cities have to work to buy a Big Mac.
City and number of minutes of work required to buy a Big Mac
Hong Kong, 9
Los Angeles, 11
New York City, 11
Tel Aviv, 21
Kuala Lumpur, 23
Sao Paulo, 25
Buenos Aires, 29
Santiago de Chile, 32
Rio de Janeiro, 32
New Delhi, 50
Mexico City, 78