Dublin ranked ninth most expensive European city

Dublin is the ninth most expensive European city in which to live, according to an analysis of worldwide locations carried out by a global financial firm.

The index, compiled by UBS, ranks Dublin as more affordable than European capitals such as London, Paris and Oslo but lists it as a more expensive place to live when compared to Stockholm, Brussels and Berlin.

On a worldwide scale, Dublin ranks 21st on the list of most expensive cities in which to live, with New York topping the list.

UBS also produced a ‘Big Mac Index’, which calculates how much time an average worker in each city must work to earn enough to purchase one of McDonald’s famous burgers in that city.

Calculations were also carried out to determine how long it takes someone to earn enough to buy an iPhone, a kilo of bread or a kilo of rice.

According to UBS, the average worker in Dublin must work for 15 minutes to earn enough to afford a Big Mac, 6 minutes to buy a kilo of bread, 8 minutes for a kilo of rice and 43.4 hours to afford a 16GB 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,” the report read.

“For the iPhone, workers in cities such as Zurich and New York City require on average less than three days on the job to be able to grab one. In contrast, workers in Kiev must labor, on average, over 13 weeks to earn enough for the same phone,” the report’s authors wrote.

Workers in Hong Kong need toil the least to buy a burger, earning enough for a Big Mac in just nine minutes, compared to Nairobi employees who must work for nearly three hours to afford one.

In making their calculations UBS created a reference profile of 15 professions for each country, representing the structure of the working population in Europe, which included profiles of workers of varying ages, family status, work experience and education levels.

The price of each product in each country was then divided by the net hourly wage for these 15 professions and converted to either minutes or hours.

The index also compared wage levels across a number of cities, and found that workers in a city with high relative gross salaries such as Zurich, which topped the poll, receive pay that is on average 19 times those in Nairobi, Jakarta and Kiev.

Dublin ranked ninth most expensive European city

Dublin ranked 20th on earning power, and according to UBS, workers in similar jobs in Zurich can earn net wages that are double what their Dublin counterparts are paid.

The Irish capital fared slightly better when it came to purchasing power, coming 16th in the world and comparing closely to New York, which was used as a benchmark for all the indexes.

Taking net hourly pay as the benchmark, earners in Luxembourg have the highest purchasing power, more than 10 times greater than for earners in Jakarta, the city exhibiting the lowest purchasing power of all surveyed cities in 2015.

The 16th edition of UBS’ Prices and Earnings study compared purchasing power in 71 cities across the globe.


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