Rīga is 63rd most expensive city, says study

Rīga is the 63rd most expensive city in the world, but the Latvian capital is less costly than either of its Baltic counterparts, according to a new study by the Swiss banking group UBS.

Oslo, Norway, tops the list of the bank’s latest “Prices and Earnings” study, UBS announced in a Feb. 28 press release. The study updated the bank’s 2003 ranking of purchasing power in 71 cities around the world.

Copenhagen, because of the changing value of Denmark’s national currency, has risen to the second most expensive city, while cities in the United States have become relatively less expensive.

“The weak U.S. dollar has seen U.S. cities fall in the global price rankings, so that a shopping spree in the U.S. is now an attractive proposition for Europeans,” UBS said.

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, ranked 47th, between Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Manama in Bahrain. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, ranked 52nd, between Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Caracas, Venezuela. Rīga, meanwhile, was listed between 62nd-ranked Lima, Peru, and 64th-ranked Sofia, Bulgaria.

As a measure of purchasing power, the study also looked at how many minutes a person has to work to afford a Big Mac hamburger. In Rīga, it’s 44 minutes, while in Tallinn it’s 46 minutes. In Vilnius, however, a person would have to spend nearly an hour—57 minutes—to earn the sandwich.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

One thought on “Rīga is 63rd most expensive city, says study

  1. Njā 63’dārgākā pasaulē un viena no tādas valsts pilsētām kur ar godprātu nekur tālu netikt tik vien kā krāpjoties var panākt izdzīvošanai pietiekamu atalgojumu…skumji….

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