The Economist Intelligence Unit worldwide cost of living index 2013 has declared Tokyo, Japan the world’s most expensive city to live in, with Osaka, Japan the second costliest. Surprisingly, two Australian cities are among the top 5, with the country’s most populous city, Sydney, ranked third and Melbourne fifth after Norway’s capital, Oslo.

Jon Copestake, editor of the index, commented: “Ten years ago there were no Australian cities in the top 50 and I have not seen this sort of climb with any other cities. But economic growth has supported inflation, and the strength of the Australian dollar against other currencies besides the US dollar has driven up costs. Visitors will certainly feel the difference and people living there will have noticed prices have crept up.”

New York City and Los Angeles tied at 27th as the most expensive cities in the U.S. The most expensive locale in North America is Vancouver, ranked 21st.

The index is based on costs of more than 160 items, including food, clothing, transportation, utilities and schooling costs.

More on the report  here and here.

Photo Above: The landmark Australian Victorian residence at 58 Millswyn Street, located in the South Yarra neighborhood of Melbourne, Australia.