Norway is world’s second-most expensive country this year

Only Switzerland was ranked higher than Norway in a list of the most expensive countries in the world for living costs in 2020.

Norway is world’s second-most expensive country this year
File photo: AFP

The list, compiled by business magazine CEO World, ranks 132 countries in order of living costs based on data from a range of studies and media.

Parameters encompassed by the analysis include accommodation, clothing, taxi fares, utility, internet, the price of groceries, transport, and eating out. The data was used to compile a score for each country within five metrics: cost of living, rent, groceries, eating out and purchasing power.

The metrics were then given a value using New York City as a control: if a country has a score of over 100, it is more expensive than New York.

Three countries did in fact achieve this with their overall score: Switzerland (122.4), Norway (101.43) and Iceland (100.48).

As such, Norway is ranked by the magazine as the second-most expensive country to live in the world this year.

Nordic neighbour Denmark was not far behind in 5th place with an index of 83, with Sweden the cheapest of the three Scandinavian countries in 23rd (69.85).

Japan was the final country in the top 5, in 4th place.

The United Kingdom was placed 27th (67.28), Ireland 13th (75.91), the United States 20th (71.05), Canada 24th (67.62) and Australia 16th (73.54).

Looking at the metrics individually, Norway’s performance was variable.

The Nordic nation was the 12th-most expensive country on the cost of rent index. For groceries, it placed third just behind South Korea and with Switzerland still far ahead as the most expensive.

Norway is also the third-most expensive country to eat at a restaurant – behind Switzerland and Iceland.

For local purchasing power, Norway is lower on the list, in 17th.

READ ALSO: What are the best ways to save money in Norway?

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Why Norway is set to lose top spot on UN development ranking

Norway regularly takes the top spot on the United Nations Human Development Index, but a new parameter is set to change that.

Why Norway is set to lose top spot on UN development ranking
File photo: AFP

The UN’s Human Development Index (HDI) ranks countries on how well they provide conditions for people to reach their potential, using parameters including life expectancy at birth, expected years of schooling and gross national income.

Norway is top of the 2020 HDI, a ranking not uncommon for the Nordic nation.

The report, which comes from the UN Development programme (UNDP), ranks countries in relation to progress on the UN’s global development targets. Like it was this year, Norway is regularly ranked the world’s top nation by the UN.

Despite this consistency, Norway can no longer call itself the ‘world’s best country’ based on the ranking, national broadcaster NRK writes.

A new addition to the ranking will include the costs to nature and the environment of gross national product. That will make CO2 admissions and individual carbon footprints part of the broader assessment of development.

According to the UNDP, emissions are a new and experimental lens through which to view development. But the inclusion of climate and the environment gives the index a different look.

When CO2 emissions and resource consumption are factored in, Norway finds itself in a much more moderate 16th place on the UN development ranking.

The adjusted list is yet to be published by the UN, but the Norwegian national broadcaster has been informed of the new positions, NRK states in the report.

Norway’s CO2 emissions of 8.3 tonnes per resident are among the 30 worst values of included countries, and it also fares poorly in a measurement of material resource use per resident, resulting in a lower overall position.

“Norway loses its top placing because of our high imprint on the planet. This is an import debate and it’s time we had it,” Bård Vegar Solhjell, director of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), told NRK.

READ ALSO: Norway ranked world's top nation for 'human development'