Valletta / Unsplash

Valletta has been ranked as the eighth most expensive European capital city to live in, surpassing the likes of Oslo and Madrid, a study has found.

Malta has been experiencing a period of high inflation over recent years, higher than the European Union (EU) average for a number of months. It was only in March that the inflation rate dropped to 2.7 per cent, a level that is closer to the EU average.

When this is added to the relatively low wages when compared to other European countries, together with increases in property prices, Malta is found to be an expensive country to live in, especially its capital city and the popular harbour towns and cities.

And according to recent analysis from finance experts Finansvalp, utilising data from cost-of-living website Numbeo, these factors have all taken a toll, as Valletta has placed very high in the list of most expensive capital cities to live in.

Each city on the list was given a score out of 100, based on a number of factors that include accommodation, utility, transport, and lifestyle costs.

The index factors in the monthly cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre, electricity and water bills, as well as elements such as monthly mobile phone and broadband plans, fitness club fees, travel passes, and the price of a meal for two. Finansvalp then measured these expenses against the average monthly net salary for a person living in each city.

London came out on top of the rankings, being classed as the most expensive capital city in Europe, with an affordability score of just 41.04 out of 100. It surpassed the likes of Monte Carlo (41.23) and Dublin (42.24), who were in second and third, respectively.

Valletta’s score was 47.46, with it finishing higher than the likes of Athens (47.52) and Oslo (47.61).

Interestingly, Paris did not make it into the most expensive list.

On the other end of the spectrum, Bucharest came out on out on top overall for the most affordable capital, with an impressive score of 59.69. Chisinau and San Marino were second and third, with scores of 56.4 and 54.43, respectively. While largely dominated by Eastern European capitals, the most affordable list also includes cities such as Helsinki (53) and Madrid (52.03).

The research found that every month, residents in Bucharest earn just £1,098.50 (€1,277.78) after tax, and can expect to pay around 34 per cent of this for their one-bedroom apartment at an average cost of £375.15 (€436.37).

Commenting on the findings, Finansvalp CEO Olle Pettersson said: “Living in Europe’s capital cities can be a financial tightrope, requiring strategic budgeting and savvy decision-making to thrive in a cosmopolitan lifestyle.”

“As such, understanding the financial landscapes of European capitals is crucial for individuals, which is why our data experts have analysed the living factors driving costs,” he added.

He said that Finansvalp hopes that these results will encourage locals and emigrants to make “informed choices about their finances and lifestyles in an increasingly interconnected world.”


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