HOW YA GOIN

These are the most affordable cities to live in as a young person this year

Auf Wiedersehen, Berlin. À bientôt, Paris. Young and mobile people of the world, say g’day to Sydney.

Sydney is this year’s most affordable city to live in, according to a new report from YouthfulCities. The Toronto-based startup’s 2015 report ranks 55 of the world’s largest cities on how affordable they are for people 15 to 29 years old.

Last year’s index put Paris at the top, which may have seemed a baffling choice if not for the city’s relatively high minimum wage, which tops $12.50 an hour, helping residents afford the city’s higher-than-average expenses.

This year, with an expanded scope of 55 cities from last year’s 25, Sydney has shot to the top.

Since YouthfulCities expanded its ranking, London, with a minimum wage listed at $7.85, and US cities like Dallas ($7.25), Chicago ($8.25), and New York ($8.75) have dropped from the 10 cities with the highest minimum wages, beat out by the likes of Sydney ($16.28), San Francisco ($11.05), and Montreal ($10.05). Paris still figures strongly into the ranking on this front, with a minimum wage of $12.52. (For cities without a legislated minimum, the ranking relies on typical wages for an entry-level job, for example at a fast-food restaurant.)

Detroit ($8.15) doesn’t figure into the top 10 by wages, but relatively low living expenses put the city at No. 3 on the overall ranking.

Of the places YouthfulCities considered this year, those with the lowest minimum wages are Dar Es Salaam (26 cents) and Accra (37 cents).

The index considers minimum wage in relation to various expenses, for things like rent and movie tickets. In Sydney, for example, it takes 14.4 minutes of working at minimum wage to buy a tube of toothpaste. In Osaka, it’s 18 minutes.

Here are the 55 cities ranked by overall affordability:

Ranking City
1 Sydney
2 Montreal
3 Detroit
4 San Francisco
5 Berlin
6 Tokyo
7 Boston
8 Osaka
9 Paris
10 Los Angeles
11 Washington DC
12 Dallas
13 Toronto
14 Miami
15 Vancouver
16 Chicago
17 New York City
18 Tel Aviv
19 Tehran
20 Seoul
21 Amsterdam
22 Madrid
23 London
24 Quito
25 Rome
26 Hong Kong
27 Dubai
28 Shanghai
29 Lima
30 Singapore
31 Cairo
32 Jakarta
33 Warsaw
34 Buenos Aires
35 Casablanca
36 Bangkok
37 Manila
38 Istanbul
39 New Delhi
40 Santiago
41 Bogotá
42 Durban
43 Karachi
44 Nairobi
45 Johannesburg
46 São Paulo
47 Rio de Janeiro
48 Moscow
49 Lagos
50 Beirut
51 Mexico City
52 Mumbai
53 Dar Es Salaam
54 Accra
55 Caracas

One word of caution to young people suddenly considering a move to Australia: Rent in Sydney may be cheap, but you’ll probably want to look elsewhere when you’re ready for a mortgage.

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