Asian, European Cities Dominate Top Of Annual Expat Cost Of Living Survey

By Hans Esser, for 22 June, 2017

African, Asian, and European cities are the most expensive locations for expats working abroad, according to Mercer's annual Cost of Living Survey, released on June 21, 2017.

Mercer's 2017 Cost of Living Survey finds Asian and European cities – particularly Hong Kong (2), Tokyo (3), Zurich (4), and Singapore (5) – top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates. The costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security, is Luanda (1), the capital of Angola.

Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer's costliest cities for expatriates are Seoul (6), Geneva (7), Shanghai (8), New York City (9), and Bern (10). The world's least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer's survey, are Tunis, Tunisia (209), Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan (208), and Skopje, the capital of Macedonia (206).

Mercer's survey is one of the world's most comprehensive, and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.

Cities in the United States are the most expensive locations in the Americas, with New York City (9) ranked as the costliest city, climbing two spots from last year. San Francisco (22) and Los Angeles (24) follow, having climbed four and three spots, respectively. Among other major US cities, Chicago (32) is up two places, Boston (51) is down four places, and Seattle is up seven places. Portland (115) and Winston Salem (140) remain the least expensive surveyed cities for expatriates in the US.

In South America, Brazilian cities Sao Paulo (27) and Rio de Janeiro (56) surged 101 and 100 spots, respectively, due to the strengthening of the Brazilian real against the US dollar. Buenos Aires, the Argentina capital and financial hub ranked 40, followed by Santiago (67) and Montevideo, Uruguay (65).

Zurich (4) is still the most costly European city on the list, followed by Geneva (7) and Bern (10). Moscow (14) and St. Petersburg (36) surged 53 and 116 places from last year, respectively, due to the strong appreciation of the ruble against the US dollar and the cost of goods and services. Meanwhile, London (30), Aberdeen (146), and Birmingham (147) dropped 13, 61, and 51 spots, respectively, as a result of the pound weakening against the US dollar following the Brexit vote.

Copenhagen fell four places from 24 to 28. Oslo (46) is up thirteen spots from last year, while Paris fell 18 places to rank 62.

In Africa, Luanda (1) is followed by Victoria, Seychelles (14), Ndjamena, the capital of Chad (16), and Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (18). Tunis fell six spots to rank 209, becoming the least expensive city in the region and overall.

Tags: Expatriates | Chad | Kyrgyzstan | Uruguay | Employees | Angola | Singapore | Brazil | Hong Kong | Tunisia | United States | Argentina | Macedonia | Seychelles | Services | Expats | Europe | Other | Africa | South America |


News Archive