Many things influence the cost of living around the world. The cost of living can change due to many factors like currency fluctuations, inflation, political instability or natural disasters. The resulting currency instability and the impact of inflation on goods and services have in recent years impacted the the cost of living in many cities.
This year, Mercer has published a survey on living costs, covering 214 cities across five continents, measuring the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
The survey is designed to provide information to multinational companies and governments so they can better determine the necessary compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. As for the ranking itself, New York is used as the base city and all other locations were compared against it. Currency fluctuations were measured against the US dollar.
According to the latest Mercer report, the most expensive city for expatriates is Luanda in Angola. Tokyo is on the second place, followed by N’Djamena in Chad in third place.
As for the European cities, Moscow holds the fourth position and the title of "Most Expensive European city". It is, however, closely followed by Geneva in fifth place and Zurich in seventh. Copenhagen seems to be getting cheaper, as it dropped from tenth to 17th place. Right after Copenhagen comes London (18) followed by Milan (25) and Paris (27) which seem to be more attractive for living now that they have dropped 10 places comparing to last year. The most dramatic change is seen in Stockholm ranking which dropped from 76th to 39th place, mainly because of rather strong local currency.
Among cities in the Middle East, Tel Aviv (24) continues to be the most expensive one. Abu Dhabi has dropped from 17th to 67th place, and Dubai is currently ranked 81st compared to last year’s 26th position. One of the reasons is the decrease of rental fees across the Middle East region.
In Asia, the most expensive city is Tokyo, also holding the second position worldwide. It is closely followed by Osaka (6) and Singapore (8). Hong Kong is in the ninth position, and Seoul has dropped five places comparing to last year. New Delhi (85) is India’s most expensive city. Jakarta ranks 69, Hanoi 136, Bangkok 88 and Kuala Lumpur 104. The least expensive city in the region, and in the world, is Karachi ranked 214.
New York City (32) is the most expensive city in the United States, compared to Los Angeles (77) and Chicago (108).
To see the ranks of other world cities, visit Mercer web site.
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