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Mercer

2013 Cost of Living Survey Rankings

  • Global Overview
  • Americas
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

Luanda, Angola, tops Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Rankings, the costliest worldwide destination for expatriates

Mercer has released its annual rankings of 214 cities based on their cost of living for expatriates. Relying on surveys that compare over 200 items in each city, it is the world's most comprehensive report of its kind. It helps multinational companies and governments set compensation for their expatriate employees.

 

See regional tabs for details on the cost of living there for international assignees. To learn more, read the press release.

Top 10 Most Expensive Assignment Locations
  1. 1 Luanda, Angola
  2. 2 Moscow, Russia
  3. 3 Tokyo, Japan
  4. 4 N'Djamena, Chad
  5. 5 Singapore, Singapore
  1. 6 Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  2. 7 Geneva, Switzerland
  3. 8 Zurich, Switzerland
  4. 9 Bern, Switzerland
  5. 9 Sydney, Australia

Get the full ranking of 214 cities

Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Rankings Report includes expert analysis of factors affecting shifts in expatriate cost of living in the last year globally and by region. See the full ranking of 214 cities worldwide and sample cost comparisons based on Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Survey. This report does not include city-to-city indices or allowance recommendations.

BUY NOW | US$699

Get the full ranking of 214 cities

Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Rankings Report includes expert analysis of factors affecting shifts in expatriate cost of living in the last year globally and by region. See the full ranking of 214 cities worldwide and sample cost comparisons based on Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Survey. This report does not include city-to-city indices or allowance recommendations.

BUY NOW | US$699

Relative stability in the Americas, but multiple factors influence ranking shifts

In the Americas, cities in South America are the most expensive for expatriates. Living in some cities, particularly those in Brazil, became cheaper because of the US dollar's strengthening against local currencies. Other cities became more expensive. The cost of living in some, like Buenos Aires and Caracas, rose due to high inflation. Others, like Mexico City, are facing a strong rental market.

 

Overall, the cost of living in other cities in Latin America and in the Caribbean remained fairly stable, according to Mercer's rankings.

 

New York, the base city for Mercer's Cost of Living rankings, is the most expensive city in the United States. It became costlier due to rising housing rental costs. Most US cities were stable vs the previous year's ranking, while Canadian cities generally moved slightly down in the rankings this year.

 

To learn more, read the press release.

Get the full ranking of 214 cities

Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Rankings Report includes expert analysis of factors affecting shifts in expatriate cost of living in the last year globally and by region. See the full ranking of 214 cities worldwide and sample cost comparisons based on Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Survey. This report does not include city-to-city indices or allowance recommendations.

BUY NOW | US$699

Currency changes and housing costs influence Asia-Pacific rankings

While many Asian cities remained stable in the previous 12 months, a large number have gone down in the rankings due to weaker local currencies (vs. the US dollar), including the most expensive city in the 2012 rankings – Tokyo, which is ranked third this year.

 

Singapore is ranked 5th globally. High demand for expat accommodation and goods, coupled with a strong currency, make Singapore so expensive.

 

Sydney is also in the top 10 worldwide and the most expensive expatriate destination in the Pacific. Demand for rentals in Sydney keeps growing and supply just isn't keeping up. Other Australian cities are also relatively costly due to the strong Australian dollar. New Zealand is more affordable for expatriates.

 

To learn more, read the press release.

Get the full ranking of 214 cities

Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Rankings Report includes expert analysis of factors affecting shifts in expatriate cost of living in the last year globally and by region. See the full ranking of 214 cities worldwide and sample cost comparisons based on Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Survey. This report does not include city-to-city indices or allowance recommendations.

BUY NOW | US$699

Most expensive expatriate destination list dominated by European and African cities

European and African cities dominate the most expensive expatriate destinations. Luanda, Angola, is the top-ranked city. Another African city near the top was N'Djamena, Chad, ranked 4th. Expatriates living in these cities have high expenditures for appropriate accommodation, transportation and imported goods. Other African cities remain more affordable.

 

Moscow is second in the global rankings, also because of its high-demand rental market and expensive goods commonly purchased by expatriates. Three Swiss cities – Geneva, Zurich, and Bern – are also in the Top 10. Switzerland remains one of the costliest locations for expatriates despite decreasing or stable accommodation costs and a robust Swiss franc.

 

Overall, the cost of living in cities across parts of Europe has gone up mildly as a result of the slight strengthening of local currencies against the US dollar.

 

To learn more, read the press release.

 

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