List of most expensive cities for expatriate employees

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These are lists of the world's most expensive cities for expatriate employees (not residents), according to the Mercer,[1] ECA International[2] and Xpatulator.com [3] cost-of-living surveys. Other surveys from online collaborative indices, such as Numbeo,[4] Expatistan[5] or Eardex[6] are not covered by this article.

Various factors enter into a city's cost-of-living for expatriate employees, such as monetary value, consumer confidence, investment, interest rates, exchange rates of the country's currency, and housing costs. This list does not account for cost-of-living savings accrued to local citizens through government-subsidized housing, health care, and education, differences in taxation, and many other factors irrelevant to expatriates. Cost of living may be much higher for expatriates than for local residents in a developing country, especially if expatriates expect a standard of living similar to a developed country.

Mercer[edit]

Mercer's Cost of Living surveys are taken in March of each year.

The survey covers 207 cities around the world and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city and all other cities are compared against New York. The cost of housing plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked.

Two main factors determine a city’s ranking in Mercer’s survey – the relative strength of the relevant currency against the US dollar over the prior 12 months and price movements over the prior 12 months compared to those in New York City as the base.

Top ten locations surveyed (2015)[7]
Rank City Country Region
1 Luanda  Angola Africa
2 Hong Kong  China Asia Pacific
3 Zürich   Switzerland Europe
4 Singapore  Singapore Asia Pacific
5 Geneva   Switzerland Europe
6 Shanghai  China Asia Pacific
7 Beijing  China Asia Pacific
8 Seoul  South Korea Asia Pacific
9 Bern   Switzerland Europe
10 N’Djamena  Chad Africa

ECA International[edit]

Every March and September, ECA International calculates the cost of living for expatriates in almost 400 cities around the world. The survey does not include certain living costs such as accommodation, utilities (electricity, gas, water costs), car purchase and school fees. These are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages from cost of living allowances.

Top 20 cities surveyed (2015)[2]
Ranking City Country
1 Juba  South Sudan
2 Luanda  Angola
3 Zürich   Switzerland
4 Geneva   Switzerland
5 Bern   Switzerland
6 Basel   Switzerland
7 Mukushi  Democratic Republic of the Congo
8 Shanghai  China
9 Beijing  China
10 Seoul  South Korea
11 Oslo  Norway
12 Hong Kong  Hong Kong
13 Stavanger  Norway
14 Guangzhou  China
15 Busan  South Korea
16 Tokyo  Japan
17 Conakry  Guinea
18 Shenzhen  China
19 Singapore  Singapore
20 New York City  United States

Asia Pacific[edit]

Top 250 cities surveyed (2015), filtered Asia Pacific[2]
Regional Ranking Global Ranking City Country
1 8 Shanghai  China
2 9 Beijing  China
3 10 Seoul  South Korea
4 12 Hong Kong  China
5 14 Guangzhou  China
6 15 Busan  South Korea
7 16 Tokyo  Japan
8 18 Shenzhen  China
9 19 Singapore  Singapore
10 21 Port Moresby  Papua New Guinea
11 23 Ulsan  South Korea
12 26 Dalian  China
13 28 Yokohama  Japan
14 31 Nagoya  Japan
15 32 Qingdao  China
16 33 Osaka  Japan
17 35 Chengdu  China
18 36 Tianjin  China
19 39 Suzhou  China
20 41 Xi'an  China
21 42 Nanjing  China
22 43 Macau  China
23 44 Auckland  New Zealand
24 45 Chongqing  China
25 47 Wuhan  China
26 49 Wellington  New Zealand
27 50 Xiamen  China
28 51 Taipei  Taiwan
29 56 Christchurch  New Zealand
30 57 Sydney  Australia
31 63 Canberra  Australia
32 68 Melbourne  Australia
33 74 Perth  Australia
34 77 Adelaide  Australia
35 78 Brisbane  Australia
36 80 Darwin  Australia
37 86 Kaohsiung  Taiwan
38 124 Bangkok  Thailand
39 158 Dhaka  Bangladesh
40 173 Manila  Philippines
41 174 New Delhi  India
42 177 Jakarta  Indonesia
43 178 Vientiane  Laos
44 181 Phnom Penh  Cambodia
45 184 Chiang Mai  Thailand
46 189 Kuala Lumpur  Malaysia
47 190 Yangon  Myanmar
48 197 Mumbai  India
49 198 Hanoi  Vietnam
50 201 Ho Chi Minh City  Vietnam
51 209 Pune  India
52 214 Chennai  India
53 217 Colombo  Sri Lanka
54 220 Bengaluru  India
55 226 Kolkata  India
56 227 Hyderabad  India
57 231 George Town  Malaysia
58 234 Surabaya  Indonesia
59 235 Johor Bahru  Malaysia
60 238 Kathmandu    Nepal
61 241 Islamabad  Pakistan
62 242 Karachi  Pakistan
63 250 Ulaanbaatar  Mongolia

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living Survey City Rankings – Global Overview". Mercer. July 23, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Hong Kong now more expensive than Tokyo for expatriates". ECA International. June 11, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Cost of Living Rankings for 2014". Xpatulator. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Cost of Living Index for 2012". Numbeo. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Expatistan Cost of Living Index". Expatistan. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ Eardex. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  7. ^ "Mercer's 2015 Cost of Living - City Rankings". Mercer. Retrieved October 17, 2015.