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These are lists of the world's most expensive cities, according to the Mercer Human Resource Consulting [1] and Economist Intelligence Unit [2] cost-of-living surveys. Other surveys, such as [3] 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.

Contents

Mercer surveys

Tokyo
Osaka
Moscow
Geneva
Hong Kong
Zürich
Copenhagen
New York City
Beijing
Singapore
Milan
Shanghai
Paris
Oslo
Caracas
London
Tel Aviv
Rome
Helsinki
Dubai
Vienna
Shenzhen
Los Angeles
Guangzhou
Dublin
Abu Dhabi
Douala
Athens

Surveys are taken in March of each year.

2009 City 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002
1 Japan Tokyo, Japan 2 4 3 1 1 1 3
2 Japan Osaka, Japan 11 8 6 2 4 3 6
3 Russia Moscow, Russia 1 1 1 4 3 2 2
4 Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland 8 7 7 6 6 6 28
5 Hong Kong Hong Kong, People's Republic of China 6 5 4 9 5 4 1
6 Switzerland Zürich, Switzerland 9 9 9 7 9 9 32
7 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark 7 6 8 8 8 15 62
8 United States New York City, United States 22 15 10 13 12 10 7
9 People's Republic of China Beijing, People's Republic of China 20 20 14 19 11 5 4
10 Singapore Singapore 13 14 17 34 46 32 24
11 Italy Milan, Italy 10 11 13 11 13 17 63
12 People's Republic of China Shanghai, People's Republic of China 24 26 20 30 16 11 5
13 France Paris, France 12 13 16 12 17 23 74
14 Norway Oslo, Norway 4 10 10 10 15 13 40
15 Venezuela Caracas, Venezuela 89 129 136 138 134 128 55
16 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom 3 2 5 3 2 7 10
17 Israel Tel Aviv, Israel 14 17 24 39 33 40 37
18 Italy Rome, Italy 16 18 21 17 21 41 99
19 Finland Helsinki, Finland 21 22 25 20 23 36 79
20 United Arab Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates 52 34 25 73 83 63 45
21 Austria Vienna, Austria 19 19 21 16 19 34 77
22 People's Republic of China Shenzhen, People's Republic of China 61 53 44 63 30 18 13
23 United States Los Angeles, United States 55 42 29 44 27 22 19
24 People's Republic of China Guangzhou, People's Republic of China 24 68 54 65 32 18 11
25 Republic of Ireland Dublin, Ireland 16 16 18 13 14 21 73
26 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 65 45 30 64 62 39 27
27 Cameroon Douala, Cameroon 17 24 27 22 25 31 65
28 Greece Athens, Greece 25 29 56 41 50 71 111
29 Netherlands Amsterdam, The Netherlands 25 25 41 24 26 52 102
30 Slovakia Bratislava, Slovakia 45 31 49 31 44 56
31 United States White Plains, United States 89 70 43 45 52 20 16
32 Nigeria Lagos, Nigeria 30 37 31 96 111 90
33 Iran Tehran, Iran 74 118 125 129 122 111
34 Côte d'Ivoire Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire 51 35 45 26 24 35 72
35 Senegal Dakar, Senegal 41 33 45 36 47 56
36 United States San Francisco, United States 78 54 34 50 38 30 21
37 Spain Madrid, Spain 28 26 53 46 61 86 117
38 Luxembourg Luxembourg, Luxembourg 43 43 56 33 39 66
39 Spain Barcelona, Spain 31 31 56 43 56 81
40 Algeria Algiers, Algeria 57 50 51 58 60 72
41 United States Honolulu, United States 77 64 67 61 57 32 23
42 Belgium Brussels, Belgium 39 44 70 41 53 68 112
43 Lebanon Beirut, Lebanon 80 63 32 52 37 25 18
44 Kazakhstan Almaty, Kazakhstan 44 30 52 75 74 72
45 United States Miami, United States 75 51 39 57 55 27 25
46 Russia St. Petersburg, Russia 18 12 12 15 10 12 8
47 Germany Munich, Germany 37 39 65 37 43 62
48 Germany Frankfurt, Germany 40 40 61 34 42 65
49 Germany Berlin, Germany 38 45 72 38 28 58 104
50 United States Chicago, United States 84 58 38 52 35 25 20
51 South Korea Seoul, South Korea 5 3 2 5 7 8 9
52 Turkey Istanbul, Turkey 23 38 15 22 18 42 44
53 Jordan Amman, Jordan 88 77 62 67 63 46 30
54 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 46 45 62 32 40 63
55 Latvia Riga, Latvia 46 72 81 54 48 27 22
56 Germany Hamburg, Germany 50 57 77 49 58 83
57 Egypt Cairo, Egypt 101 93 93 97 99 102 51
58 Vietnam Hanoi, Vietnam 91 56 32 50 29 14 11
59 Croatia Zagreb, Croatia 49 59 79 48 59 75
60 United States Boston, United States 99 79 84 79 70 54
61 Republic of China Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China) 63 48 28 29 31 29 15
62 France Lyon, France 57 71 91 61 69 89
63 United States Houston, United States 98 83 76 70 73 46 36
64 Portugal Lisbon, Portugal 57 73 88 66 71 94 118
65 India New Delhi, India 55 68 73 110 116 109 91
66 Australia Sydney, Australia 15 21 19 20 20 67 95
67 India Mumbai, India 48 52 68 105 109 114 92
68 United States Washington, D.C., United States 107 85 83 78 68 51 41
69 Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 100 60 37 56 36 16 14
70 Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic 29 49 50 28 49 49 75
71 Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico 104 75 35 42 65 43 35
72 Brazil São Paulo, Brazil 25 62 34 119 128 136
73 Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 31 64 40 124 131 137
74 Estonia Tallinn, Estonia 76 90 96 60 75 60
75 United States Atlanta, United States 109 87 86 83 85 61
76 United States Morristown, United States 111 87 84 80 72 53
77 Kuwait Kuwait City, Kuwait 94 80 78 72 64 43 32
78 Cyprus Limassol, Cyprus 68 74 118 100 95 106
79 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden 31 23 36 18 22 48 94
80 Morocco Casablanca, Morocco 81 80 88 59 66 69
81 Ukraine Kiev, Ukraine 42 28 21 54 54 24 17
82 Bahrain Manama, Bahrain 112 91 87 86 78 43 32
83 Lithuania Vilnius, Lithuania 85 97 116 91 91 85
84 United States Seattle, United States 113 102 102 103 90 80
85 Canada Toronto, Canada 54 82 47 82 89 104 104
86 People's Republic of China Tianjin, People's Republic of China 123 130 128 131 115 101
87 United States Denver, United States 115 115 97 94 100 69
88 Kenya Nairobi, Kenya 103 102 107 119 121 105
89 Canada Calgary, Canada 66 92 71 98 114 116
90 Saudi Arabia Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 119 110 98 88 77 50 31
90 Slovenia Ljubljana, Slovenia 82 93 106 76 82 100
92 Panama Panama City, Panama 124 124 121 114 106 91
92 Australia Melbourne, Australia 36 74 74 68 67 111 127
94 Canada Vancouver, Canada 64 89 56 87 96 110
95 Ghana Accra, Ghana 96 76 75 91 97 98
96 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 106 106 114 117 104 97
97 United States Cleveland, United States 129 118 110 109 98 87
98 Thailand Bangkok, Thailand 105 95 127 125 119 125
99 United States St. Louis, United States 120 115 103 102 92 82
100 Malawi Blantyre, Malawi 125 127 129 130 135 140 141
101 Germany Leipzig, Germany 95 107 123 85 93 106
101 Bulgaria Sofia, Bulgaria 97 108 111 81 79 83
103 Canada Montreal, Canada 72 98 80 107 113 120
104 Dominican Republic Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 137 132 126 99 142 122
105 Zambia Lusaka, Zambia 101 101 41 123 125 129
106 Indonesia Jakarta, Indonesia 82 55 48 71 45 38 53
107 Romania Bucharest, Romania 71 78 114 103 129 122
108 Hungary Budapest, Hungary 61 65 65 24 34 37 75
109 Saudi Arabia Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 126 113 100 89 81 58
110 Bangladesh Dhaka, Bangladesh 132 125 131 127 117 94
111 United States Portland, United States 128 123 111 112 105 92
112 Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina 138 139 142 142 141 141 133
113 Poland Warsaw, Poland 35 67 62 27 76 54
114 United States Detroit, United States 127 118 122 101 101 79
115 Sri Lanka Colombo, Sri Lanka 130 130 132 132 127 118
116 Australia Brisbane, Australia 57 86 99 84 87 121
117 Australia Perth, Australia 53 84 93 93 94 126 137
118 United States Pittsburgh, United States 133 128 113 111 112 88
119 Guatemala Guatemala City, Guatemala 122 107 93 108 108 98
120 Colombia Bogotá, Colombia 87 112 130 133 139 142
121 Canada Ottawa, Canada 85 109 90 122 124 127
122 Peru Lima, Peru 115 117 118 118 118 108
123 Jamaica Kingston, Jamaica 120 121 109 105 103 77
124 Brunei Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei 114 114 118 113 110 103
125 United Kingdom Birmingham, United Kingdom 66 41 69 47 51 76 89
126 Philippines Manila, Philippines 110 137 141 143 138 135
127 United States Winston-Salem, United States 115 126 124 119 107 93
128 Chile Santiago, Chile 92 102 91 128 123 134
129 United Kingdom Glasgow, United Kingdom 69 36 60 40 41 74 80
130 Australia Adelaide, Australia 73 96 108 89 88 124
131 Uruguay Montevideo, Uruguay 136 140 138 140 143 139
132 Costa Rica San José, Costa Rica 139 138 134 135 130 113
133 India Bangalore, India 118 134 139 141 137 138 139
134 Tunisia Tunis, Tunisia 133 135 133 126 120 119
135 India Chennai (Madras), India 117 133 137 138 133 132 135
136 Ecuador Quito, Ecuador 142 141 135 137 136 131
137 Mexico Mexico City, Mexico 108 104 81 95 84 77 28
138 New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand 78 99 100 69 80 115 140
139 New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand 93 111 105 76 86 117 142
140 Pakistan Karachi, Pakistan 141 142 140 136 132 130
141 Paraguay Asunción, Paraguay 143 143 144 144 144 144 143
142 Mexico Monterrey, Mexico 131 122 103 115 102 96 38
143 South Africa Johannesburg, South Africa 140 136 117 116 126 133 144
- Zimbabwe Harare, Zimbabwe 143 134 140 143 26

(survey does not include Harare anymore because of severe economic crisis in Zimbabwe)

Three most expensive cities by region (as of July 2009)

North America

Rank City Ranking
1 United States New York City 8
2 United States Los Angeles 23
3 United States White Plains 31

Latin America

Rank City Ranking
1 Venezuela Caracas 15
2 Puerto Rico San Juan 71
3 Brazil São Paulo 72

Europe

Rank City Ranking
1 Russia Moscow 3
2 Switzerland Geneva 4
3 Switzerland Zürich 6

Western Asia

Rank City Ranking
1 Israel Tel Aviv 17
2 United Arab Emirates Dubai 20
3 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi 26

Northern Africa

Rank City Ranking
1 Algeria Algiers 40
2 Egypt Cairo 57
3 Morocco Casablanca 80

Sub-Saharan Africa

Rank City Ranking
1 Cameroon Douala 27
2 Nigeria Lagos 32
3 Côte d'Ivoire Abidjan 34

East Asia

Rank City Ranking
1 Japan Tokyo 1
2 Japan Osaka 2
3 Hong Kong Hong Kong 5

South-East Asia

Rank City Ranking
1 Singapore Singapore 10
2 Vietnam Hanoi 58
3 Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City 69

South Asia

Rank City Ranking
1 India New Delhi 65
2 India Mumbai 67
3 Bangladesh Dhaka 110

Oceania

Rank City Ranking
1 Australia Sydney 66
2 Australia Melbourne 92
3 Australia Brisbane 116

[1]

Economist Intelligence Unit surveys

The top 50 expensive cities according to surveys of 130 cities released in January 2005, 2006 and 2007 by The Economist Group[2]. The price of housing, generally the largest cost of living, is not included as this tends to be provided by the company and does not factor in adjusting the salary of the expatriate employee.

Reykjavik
Frankfurt
Munich
Berlin
Brussels
Nouméa
Stockholm
Melbourne
2007 Index[3] City 2006 2005
1 132 Norway Oslo, Norway 1 3
2 130 France Paris, France 4 4
3 126 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark 6 5
4 125 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom 7 6
5 124 Japan Tokyo, Japan 2 1
6 118 Japan Osaka, Japan 4 2
6 118 Iceland Reykjavik, Iceland 3 8
6 118 Switzerland Zürich, Switzerland 8 6
9 116 Germany Frankfurt, Germany 12
9 116 Finland Helsinki, Finland 10 10
11 115 South Korea Seoul, South Korea 13
12 112 Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland 9 8
12 112 Austria Vienna, Austria 11
14 108 Italy Milan, Italy 16
14 108 Singapore Singapore, Singapore 24
16 107 Hong Kong Hong Kong 14
16 107 Germany Munich, Germany 14
18 106 Germany Berlin, Germany 19
18 106 Australia Sydney, Australia 16
20 104 Belgium Brussels, Belgium 21
20 104 Republic of Ireland Dublin, Ireland 16 21
20 104 New Caledonia Nouméa, New Caledonia n/a
20 104 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden 21
24 103 Australia Melbourne, Australia 19
25 102 France Lyon, France 24
26 101 Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands 23
26 101 Russia Moscow, Russia 29
28 100 United States New York, United States 27 23
29 99 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 27
29 99 United Kingdom Manchester, United Kingdom 26
31 98 Spain Barcelona, Spain 35
31 98 Italy Rome, Italy 31
33 97 Spain Madrid, Spain 35
34 96 Germany Hamburg, Germany 32
34 96 Canada Vancouver, Canada 43
36 95 United States Chicago, United States 35
36 95 Luxembourg Luxembourg, Luxembourg 40
36 95 Canada Montreal, Canada 43
39 94 United States Los Angeles, United States 35
40 93 Australia Perth, Australia 35
41 92 Australia Brisbane, Australia 32
41 92 United States San Francisco, United States 40
43 90 Canada Toronto, Canada 47
44 89 Côte d'Ivoire Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire 40
44 89 Russia St Petersburg, Russia 52
44 89 United States Washington, DC, United States 46
47 88 Australia Adelaide, Australia 45
47 88 United States Houston, United States 48
47 88 Israel Tel Aviv, Israel 52
50 87 New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand 29
51 86 New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand 32

Sources

  • Vadgama's Dictionary of Interesting Facts
  • The Mercer 2009 Cost of Living Survey [4]
  • Finfacts Ireland [5]
  • BBC News article referring to the survey [6]
  • MCMXCIII News article about the survey [7]
  • CNNMoney.com article about the survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit [8]
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) [9]
  • Global/Worldwide Cost of Living [10]

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.mercer.com/costoflivingpr#Top_50
  2. ^ Data copied from a blog
  3. ^ Relative to cost of living in New York city, which has a constant index of 100







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