Most expensive cities expats, Most expensive cities in the world for expats named, Thinking of moving to a city in another country? United States consulting firm Mercer has released its list of the most expensive cities in the world for expatriates to live in, and some of the cities may surprise youThe capital of the tiny Republic of Djibouti, situated in the horn of Africa, is the Arab world’s most expensive city for expatriates, a survey by global consultant Mercer has revealed.
Djibouti city, where both Arabic and French are spoken and recognized official languages, beats expensive cities like Beirut, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai were ranked 76 and 81 in a list of 124 most expensive cities in the world.
The survey ranked the Jordanian capital Amman as the fifth most expensive in the Arab world, Saudi’s Riyadh sixth, Morocco’s Casablanca eight, Cairo ninth and finally Kuwait as number 10 in the list.
According to Mercer’s 2010 survey, Beirut was the fourth most expensive, followed by Abu Dhabi, Dubai and then Djibouti.
“On the whole, most Middle Eastern cities have dropped in the ranking, mainly because price increases on goods and services have been more moderate here than in our benchmark city, New York,” Nathalie Constantin-Métral, principal at Mercer, said in a statement.
“Slight decreases in expatriate accommodation costs were also observed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” she added.
Globally, Tokyo topped the list as the world’s most expensive city followed by Luanda in Angola, Osaka, Moscow and Geneva.
Karachi, however, remained the cheapest for the second consecutive year running, behind Islamabad (123) and Managua (122).
In 2010, Mercer ranked Luanda as the world’s most expensive city, followed by Tokyo, Ndjamena in Chad, and Moscow.Tokyo has regained the dubious honour of being the world's most expensive city, where a cup of coffee will set you back £5.25, a newspaper £4 and a litre of milk £2.
The Japanese capital topped the annual cost-of-living survey by the HR consultants Mercer, which ranks cities according to the needs of expatriates. Luanda, in Angola, where more than half the population of 5 million live in poverty and where the Foreign Office advises visitors not to venture out at night, was the second most expensive.
British cities have fallen down the list in recent years, reflecting the weakness of sterling against the US dollar. London was the 25th most expensive city, said Mercer, down from 18th last year and behind every large Australian city and many emerging Asian metropolises.
Birmingham was 133rd, Aberdeen 144th and Glasgow 161st. Belfast (165th) was the UK's least expensive major city, ranking cheaper than Warsaw, Budapest and Cairo.
The survey takes account of small items of spending, such as a hamburger or a cinema ticket, but is dominated by the cost of renting a luxury two-bedroom apartment of the type favoured by expats. In Luanda, which is experiencing a post-civil war boom fuelled by oil exports to China, an apartment typically cost £4,114 a month, said Mercer, compared with £2,800 in London. In Hong Kong a city-centre apartment cost £4,489 a month to rent.
The survey highlights the shift in economic power towards China and the countries that supply it with raw materials. Shanghai was named the 16th most expensive city, moving ahead of London, New York and Paris.
Australian cities have leapt fastest up the rankings after a currency surge. Sydney climbed from 14th to 11th, Melbourne from 21st to 15th, Perth from 30th to 19th and Brisbane from 31st to 24th.
Last week the Australian airline Qantas issued a surprise profits warning brought on in part by hard-up Europeans cancelling holidays to what has become one of the most expensive destinations in the world. On every indicator counted by Mercer except for the price of petrol, Sydney was more expensive than London.
The cheapest city was Karachi, in Pakistan, where the cost of living was a third of that in Tokyo, closely followed by Islamabad. Some US cities are also remarkably cheap: Winston Salem, in North Carolina, was said by Mercer to have the lowest cost of living of any major urban area in the US; Chicago was ranked a lowly 110th overall and Washington DC 107th.
The Swiss cities of Geneva and Zurich remain hugely expensive destinations for expats, once again featuring in the top 10. Athens (78th) is still more expensive for an expat to live in than Berlin (106th), which was easily the best value of any major European capital. A coffee will on average cost £3.35 in Berlin and £3.77 in Athens. As Angela Merkel is telling the Greeks, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee.Global economic and political turmoil has significantly impacted what it costs to live in cities around the world.
The most expensive city to live in for expatriates is Tokyo, Japan, and the least expensive city is Karachi, Pakistan, according to a report released Tuesday by human resource company Mercer.
Fluctuations in the value of the almighty dollar has been a key contributor to the ups and downs of expenses in many parts of the world.
“In North America, most cities have gone up in the ranking, as the U.S. dollar has strengthened against a large proportion of the world’s other currencies,” explained Nathalie Constantin-Métral, principal at Mercer. “In Asia, more than six in 10 cities moved up in the rankings, including all surveyed cities in Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand. Cities in Australia and New Zealand witnessed some of the biggest jumps as their currencies strengthened significantly against the U.S. dollar.”While much of Europe has been hit hard by economic upheaval, one city held onto its rank as No. 4 on the most expensive town list was Moscow. But London dropped to the 25th spot from 18 in 2011.
The Mercer study, which looks at a host of factors when calculating the cost of a city, including housing, transportation, food and clothing, using New York City as its base city, compares all other cities globally to the Big Apple.
Alas, New York dropped down one spot this year to 33 but it still holds the distinction as the most expensive U.S. city, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, White Plains, NY, and Washington DC.
One global surprise on the list, was the number of African cities now in the top third of the Mercer ranking, including Luanda, Angola at No. 2; Ndjamena, Chad at No. 8; Libreville, Gabon at 20; and Khartoum, Sudan, in the 26th spot.
“The main driver behind this is the difficulty finding good, secure accommodation for expatriates,” Constantin-Métral said. “So the limited supply of acceptable accommodation is very expensive. The cost of imported international goods is also high, contributing to many regional cities moving up the ranking.”
Inflation is impacting the costs in both North and South America, the study found. Sao Paolo, and Rio de Janeiro are the most expensive cities in the Americas, followed by Caracas in the 29th position, climbing 22 places since 2011.“Recent world events, including economic and political upheavals, have affected the rankings for many regions through currency fluctuations, inflation, and volatility in accommodation prices,” Mercer said today in its annual Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.The analysis uses New York as a base city and measures the comparative prices of more than 200 items in each location, such as transport, clothing, food, household goods and entertainment. Housing costs, which are also included, are critical in the ranking as they are often the biggest expense for expatriates.
A pair of blue jeans costs $174 in Luanda while expats in Moscow pay about $9.60 for an international newspaper, Mercer said. In Tokyo, a cup of coffee including service averages $8.15 and the monthly rent on a luxury two-bedroom unfurnished apartment runs $4,766, according to the consulting company.
Geneva retained its ranking as the world’s fifth most expensive city for expats, while Zurich moved up one place to sixth and the Swiss capital, Bern, gained two spots to 14 following the strengthening of the franc against the dollar. Karachi is the least expensive city for expats, less than a third as costly as Tokyo, Mercer said.Most European cities dropped in the ranking, mainly due to what Mercer called a “considerable weakening” of local currencies against the dollar. The euro has lost 3.9 percent in the past six months, the worst performance among the 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation- Weighted Indexes.
Oslo fell to 18 from 15 in the rankings, London dropped to 25 from 18 and Paris slipped 10 places to 37. Milan, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels and Dublin all lost between seven to 14 places.
“Despite some marked price increases across the region in the first half of last year and widespread increases in VAT charges, most European cities dropped in the ranking,” said Nathalie Constantin-Metral, who compiled the data. “This is mainly due to the unstable economic situation across Europe, which has led to the depreciation of most local currencies against the dollar.”
Rental accommodation prices have slid in Greece and Spain, which required international bailouts, as well as in Italy, Constantin-Metral said.