What Are The Most Expensive Cities For Expats?

When researching your next expatriate posting, one of the first things people need to look at is the cost of living in the new location. For seasoned expats this may seem like an obvious thing to do however for those new to the expat lifestyle it can be a trap.

According to the 2011 Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey, often the local currency can play the largest factor in whether a location is cheap or expensive. Looking at a couple of examples closer to home, they reviewed Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide. These six cities jumped by at least 10 places between their 2010 ranking and their 2011 ranking. Canberra and Adelaide  jumped by 40 or more places. These changes were primarily driven by the strength in the Australian Dollar which rose over 14% during the survey period.

 

March 2011 rank

March 2010 rank

Change in rank

Sydney

14

24

+10

Melbourne

21

33

+12

Perth

30

60

+30

Brisbane

31

55

+24

Canberra

34

74

+40

Adelaide

46

90

+44

Source – Mercer

The top 5 cities for 2011 were:

Top 5 cities – Overall
  • Luanda, Angola (1st)
  • Tokyo, Japan (2nd)
  • N’Djamena, Chad (3rd)
  • Moscow, Russia (4th)
  • Geneva, Switzerland (5th)

Source – Mercer

The top 5 cities ranked by region are:

Americas Asia Pacific Europe Middle East & Africa
  • São Paulo, Brazil (10th)
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (12th)
  • New York, United States (32nd)
  • Brasilia, Brazil (33rd)
  • Caracas, Venezuela (51st)
  • Tokyo, Japan (2nd)
  • Osaka, Japan (6th)
  • Singapore, Singapore (8th)
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong (9th)
  • Nagoya, Japan (11th)
  • Moscow, Russia (4th)
  • Geneva, Switzerland (5th)
  • Zurich, Switzerland (7th)
  • Oslo, Norway (15th)
  • Bern, Switzerland (16th)
  • Luanda, Angola (1st)
  • N’Djamena, Chad (3rd)
  • Libreville, Gabon (12th)
  • Niamey, Niger (23rd)
  • Victoria, Seychelles (25th)

Source – Mercer