The world’s most expensive cities for expatriates

17th June 2015

Living and working abroad can be expensive, but it all depends on where you are. The costs of more than 200 items have been analyzed across 207 cities world wide to create the latest cost of living rankings by Mercer. 

Asia and Europe occupy most of the top 10 most expensive cities in the world for expatriates, yet all three of Europe’s top 10 are in fact held by Switzerland (Zurich, Geneva & Bern), just as they were last year.

The most expensive city for the third consecutive year is Lunada, the Angolan capital. For native workers the city is quite affordable yet the rising costs of imported goods and secure living conditions for expatriate workers have kept this city in top spot as the most expensive in the world.

Elsewhere across Europe, London, like it’s Swiss counterparts, is the only one to hold its ground, staying in 12th position. 

Most Western European cities became less expensive, probably largely due to the weakening of the Euro, especially against the dollar, which boasts a gain of some 20% over the 12 months. Notable movers here are Paris (27th to 46th), Lyon (79th to 147th), Lisbon (94th to 145th), Madrid (63rd to 115th) and Rome (31st to 59th).

The 21st annual survey of its kind found that housing market instability and the inflation of goods and services had a significant impact on the overall costs of doing business abroad.

- Added to shortlist

- Removed from the shortlist

Undo