World’s Most Expensive Cities For Expatriates To Live In
Having an idea about the cost of living in different cities is important especially to multinational companies and their employees as well. A compiled list of expensive cities, assist the said companies to come up with a favorable remuneration package for employees being posted abroad.
An internationally connected human resource influences the multinationals to deploy its talents around the world. A mobile workforce will enable companies to enhance efficiency by utilizing their great talent thereby lowering the costs of international projects. However, shrinking economic growth and eruptive markets around the world, demand the multinationals to carefully consider expatriate compensation packages.
Mercer which is a global investment research firm carried out a cost of living survey in March 2018. The research was performed on five different continents thereby ranking a total of 209 cities out of the more than 375 it surveyed.
Mercer compared the cost of over 200 products in each of the cities ranging from clothing, entertainment, food, housing, and transportation. It used New York as its primary city for purposes of comparison and used the U.S dollar to measure the currency moves.
Surprisingly, neither New York nor any U.S city made it to the top 10 list of the most expensive cities. This is as a result of the dollar’s depreciation compared to the world’s major currencies. On the contrary, Asian cities dominate the list which was released in June of this year. Below is a list of how different cities ranked:
Coincidentally, this capital city Switzerland retains its 10th position that it had attained last year’s Mercer survey. The city is built along the Aare River around a crook. Since it has managed to successfully retain its historic features, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The capital city has a 6-kilometer arcade that makes it European’s longest weather shielded shopping fronts.
Beijing which is the capital city of China replaces New York to stand at ninth position. Last year, the city which is among the oldest in the world ranked at position 11. Not only does the city boast of having the largest palace globally but it is also home to the longest wall worldwide. Following its abundant cultural and historic heritage a total of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
N’Djamena doubles up as the capital city of Chad as well as the largest city in the said nation. It has moved up eight places from last year’s position 16. The city is located on the east of the Chari River. It is expensive for expatriates despite the region’s average income being low. This is because accessing the western products is limited therefore making the products expensive.
Shanghai which is located on the central coast of China moved up one position. It boasts as being the largest city in the country. Additionally, it is an international financial hub. Expect to pay around $4.60 for an ordinary cup of coffee.
The Global Mobility Product Solutions Leader at Mercer, Yvonne Traber gave the reasons behind Chinese cities moving up the ranking. She attributed it to the monetary regulation by China and a flourishing economy. Finally, the pushing of the Chinese Yuan to be recognized as global currency has also played a part in the cities’ ranks.
Luanda which is the Angolan capital has slipped five positions. It ranked as the most expensive city in the world in 2017. However, unlike most of the cities, it does not make it on the list because of its economic prowess.
Angola, gained its independence in 2002, following a long spell of civil war which ravaged the nation’s infrastructure. Consequently, the country is yet to reclaim its place as a net exporter. Thus, most of its citizens are poor and the wealthy ones have to pay dear prices for security as well as for imported products.
The South Korean capital continues to move up. It ranked position six in 2017 having moved up from number 15 which is held in 2016. Seoul is a big metropolis boasting of subways that are high tech, modern skyscrapers, palaces and temples for Buddhists.
Price of grocery is more expensive in Seoul than in New York by a massive 50%, whereas bread is generally more expensive than in most countries.
Singapore ranks as the fourth most expensive city for expatriates to live in. In one of the surveys last year it did not even make it to the top 20 list. A survey conducted in 2017 by the Employment Conditions Abroad (ECA) International ranked the nation at number 21. The survey only considered the price of the everyday products consumed by assignees, as opposed to cost of accommodation, utilities or even rentals. That was the lowest price it had featured since 2014, having been surpassed by cities like Copenhagen and Tel Aviv.
According to ECA’s regional director for Asia, Lee Quane, the city dropped places since its dollar had weakened against other currencies such as Danish Krone, Israel Shekel or even the Norwegian.
However, Singapore is associated with higher salaries and a very stable economy.
Another Swiss city makes it to the top 10 list. Zurich moves up one place to make it to the third position. Meanwhile, it becomes the dearest European city to live in. The city which is located next to Lake Zurich is proud to be the international location for both banking and finance.
Japan’s capital ranked second. It is amongst the most populated urban centers in the world. Thus, it is a very busy metropolitan featuring neon-lit-skyscrapers as well as historic temples. It is the city with the largest economy of all the cities in the world. Due to its high population and large economy, land in Tokyo is enormously expensive consequently pushing up the cost of accommodation.
- Hong Kong
This autonomous Asian city is the most expensive city for expatriates to reside. Although in 2017, it settled for second place, the city has topped the list severally. In spite of, being heavily populated, the city harbors a large port.
Hong Kong’s skyline spots numerous skyscrapers that boast of architectural landmarks. Since its economy is pegged on the U.S dollar the city has attracted many global companies. Hence, making it an international financial hub.
Similar to Tokyo, land in Hong Kong is scarce, thereby pushing up property prices. Moreover, property costs are always increasing.