Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top 50 most expensive cities in 2011

Mercer is a global leader in human resource consulting, outsourcing and investment services which provides market data on international and expatriate compensation management to their clients in multinational companies and governments worldwide. The current survey of the worldwide cost of living 2011, covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. 

New York is used as Mercer's base city and all cities are compared against New York. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The cost of housing is often the biggest expenses for expatriates – plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked. Apart from comparing on the cost of housing, other major factors need to be analyzed such as the currency fluctuation, the impact on inflation on goods and services including petrol (gas), political instability and natural disasters which will influence the cost of living for expatriates and affect on the ranking of a country. 









Top 50 city ranking based on the cost of livings 2011

Mercer international basket including rental accommodation costs

Base City: New York, USA



Rankings
March 2011
March 2010
City
Country
11LUANDAANGOLA
22TOKYOJAPAN
33N'DJAMENACHAD
44MOSCOWRUSSIA
55GENEVASWITZERLAND
66OSAKAJAPAN
78ZURICHSWITZERLAND
811SINGAPORESINGAPORE
98HONG KONGHONG KONG
1021SÂO PAULOBRAZIL
1119NAGOYAJAPAN
127LIBREVILLEGABON
1229RIO DE JANEIROBRAZIL
1424SYDNEYAUSTRALIA
1511OSLONORWAY
1622BERNSWITZERLAND
1710COPENHAGENDENMARK
1817LONDONUNITED KINGDOM
1914SEOULSOUTH KOREA
2016BEIJINGCHINA
2125SHANGHAICHINA
2133MELBOURNEAUSTRALIA
2323NIAMEYNIGER
2419TEL AVIVISRAEL
2513VICTORIASEYCHELLES
2515MILANITALY
2717PARISFRANCE
2867OUAGADOUGOUBURKINA FASO
2930ST. PETERSBURGRUSSIA
3060PERTHAUSTRALIA
3155BRISBANEAUSTRALIA
3227NEW YORK CITY, NYUNITED STATES
3370BRASILIABRAZIL
34
26
ROMEITALY
34
74
CANBERRAAUSTRALIA
36
28
VIENNAAUSTRIA
37
38
NOUMÉANEW CALEDONIA
38
38
GUANGZHOUCHINA
39
62
DJIBOUTIDJIBOUTI
39
76
STOCKHOLMSWEDEN
41
62
LAGOSNIGERIA
42
31
HELSINKIFINLAND
43
42
SHENZHENCHINA
44
32
DAKARSENEGAL
44
141
KHARTOUMSUDAN
46
90
ADELAIDEAUSTRALIA
47
47
PRAGUECZECH REPUBLIC
48
36
BAKUAZERBAIJAN
49
33
BANGUICENTRAL AFRICAN REP.
50
35
AMSTERDAMNETHERLANDS
Research by Mercer Consulting.



Europe

Three European cities which still remain in the top 10 list of the most expensive cities in the world are Moscow (4) followed by Geneva (5) and Zurich (7). According to Mercer, the cost of living for expatriates in the most of Western European cities have been remained relatively stable over the last 12 months. During the past 1 year period, the Euro has weakened against the US dollar therefore, cities like Paris, Milan, Frankfurt and Amsterdam have become less expensive for anyone to travel to Europe from the United States. None of the German cities listed into the top 50 of most expensive cities in 2011. Besides that, some cities experience some decline in rankings when there is a sign of reduction costs of accommodation due to economic downturn especially for Athens and Barcelona. On the other hand, Stockholm was ranked at 76 in 2010 but has jumped to 39 in 2011 due to a considerable strengthening of the local currency against the US dollar. 


Middle East

Tel Aviv ranks at 24 after down by 5 places from 2010 but it continues to be the most expensive city in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi (67), Dubai (81) and Amman (103) follow having dropped 17, 26 and 20 places in the ranking respectively. Based on Mercer's survey, the trend of declining in the accommodation costs continues across the Middle East region (including Dubai), driving the cities down in the ranking along with the cost of living for expats when there is a sudden of over supply of properties in the Middle East region.


Africa

Luanda (1) remains the most expensive city for expatriates across Africa and globally, while N'Djamena follows in third place. Libreville (12) has slipped by 5 places since last year. Niamey remains at 23 whereas Victoria (25) in the Seychelles dropped by 12 places as the Seychelles rupee has weakened against the US dollar. In South Africa, Johannesburg (131) and Cape Town (158) have leaped by 20 and 13 places in the ranking respectively, reflecting the strengthening of the South African rand. The least expensive cities in the region are Tunis (207) and Addis Ababa (211). According to Mercer, it's difficult to find good and secure accommodation for expatriates in most of the African cities as they become more expensive compared to other regions. The house rental in Luanda has increased to US$20,000 per month as mentioned in the video.


The Americas

High inflation on goods and services is the main factor to the rising costs of living in the Southern America. São Paolo (10) and Rio de Janeiro (12), have jumped from the positions 11 and 17 in the ranking respectively. They are now considered as the most expensive locations for expatriates within America region. According to Mercer, higher inflation continues to be the main impact on the cost of goods and services in Argentina and Venezuela, causing their cities to jump up in the ranking. On top of that, the exchange rates of local currencies in Brazil, Chile and Costa Rica are getting stronger against the US dollar, causing the region's cities to rise in the ranking too.

New York ranks at 32, is the most expensive city in the United States. Los Angeles (77) and Chicago (108) have dropped significantly in the rankings as the pricing of goods and services have been moderate compared to New York. Washington, at ranking 108, has climbed three places from last year's ranking, as the accommodation costs have increased significantly.

Portland (186) and Winston-Salem (197) are the least expensive cities in the United States. Toronto (59), up by 17 places since last year's ranking, has overtaken Vancouver (65) to become the most expensive Canadian city in the ranking, followed by Montreal (79) and Calgary (96). Ranking 114, Ottawa is the least expensive city in Canada.


Asia Pacific

Australian cities have seen as the most dramatic jumps in the ranking since last year as the local currency has gained almost 14% against the US dollar. Sydney (14) is up by 10 places from last year's ranking, Melbourne has moved up from rank 33 to 21 and Perth has jumped by 30 places to reach rank 30. Adelaide (46) is the country’s highest riser, up by 44 places since last year's ranking.

The most expensive city in Asia is Tokyo (2), followed by Osaka (6). Singapore (8) has joined the list of the world’s top 10 most expensive cities in 2011 and is followed by Hong Kong (9). Nagoya (11) in Japan is up by 8 places whereas Seoul (19) drops by 5 places from last year's ranking. Other highly ranked Asian cities are Beijing (20), Shanghai (21), Guangzhou (38), Shenzhen (43) and Taipei (52).

New Delhi (85) is India’s most expensive city followed by Mumbai (95) and Bangalore (180). Elsewhere in Asia, Jakarta ranks 69, Hanoi 136, Bangkok 88 and Kuala Lumpur 104. Karachi (214) is the region’s least expensive city.

(Source: Mercer's 2011 Cost of Living Survey) 

 

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