Friday, June 22, 2012

Top 50 Most Expensive Cities in 2012


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. Recently, Mercer releases the cost of living survey 2012, 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 the living costs and expenses in 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 of inflation on goods and services including petrol (gas), political instability and natural disasters which will influence the cost of living for expatriates and the locals as well as the impact on the ranking system of a country in the worldwide yearly. 


City Rankings

Top 50 cities: Cost of living ranking
Mercer international basket including rental accommodation costs
Base City: New York, USA

Rankings

March 2012
March 2011
City
Country
12TOKYOJAPAN
21LUANDAANGOLA
36OSAKAJAPAN
44MOSCOWRUSSIA
55GENEVASWITZERLAND
67ZURICHSWITZERLAND
68SINGAPORESINGAPORE
83N'DJAMENACHAD
99HONG KONGHONG KONG
1011NAGOYAJAPAN
1114SYDNEYAUSTRALIA
1210SÃO PAULOBRAZIL
1312RIO DE JANEIROBRAZIL
1416BERNSWITZERLAND
1521MELBOURNEAUSTRALIA
1621SHANGHAICHINA
1720BEIJINGCHINA
1815OSLONORWAY
1930PERTHAUSTRALIA
2012LIBREVILLEGABON
2117COPENHAGENDENMARK
2219SEOULSOUTH KOREA
2334CANBERRAAUSTRALIA
2431BRISBANEAUSTRALIA
2518LONDONUNITED KINGDOM
2644KHARTOUMSUDAN
2746ADELAIDEAUSTRALIA
2829ST. PETERSBURGRUSSIA
2951CARACASVENEZUELA
3043SHENZENCHINA
3124TEL AVIVISRAEL
3138GUANGZHOUCHINA
3332NEW YORK CITY, NYUNITED STATES
34
23
NIAMEYNIGER
35
70
YANGONMYANMAR
36
61
KINSHASADEM. REP. OF THE CONGO
37
27
PARISFRANCE
38
25
MILANITALY
39
41
LAGOSNIGERIA
39
63
BAMAKOMALI
41
67
ABIDJANCÔTE D'IVOIRE
42
34
ROMEITALY
43
55
BRAZZAVILLECONGO
44
39
DJIBOUTIDJIBOUTI
45
33
BRASILIABRAZIL
46
39
STOCKHOLMSWEDEN
47
37
NOUMÉANEW CALEDONIA
48
36
VIENNAAUSTRIA
49
48
BAKUAZERBAIJAN
50
25
VICTORIASEYCHELLES
50
44
DAKARSENEGAL
Research Data by Mercer Consulting, March 2012


Top 5 cities in the Cost of Living worldwide rankings, by region

AmericasAsia PacificEurope, Middle East & Africa
  • São Paulo, Brazil (12th)
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (13th)
  • Caracas, Venezuela (29th)
  • New York, United States (33rd)
  • Brasilia, Brazil (33rd)
  • Tokyo, Japan (1st)
  • Osaka, Japan (3rd)
  • Singapore, Singapore (6th)
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong (9th)
  • Nagoya, Japan (10th)
  • Luanda, Angola (2nd)
  • Moscow, Russia (4th)
  • Geneva, Switzerland (5th)
  • Zurich, Switzerland (6th)
  • N'Djamena, Chad (8th)
Research Data by Mercer Consulting, March 2012 



Overview
  • Japan is the world's most expensive city for expatriates, pushing Luanda in Angola down to second position.
  • Osaka in Japan ranks in third position, up by three places from 2011.
  • Moscow and Geneva remain in the fourth and fifth positions as per 2011.
  • Zurich and Singapore share the sixth position, up by one and two places respectively from last year's survey.
  • Ndjamena in Chad, Hong Kong and Nagoya in Japan are listed as the top 10 most expensive cities in the latest Cost of Living Survey 2012. 

Europe
  • Moscow in Russia ranks at the top four in the global ranking as well as remains as the most expensive city in Europe region.
  • Geneva and Zurich follow in the fifth and sixth positions respectively.
  • Bern in Switzerland at the 14th position, up by two places from last year, due to the strengthening of the local currency in Swiss franc against the US dollar. 
  • Skopje in Macedonia ranks at 207th place, is the least expensive city in Europe region.
  • The Mercer Consulting representative, Ms Constantin-Métral explained: “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. This is mainly due to the unstable economic situation across Europe, which has led to the depreciation of most local currencies against the US dollar. Countries badly hit by the Eurozone crisis, including Greece, Italy and Spain, have also experienced drops in rental accommodation prices.”

Middle East and Africa
  • Tel Aviv in Israel still remains the most expensive city in the Middle East whereas Jeddah in Saudi arabia (at the 186th place) ranks as the lest expensive city in the Middle East region. 
  • Jeddah in Saudi Arabia at the 186th place, is the least expensive city in the Middle East region.
  • Ms Constantin-Métral added that "most Middle Eastern cities have dropped in the ranking, mainly because price increases on goods and services while the accommodation costs for the expatriates are going down in Abu Dhabi and Dubai." 
  • Luanda in Angola drops to the second place in the global ranking which is also ranked as the most expensive city in Africa.
  • Tunisia (at the 209th position) remains the least expensive city in the African region.
  • Ms Constantin-Métral explained  that many of the African cities appear in the top 20 most expensive cities in the global ranking. Limited supply of goods and accommodation are the key factors for the pricing to keep surging and become more costly for the expatriates to live there.
North & South America
  • Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro at the 12th and 13th positions respectively, are ranked as the most expensive cities in South America region.
  • Ms Constantin-Métral commented: “Inflation pressures continued to push some South American cities up the ranking, whereas for some of the region’s cities, weakening of the local currencies caused them to rank lower.” Buenos Aires is an example which jumps from 159th (in 2011) to 121th position (in 2012) due to higher inflation in the country which drives higher costs of living, food, goods and accommodation.
  • New York remains the most expensive city in the United States followed  by Los Angeles (at the 68th position) and San Francisco (at the 90th ranking).
  • Other major US cities like, Washington (107th place), Miami and Chicago share at 110th position.
  • Toronto (61th place) remains the most expensive city in Canada followed by Vancouver (at the 63th position).
Asia Pacific
  • Tokyo overtakes Luanda in Angola as the most expensive city in the global ranking as well as the most expensive city in Asia.
  • Osaka in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Nagoya in Japan are listed in the top 10 most expensive cities in the global ranking and in Asia region as well.
  • More Chinese cities in China are catching up and appeared in the top 30 of the most expensive cities in the world. Shanghai (at the 16th) and Beijing in China (at the 17th), up by five and three places respectively from last year's survey. Shenzen (at the 30th) and Guangzhou (at the 31st), up by 13 and 7 places respectively from last year's ranking survey. High migration  from rural areas to these Chinese big cities which leads to higher costs of living, food, goods and accommodation for the locals and expatriates in China.
  • In India, New Delhi (113) and Mumbai (114) have dropped by 28 and 19 places respectively since 2011 due to the possibility of the weak local currency, Rupee against the US dollar since early last year.
  • Jakarta (61) is up by eight places, Bangkok (81) is up by seven places and Kuala Lumpur (102) is up two places. Karachi in Pakistan (214) remains the region’s least expensive city in the Asia region.
  • Australian cities are moving up to the top 30 of the most expensive cities in the world. Sydney (11), Melbourne (15), Perth (19), Canberra (23), Brisbane (24) and Adelaide (27) are jumped between three to 19 places from last year's survey.
  • In New Zealand, both Auckland (56th) and Wellington (74th), up by 62 places from 2011.
  • Both cities in Australia and New Zealand are moving up to the top list of the most expensive cities in the global ranking due to the stronger local currencies, Aussie dollar and New Zealand dollar against the US dollar. Besides that, both countries are also facing higher cost of living, food, goods and accommodation due to migration from small towns to big cities as well as migration from other countries.
(Source: http://www.mercer.com/press-releases/cost-of-living-rankings)

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