Are you thinking about emigrating? Perhaps you have been offered another job in a distant land, or you are looking for a more relaxed way of life in sunnier climes. Either way, it pays to do your research before you take the plunge so that you understand all about the cost of living and how much more or less your new life will put a drain on your wallet.
Get The Lowdown On The World’s Most Expensive Cities
Each year, consulting firm Mercer carries out a survey of 211 cities across five continents. Their figures and findings are a great guide for expats looking for the lowdown on the most expensive cities and the cities that will give them more bang for their buck.
London surprisingly failed to make the top ten, but was propelled up from 25th place to 12th place. This was largely due to rising property prices and the strength of the pound right now.
Let’s take a look at the cities that made Mercer’s 2014 listings and which could cost you greatly if you decide to call one of them home. The results are quite surprising.
Shanghai, widely recognised as China’s commercial hub, just about scraped through onto Mercer’s top 10 list with Beijing hot on its heels at number 11. China’s rising currency and growing modernisation were largely responsible for the rise in expenses.
Russia’s capital has always been an expensive place to live, but the cost of living has gone down since last year when it ranked number 2 on Mercer’s list. The blame for Moscow’s dramatic slide of seven places can be largely placed on the decline ruble’s value. Costs in other metropolitan areas of Russia also fell.
The strong Swiss franc has once again helped a Swiss city to make it onto the top 10 of the world’s most expensive cities. In total, seven European cities were listed within the top 25.
Japan’s capital city plummeted a whopping four places on the Mercer list since last year. This was largely due to the weakening of the yen against the dollar. However, it is hard to imagine Tokyo not being placed amongst the most costly places for expats to live.
This beautiful lakeside city and political centre is the second Swiss city to make the top 10 list. The strength of the Swiss franc against the US dollar has a lot to do with this, but Geneva does have a history of being an expensive city.
Zurich, the commercial hub of Switzerland, is the most expensive city for expats in Europe. This is largely the result of the dollar losing ground against the Euro, Swiss Franc and British Pound.
Rising from the number 5 spot last year, Singapore will set you back quite a substantial amount of money if you want to call this city home. In general, you will find the cost of living higher across Asia, and the fact that 10 Asian cities made the top 25 list is testament to this.
3. Hong Kong
With its cluster of impressive skyscrapers, thriving business communities and stunning harbour, it is probably no surprise that this Chinese city made the top ten. In fact, Hong Kong jumped up three places from last year and is ranked as the most costly city in the developed world for expats.
This city based in the landlocked African country of Chad, has some of the highest prices for imported Western Goods. There are also high security concerns in N’Djamena which is possibly why it is the most expensive city within the African nations. In fact, there were five African cities listed in the top 25 most expensive cities.
Luanda, the capital city of Angola, has made it to the top spot for the second year running. According to the Mercer study, Luanda ranks as the most costly city in the world for expats.
How Did Other Cities Around The World Fare?
Mercer’s 2014 list is largely dominated by Europe, Africa and Asia whilst London finished 12th, Paris 27th and Rome 31st.
In America, New York was unsurprisingly the most expensive city, but only made it to number 16 on a global scale.
What Does This Information Mean For Expats
The annual Mercer list on the world’s most expensive cities is a great guide for any expat looking to live abroad. However, it is only to be used as a guide as there are many ways you can reduce the cost of living for yourself and make your money go that little bit further.