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Singapore most expensive and Mumbai cheapest cities for expats

Singapore has been named as the most expensive city in the world for expats, beating 130 other metropolises to the title.

A strong currency, soaring utility bills and high costs associated with things like running a car all contributed to putting the Asian city at the top of the Economist Intelligent Unit’s (EIU) list.

Singapore has taken the title from Tokyo, which was found to be the most expensive place to live in the same study a year ago.

The Japanese city is now in sixth place, with Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney all pushing ahead.

More than 400 individual costs are collated per place to come up with the rankings for the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

It is used as a tool by companies relocating staff abroad to work out an appropriate package and level of compensation to counteract the cost of living in their new destination.

Europe, along with cities in Asia and Australasia, has dominated the top ten priciest locations in this year’s list.

Jon Copestake, editor of the report, said: “Improving sentiment in structurally expensive European cities combined with the continued rise of Asian hubs means that these two regions continue to supply most of the world’s most expensive cities.

“But Asian cities also continue to make up many of the world’s cheapest, especially in the Indian subcontinent.”

Major cities in India, such as Mumbai and New Delhi, were among the cheapest in the world, with low income inequality making the former a particularly inexpensive place for expats to live.

Other cities that saw prices fall included Damascus in Syria, with the ongoing crisis putting it into the fourth cheapest position.

The EIU survey is by no means the only report that is produced into the cost of living and each one uses its own criteria to judge.

Companies looking to formulate expat packages and those being sent overseas should try to take the information in all of them into account in order to get a well rounded picture of the take of affairs.

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