Mercer have released their cost of living city rankings for 2014. The data behind the list is compiled of more than 200 goods and services
including transport, housing, clothing, food and entertainment. The comparison
consists of the cost of living for expats in 211 cities all over the world. The
rankings allow expats to can get a rough idea of which cities will cost them
In what may be a surprising revelation, two African cities
made the top of the list as the most expensive places for expatriates to live.
Luanda in Angola is the most expensive city in the world to
live in and it also ranked number 1 in 2013. In second place is N’Djamena in
Chad. The two cities are not generally recognised as wealthy or developed in
comparison to other cities around the world. The cities thrive because of the
high-quality imported goods. As a result, life can be quite expensive for
Hong Kong climbed up three places from last year to take the
number 3 spot. Tokyo has dropped from 3rd place last year to 7th
this year. Although this year the yen has weakened against the US dollar, Asian
cities are thriving due to rapid development. Hong Kong also remains a
favourite hotspot for expatriates looking for enhanced career opportunities.
Singapore has climbed one place to position 4 as it is a prime spot for
Four European cities made their way into the top 10 list.
Zurich ranks number 5, making it the most costly European city to live in.
There have been rising prices in Switzerland over the last few years and this
is because the Swiss Franc is considered to be safe and stable, particularly
with the debt crisis in Europe. Other European countries in the top 10 include
Geneva and Bern, at numbers 6 and 8 respectively.
Interestingly enough, no UK or US cities made it in the top
10. This is most likely due to the fact that rankings in several regions were
particularly affected by recent world events. There have been several political
and economic disruptions resulting in the debt crisis, inflation for services
and good and fluctuations in currency.
Despite not making the top 10, cities in the UK and US have
jumped up the ladder most likely due to the stabilising and strengthening of
their currencies. London ranked 12 and New York ranked 16.
At the bottom of the list, ranking at 211 is Karachi in
Pakistan. It is the least expensive city in the world for expats. In fact, the
survey revealed that Luanda is more than three times as expensive as Karachi.
Karachi is in fact, a popular destination for domestic and
international tourists. Moreover, it is a centre of research in biomedicine. It
has more than 80 private hospitals and 30 public hospitals.