The Mercer’s annual “2016 Cost of Living Rankings” reports that Hong Kong is the most expensive city for expats to live. With a few exceptions, the top 10 are among the world’s best-know cities.
The organization reported:
Despite volatile global markets and growing security issues, organizations continue to leverage global expansion strategies to remain competitive and to grow. Yet, few organizations are prepared for the challenges world events have on their business, including the impact on cost of expatriate packages. Mercer’s 22nd annual Cost of Living Survey finds that factors including currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and instability of accommodation prices, contribute to the cost of expatriate packages for employees on international assignments.
The city after Hong Kong was Luanda, the capital city of Angola. The city has a population of 2.8 million. It sits in one of the poorest countries in the world. Nevertheless, the cost of living for expatriates is high.
Next on the list are cities which would be expected:
Zurich and Singapore remain in third and fourth positions, respectively, whereas Tokyo is in fifth, up six places from last year. Kinshasa, ranked sixth, appears for the first time in the top 10, moving up from thirteenth place.
Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates are Shanghai (7), Geneva (8), N’Djamena (9), and Beijing (10).
N’Djamena is the capital of Chad, a city in a country as wretchedly poor as Angola.
New York City is used as the base for comparing costs. Mercer says currency rates used in ranking are in U.S. dollars.
Among U.S. cities, New York ranks in 11th place, Los Angeles in 27th, Chicago in 34th, Honolulu in 37th, Washington in 38th, Miami in 45th, Boston in 47th, White Plains in 61st, Dallas in 62nd, Morristown in 71st, Houston in 75th, Atlanta in 78th, Seattle in 83rd, Minneapolis in 93rd, Detroit in 103rd, Cleveland in 110th, Pittsburgh in 112th, Portland in 117th and Winston-Salem in 14th.
Methodology: The survey includes over 375 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.