You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Thinking of moving abroad? The most expensive cities for expats revealed

Written by:
Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world for an expat to live in, knocking Luanda, the capital of Angola, off the top spot, according to research.

Tokyo and Zurich took second and third positions, respectively, and Singapore came in fourth, up one place from last year.

The 24th annual Cost of Living Survey by advisory firm Mercer is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation packages for their expat employees. New York City is used as the base for all comparisons, and currency movements are measured against the US dollar.

The survey includes 209 cities globally and compares the cost of more than 200 items in each location including housing, transportation, food, clothing and entertainment.

Other cities to make the top 10 were Seoul, Luanda, Shanghai, N’Djamena, Beijing and Bern.

The world’s least expensive cities for expats were Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Tunis, and Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.


The survey found that Western European cities have all risen in the rankings as a result of strong local currencies against the US dollar and the cost of goods and services.

In the UK, Birmingham went up 19 places from last year to 128, Belfast jumped 18 spots to 152, and Aberdeen climbed 12 places to 134.

London jumped 10 spots to rank 19.

Other cities that jumped in the ranking include Paris (34) up 28 places, Rome (46) up 34 spots, Madrid (64) up 47 spots and Vienna (39) up 39 places.

A few cities in Eastern and Central Europe, including Moscow, St Petersburg and Kiev fell in this year’s ranking because of local currencies losing value against the US dollar.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Autumn Statement: Everything you need to know at a glance

Yesterday Chancellor Jeremy Hunt made his first fiscal statement in the role, outlining a range of tax measure...

End of Help to Buy: 10 alternatives for first-time buyers

The deadline for Help to Buy Equity Loan applications passed on 31 October. If you’re a first-time buyer who...

Moving to an energy prepayment meter: Everything you need to know

As households struggle with the soaring cost of energy, tens of thousands of billpayers are expected to move o...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week