Most Expensive Cities – Mercer 2008 Cost Of Living Survey

Most Expensive Cities – Mercer 2008 Cost Of Living Survey

gum-shopping-arcade-moscow-russia | credit:EffervescingGUM Shopping Arcade: Moscow’s most exclusive shopping mall

Mercer have just released their new list on the cost of living in cities around the world. If you remember, we blogged about their list last year in the Mercer Global Cost of Living Survey.

There have been some interesting changes although the top position for most expensive city in the world has once again been awarded to Moscow. If this is too much of an expensive market for you, you can always escape to Asuncion in Paraguay as the cheapest. The top ten places on the Mercer survey are clearly dominated by European and Asian cities.

The major blame to the changes and shifts in the rankings can obviously be attributed to the weakening of the US dollar. In total, the survey covers 143 cities across six continents, measuring the comparative costs of entertainment, household goods, housing, food, transport, clothing and more (200 each).

This survey is often used by international companies to judge the markets abroad and ensure that their staff are fairly compensated and looked after.

Yvonne Traber, a principal and research manager at Mercer, said:

“Although the traditionally expensive cities of Western Europe and Asia still feature in the top 20, cities in Eastern Europe, Brazil and India are creeping up the list. Conversely, some locations such as Stockholm and New York now appear less costly by comparison.

Our research confirms the global trend in price increases for certain foodstuffs and petrol, though the rise is not consistent in all locations. This is partly balanced by decreasing prices for certain commodities such as electronic and electrical goods. We attribute this to cheaper imports from developing countries, especially China, and to advances in technology.”

Europe, Middle East and Africa

While Moscow (142.4) ranks number one in the third consecutive year, London (score 125) has dropped a place from last year and ties in in position three. Conversely many other European cities have climbed the ranks due to local currency strengthening against the US dollar.

Especially noteworthy are Prague (96) and Warsaw (95), who jumped from 49th to 29th and 67th to 35th respectively.

On the other hand two of Britain’s cities, Birmingham and Glasgow, have both moved down in the rankings.

The most expensive city in the Middle East is Tel Aviv on rank 14 with a score of 105. Surprisingly both Dubai ( 89.3) and Abu Dhabi (85.7) have fallen due to the UAE dirham being pegged to the US dollar.

The Americas

New York is the only city in North America on the top 50 list this year. Ranking at number 22, the city scored 100 points while dropping seven ranks since last year.

Toronto (88.1) jumped 28 places ahead since last year and is the most expensive city in Canada for expats.

The two top-ranking cities in South America are Sao Paulo (score 97) in 25th place and Rio de Janeiro (95.2) in 31st place, jumping 37 and 33 places, respectively.

Asia

If you think of moving to Tokyo, be warned since it is the second most expensive city on the list and the costliest in Asia (score 127).

Following in 5th place is Seoul with a score of 117.7 and Hong Kong in 6th with a score of 117.6.

Australia and New Zealand

Down Under, Sydney is still the most expensive city, ranking in at place number 15 with a score of 104.1. Because of the appreciation of the Australian and NZ dollar against the US dollar both countries slowly but surely move up in the rankings.

To see the whole Mercer survey list, check out the following table. For more detailed information visit Mercer.

Rank March 2008

Rank March 2007

City

Country

Cost of living Index March 2008

Cost of living Index March 2007

1

1

Moscow

Russia

142.4

134.4

2

4

Tokyo

Japan

127.0

122.1

3

2

London

UK

125.0

126.3

4

10

Oslo

Norway

118.3

105.8

5

3

Seoul

South Korea

117.7

122.4

6

5

Hong Kong

China

117.6

119.4

7

6

Copenhagen

Denmark

117.2

110.2

8

7

Geneva

Switzerland

115.8

109.8

9

9

Zurich

Switzerland

112.7

107.6

10

11

Milan

Italy

111.3

104.4

11

8

Osaka

Japan

110.0

108.4

12

13

Paris

France

109.4

101.4

13

14

Singapore

Singapore

109.1

100.4

14

17

Tel Aviv

Israel

105.0

97.7

15

21

Sydney

Australia

104.1

94.9

16

16

Dublin

Ireland

103.9

99.6

16

18

Rome

Italy

103.9

97.6

18

12

St. Petersburg

Russia

103.1

103.0

19

19

Vienna

Austria

102.3

96.9

20

20

Beijing

China

101.9

95.9

21

22

Helsinki

Finland

101.1

93.3

22

15

New York City

US

100.0

100.0

23

38

Istanbul

Turkey

99.4

87.7

24

26

Shanghai

China

98.3

92.1

25

25

Amsterdam

Netherlands

97.0

92.2

25

29

Athens

Greece

97.0

90.6

25

62

São Paulo

Brazil

97.0

82.8

28

26

Madrid

Spain

96.7

92.1

29

49

Prague

Czech Rep.

96.0

85.6

30

37

Lagos

Nigeria

95.9

88.0

31

31

Barcelona

Spain

95.2

89.2

31

64

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil

95.2

82.5

31

23

Stockholm

Sweden

95.2

93.1

34

24

Douala

Cameroon

95.1

92.9

35

67

Warsaw

Poland

95.0

82.4

36

64

Melbourne

Australia

94.2

82.5

37

39

Munich

Germany

93.1

87.6

38

45

Berlin

Germany

93.0

85.9

39

44

Brussels

Belgium

92.9

86.5

40

40

Frankfurt

Germany

92.5

87.4

41

33

Dakar

Senegal

92.2

89.0

42

28

Kiev

Ukraine

91.7

91.4

43

43

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

91.3

87.0

44

30

Almaty

Kazakhstan

90.7

89.6

45

31

Bratislava

Slovakia

90.6

89.2

46

45

Düsseldorf

Germany

90.4

85.9

46

72

Riga

Latvia

90.4

81.5

48

52

Mumbai

India

90.3

84.9

49

59

Zagreb

Croatia

90.0

83.5

50

57

Hamburg

Germany

89.9

84.2