Luanda costliest city worldwide, Moscow tops European league

Luanda costliest city worldwide, Moscow tops European league

5th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

For the first time, Mercer’s cost of living survey ranks three African cities in its top 10 costliest cities worldwide for expatriates.

The costliest city worldwide, Luanda in Angola, pushes last year’s top ranking city, Tokyo, into second place. The other top ranking African cities are Ndjamena (3) in Chad and Libreville (7) in Gabon.  Moscow ranks in fourth place, Geneva fifth and Osaka sixth.  Zurich and Hong Kong share eighth position and Copenhagen ranks tenth.

Why African cities rank highly this year

The world economy is being increasingly influenced by globalization. “Notably African cities now figure prominently, reflecting the growing economic importance of the region to global companies across all business sectors,” says Mercer’s Nathalie Constantin-Métral.

That was exactly the case with oil-rich Angola.

Luanda has developed dramatically, mainly due to the influx of foreign workers that started in 2002. The 27-year civil war completely destroyed the country’s industry and infrastructure.  The conflict has led to many products being imported and prices have sky-rocketed.

European cities


European cities still maintain top spots on the world priciest locations for foreigners.
Moscow remains the most expensive city in Europe for expats. The next European cities in the ranking are Geneva in fifth, falling from fourth last year and Zurich at eighth dropping from sixth respectively.

Cities in Expatica countries

Cities in Expatica countries mostly follow the European trend:
Paris and Lyon have moved down to ranks both at 17th position; Amsterdam to 35 (from 29).
Madrid has slipped to 52th from 37th place and Barcelona from 38 to 49 in rank.
Brussels has dropped 12 places from 41th to 53th.

All six German cities in the list plummeted too: Frankfurt from 40 to 50, Berlin 49 to 61, Dusseldorf (54 to 69), Munich from 47 to 59, Hamburg (from 56 to 67). Both Swiss cities slightly changed their ranks, with Geneva being the 5th (4th last year) now and Zurich 8th (previously sixth).

Americas

Cities in Brazil are amongst the most expensive locations in the Americas with Sao Paulo ranked as the most expensive city in both North and South America, as a result of a strengthening of the Brazilian Real against the US Dollar.

Asia Pacific

Two Japanese cities, Tokyo and Osaka, are the region’s most expensive cities. Other highly ranked Asian cities are Hong Kong (8), Singapore (11), Seoul (14), Beijing (16) and Nagoya (19) in Japan, Shanghai (25) and Taipei (78).

About the survey


Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey and is used to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowance for their expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city for the index and all cities are compared against New York. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The cost of housing – often the biggest expense for expats - plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked.

Urszula Papajak/Expatica

st city worldwide, Luanda in Angola, pushes last year’s top ranking city, Tokyo, into second place. The other top ranking African cities are Ndjamena (3) in Chad and Libreville (7) in Gabon.  Moscow ranks in fourth place, Geneva fifth and Osaka sixth.  Zurich and Hong Kong share eighth position and Copenhagen ranks tenth.

Why African cities rank highly this year

The world economy is being increasingly influenced by globalization. “Notably African cities now figure prominently, reflecting the growing economic importance of the region to global companies across all business sectors,” says Mercer’s Nathalie Constantin-Métral.

That was exactly the case with oil-rich Angola.

Luanda has developed dramatically, mainly due to the influx of foreign workers that started in 2002. The 27-year civil war completely destroyed the country’s industry and infrastructure.  The conflict has led to many products being imported and prices have sky-rocketed.

European cities


European cities still maintain top spots on the world priciest locations for foreigners.
Moscow remains the most expensive city in Europe for expats. The next European cities in the ranking are Geneva in fifth, falling from fourth last year and Zurich at eighth dropping from sixth respectively.

Cities in Expatica countries

Cities in Expatica countries mostly follow the European trend:
Paris and Lyon have moved down to ranks both at 17th position; Amsterdam to 35 (from 29).
Madrid has slipped to 52th from 37th place and Barcelona from 38 to 49 in rank.
Brussels has dropped 12 places from 41th to 53th.

All six German cities in the list plummeted too: Frankfurt from 40 to 50, Berlin 49 to 61, Dusseldorf (54 to 69), Munich from 47 to 59, Hamburg (from 56 to 67). Both Swiss cities slightly changed their ranks, with Geneva being the 5th (4th last year) now and Zurich 8th (previously sixth).

Americas

Cities in Brazil are amongst the most expensive locations in the Americas with Sao Paulo ranked as the most expensive city in both North and South America, as a result of a strengthening of the Brazilian Real against the US Dollar.

Asia Pacific

Two Japanese cities, Tokyo and Osaka, are the region’s most expensive cities. Other highly ranked Asian cities are Hong Kong (8), Singapore (11), Seoul (14), Beijing (16) and Nagoya (19) in Japan, Shanghai (25) and Taipei (78).

About the survey


Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey and is used to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowance for their expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city for the index and all cities are compared against New York. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The cost of housing – often the biggest expense for expats - plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked.

Urszula Papajak/Expatica

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