If your employer suggests that you are in line for opening its new office in Luanda you might want to start looking for fresh employment, or seeking a huge pay rise, as they are thinking of sending you to the most expensive city (for expatriates) on earth.

What pushes the Angolan capital to the top of Mercer’s 21st annual “Cost of Living Survey” is the cost of imported goods and safe living conditions.

Other factors are at play in Hong Kong, Zurich, Singapore and Geneva which are the next four in the list of most expensive cities to be sent by your company to work.

The list is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city, and currency movements are measured against the US dollar.

London may seem like a very expensive place to live but it fails to make the top 10. Its 12th place on Mercer’s list is nevertheless well ahead of Birmingham (80) and Aberdeen (82).

It also makes it a much pricier option when compared to Paris (46), Rome (59) Dubai (23), Abu Dhabi (33) and Berlin (106) although cheaper than Shanghai (6), Beijing (7) and Seoul (8).

A strengthening US dollar has pushed American cities up the list with New York (16) being the most expensive. Perhaps surprisingly, Houston (92) is still a cheaper place to live and work than Birmingham.

The survey includes 207 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.
Cape Town (200) in South Africa continues to rank as one of the least expensive cities, reflecting the weak South African rand against the US dollar.

For more details, see Cost of Living City Rankings

Source – Croner a Wolters Kluwer business.

For further information please contact Abigail Peake on a.peake@chamberelancs.co.uk or 01254 356473.