Cost of Living City Ranking

Claiming six out of the top 10 spots, Asian cities dominate the list of most expensive locations for working abroad in our 2018 ranking.

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2018 City Ranking

Rank City Country/Region
1 Hong Kong Hong Kong SAR
2 Tokyo Japan
3 Zürich Switzerland
4 Singapore Singapore
5 Seoul South Korea
6 Luanda Angola
7 Shanghai China
8 N'Djamena Chad
9 Beijing China
10 Bern Switzerland
Rank City Country/Region
11 Geneva Switzerland
12 Shenzhen China
13 New York United States
14 Copenhagen Denmark
15 Guangzhou China
16 Tel Aviv Israel
17 Mosco Russia
18 Libreville Gabon
19 Brazzaville Republic of the Congo
19 London United Kingdom
21 Victoria Seychelles
22 Noumea New Caledonia
23 Osaka Japan
24 Abidjan Côte d'Ivoire
25 Nanjing China
26 Dubai United Arab Emirates
27 Taipei Taiwan
28 San Francisco United States
29 Sydney Australia
29 Tianjin China
31 Chengdu China
32 Dublin Ireland
33 Milan Italy
34 Paris France
35 Los Angeles United States
36 Qingdao China
37 Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo
38 Shenyang China
39 Vienna Austria
40 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
41 Nagoya Japan
42 Lagos Nigeria
43 Ashgabat Turkmenistan
43 Yaounde Cameroon
45 Riyadh Saudi Arabia
46 Rome Italy
47 Oslo Norway
48 Bangui Central African Republic
49 St. Petersburg Russia
50 Amsterdam Netherlands
51 Chicago United States
52 Bangkok Thailand
53 Helsinki Finland
54 Honolulu United States
55 Mumbai India
56 Washington United States
57 Munich Germany
58 Melbourne Australia
58 São Paula Brazil
60 Miami United States
61 Perth Australia
62 Dakar Senegal
63 Accra Ghana
64 Madrid Spain
65 Beirut Lebanon
66 Dhaka Bangladesh
67 Brussels Belgium
68 Frankfurt Germany
69 Santiago Chile
70 Boston United States
71 Berlin Germany
71 Luxembourg Luxembourg
73 Djibouti Djibouti
73 Doulaa Cameroon
75 Montevideo Uruguay
76 Buenos Aires Argentina
77 Canberra Australia
77 Manama Bahrain
79 Barcelona Spain
79 White Plains United States
81 Auckland New Zealand
82 Düsseldorf Germany
83 Prague Czech Republic
84 Brisbane Australia
85 Dallas United States
86 Houston United States
87 Adelaide Australia
88 Hamburg Germany
89 Stockholm Sweden
90 Seattle United States
91 Yangon Myanmar
92 Riga Latvia
93 Lisbon Portugal
94 Amman Jordan
95 Atlanta United States
95 San Juan Puerto Rico
97 Morristown United States
97 Port of Spain Trinidad & Tobago
99 Abuja Nigeria
99 Rio de Janeiro Brazil
101 Wellington New Zealand
102 Minneapolis United States
103 New Delhi India
104 Pointe-à-Pitre Guadeloupe (France)
105 Lyon France
106 Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei
106 Conakry Guinea
108 Stuttgart Germany
109 Toronto Canada
109 Vancouver Canada
111 Cotonou Benin
112 Athens Greece
113 Bratislava Slovakia
114 Panama City Panama
115 Doha Qatar
116 Detroit United States
117 Jakarta Indonesia
117 Jeddah Saudi Arabia
117 Muscat Oman
120 Bamako Mali
121 Kuwait City Kuwait
122 St. Louis United States
123 Nairobi Kenya
124 Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
125 Cleveland United States
125 Pittsburgh United States
125 Port au Prince Haiti
128 Birmingham United Kingdom
128 Casablanca Morocco
130 Guatemala City Guatemala
130 Portland (Oregan) United States
132 Lima Peru
132 Ljubljana Slovenia
134 Aberdeen United Kingdom
134 Lome Togo
134 Ouagadougou Burkina Faso
137 Hanoi Vietnam
138 Manila Philippines
138 Zagreb Croatia
140 Tallinn Estonia
141 San José Costa Rica
142 Phnom Penh Cambodia
143 Niamey Niger
144 Chennai India
145 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
145 Nürnberg Germany
147 Montréal Canada
148 Glasgow United Kingdom
148 Vilnius Lithuania
150 Leipzig Germany
151 Budapest Hungary
152 Belfast United Kingdom
153 Limassol Cyprus
154 Calgary Canada
154 Warsaw Poland
156 Quito Ecuador
157 Mexico City Mexico
158 Brasilia Brazil
158 Colombo Sri Lanka
160 Ottawa Canada
161 Port Louis Mauritius
161 Winston Salem United States
163 Istanbul Turkey
164 Kingston Jamaica
165 Harare Zimbabwe
165 Havana Cuba
165 Rabat Morocco
168 Bogotá Colombia
169 Kigali Rwanda
170 Bengaluru India
170 Cape Town South Africa
172 Tirana Albania
173 Kiev Ukraine
174 San Salvador El Salvador
175 Sofia Bulgaria
176 Bucharest Romania
177 Johannesburg South Africa
178 Santo Domingo Dominican Republic
179 Maputo Mozambique
180 Dar es Salaam Tanzania
181 Belgrade Serbia
182 Kolkata India
183 Addis Ababa Ethiopia
183 Asunción Paraguay
185 Lusaka Zambia
186 Baku Azerbaijan
187 Almaty Kazakhstan
188 Cairo Egypt
189 Gaborone Botswana
190 Islamabad Pakistan
191 Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina
192 Kampala Uganda
193 Monterrey Mexico
194 Nouakchott Mauritania
195 Algiers Algeria
196 Windhoek Namibia
197 Skopje Macedonia
198 Yerevan Armenia
199 La Paz Bolivia
200 Managua Nicaragua
201 Tegucigalpa Honduras
202 Minski Belarus
203 Tbilisi Georgia
204 Blantyre Malawi
205 Karachi Pakistan
206 Banjul Gambia
207 Bishkek Kyrgyzstan
208 Tunis Tunisia
209 Tashkent Uzbekistan

This ranking indicates differences in cost of living factors affecting expatriates in popular assignment destinations and should not be used as the basis for determining compensation, as many complex and dynamic factors must be taken into account. Please contact us about developing your international assignment program.

Mercer and Cost of Living Data

Mercer is the leading provider of data on cost of living and housing for employees sent to work abroad. As part of the ongoing research, Mercer produces these annual rankings of the cost of living in more than 200 of the most prevalent assignment destinations for expatriate employees. The rankings demonstrate how currency fluctuation and shifts in the prices of goods and services can affect the purchasing power of expatriate employees. Multinational companies rely on Mercer for timely and accurate information to compensate their skilled professionals who take on international assignments.

Cost of Living Data

Mercer’s Cost of Living data forms the basis of compensation packages for international assignees.

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Ranking Press Release

Learn more about the trends and highlights in this year's ranking, plus comments from Mercer's mobility experts.



Comparison, among 23 cities, of the cost of a movie ticket, a pair of blue jeans, a cup of coffee with service, a fast food hamburger meal, and a liter of gasoline

Chart of the top and bottom 10 cities for cost of living for expatriate assignments

Top 5 most expensive cities in each world region

Changes in select cities over the last 20 years of Mercer's Cost of Living rankings

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