Cost of Living City Ranking

Claiming eight of the top 10 spots, Asian cities continue to dominate the list of most expensive locations for working abroad, in our 2019 ranking.


Ranking Highlights


2019 City Ranking

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

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.

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