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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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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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

Expatriate Management Conference Join your peers and global mobility experts in Brussels on 6-7 June as we focus on the practical steps that will help you prepare for the Future of Work: process optimization, policy flexibility, upskilling mobility professionals, revisiting cost drivers, and leveraging technology. Register early to secure the best conference rates.

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Mobility Resources New to managing expats? Mercer's Beginner's Guide to Global Mobility is for you. Need help determining how best to pay your mobile workforce? See our guide to compensation approaches.

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Mobility Organization and Transformation Survey This survey can help you benchmark your mobility function's organization and management against that of your peers by providing an in-depth review of the services responsible for the mobile workforce management and information on how they are structured and operated.


Economic Growth See how you can navigate change and advance the health, wealth and careers of your people in the fast-growing cities across growth economies.

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Talent Trends Find out what top companies are doing to prepare for the future of work. Based on research from over 21 industries and 44 countries worldwide, one message is clear – 2018 is a year of action. Download the free report today to learn more.

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Quality of Living City Assessment Interested in making your city more attractive to international business investment? See how Mercer can help.

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Location Analysis Learn more about how Mercer helps companies optimize their workforce footprint site using hundreds of data points, including Cost and Quality of Living. Contacts: Americas – Jay Doherty (+1-804-339-7411); EMEA – Andrzej Narkiewicz (+4 8224564032); APAC – Siddharth Mehta (+65 6398 2800).

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Need Help? Whether your organization is looking to create a global mobility program, enhance the one you currently have, or get answers to any issues or concern you're facing, we can help.

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