The world’s most expensive city is in Africa

Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey finds that African, Asian, and European cities dominate the list of most expensive locations for expats.

The most expensive city in the world for working abroad is located in Africa – Luanda, Angola.

This is according to Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey, which finds that African, Asian, and European cities dominate the list of most expensive locations for expats.

Two South African cities, in Johannesburg and Cape Town ran among the cheapest locations for expats, placing 109th and 199th out of 209 cities on Mercer’s list.

“Globalization of the marketplace is well documented with many companies operating in multiple locations around the world and promoting international assignments to enhance the experience of future managers,” said Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president of Mercer’s Career business.

“There are numerous personal and organisational advantages for sending employees overseas, whether for long- or short-term assignments, including career development by obtaining global experience, the creation and transfer of skills, and the re-allocation of resources.”

Mercer’s 2017 Cost of Living Survey finds Asian and European cities – particularly Hong Kong (2), Tokyo (3), Zurich (4), and Singapore (5) – top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates.

The costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security, is Luanda (1), the capital of Angola. Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates are Seoul (6), Geneva (7), Shanghai (8), New York City (9), and Bern (10).

The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer’s survey, are Tunis (209), Bishkek (208), and Skopje (206).

Mercer’s survey is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city and all cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar.

Quite a number of African cities continue to rank high in this year’s survey, reflecting high living costs and prices of goods for expatriate employees. Luanda (1) takes the top spot as the most expensive city for expatriates across Africa and globally despite its currency weakening against the US dollar.

Luanda is followed by Victoria (14), Ndjamena (16), and Kinshasa (18). Tunis falls six spots to rank 209 as the least expensive city in the region and overall.

 

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