Tokyo remains in second position and N’Djamena, in Chad, places third, as it did last year. Moscow follows in fourth position, with Geneva in fifth and Osaka in sixth.
Zurich jumps one position to rank seventh, while Hong Kong drops one rung down to ninth.
Altogether, the top 10 ranked cities are dominated by Africa (two cities), Asia (three) and Europe (two), Mercer’s 2011 Cost of Living Survey showed.
New entries in the top 10 list of the costliest cities in the world, in addition to Singapore , include São Paolo (10), which has jumped 11 places since the 2010 ranking.
Karachi (214) is ranked as the world’s least expensive city, and the survey found that Luanda, in top place, is more than three times as costly as Karachi.
Recent world events, including natural disasters and political upheavals, have impacted the rankings for many regions through currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices, the Mercer researchers noted.
Down one place from last year, London (18) is the UK’s most expensive city, followed by Aberdeen (144), Glasgow (148) and Birmingham (150). Belfast (178) is ranked as the UK’s least expensive city.
The Mercer survey covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
Mercer claims its survey is the most comprehensive of a number of similar cost-of-living comparisons conducted annually, and says it is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.
New York is used as the base city, against which the costs of all the other cities are compared, while currency movements are also measured against the US dollar.
The cost of housing – often the biggest expense for expatriates – plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked, Mercer said in a statement accompanying its report.
To read more about Mercer’s findings, click here. To see a chart with the top 25 most expensive cities for expatriates, see below.
|Ranking, March 2011||Ranking, March 2010||City||Country|
|9||8||Hong Kong||SAR, China|
|12=||29||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil|