The world’s most expensive and cheapest cities 2018


While you may be finding the cost of living expensive, globally we’re not in the top 20 most expensive places for employees working abroad.

While four of the five most expensive cities in the world in which to live are in Asia,  according to Mercer’s 24th annual Cost of Living Survey, Australian and New Zealand cities could become top choice for expats in the Asia Pacific region. 48175800_l

This year’s survey from the human resources consulting firm scored 209 cities across five continents, using New York as a base of comparison and the US dollar as a measure of currency movements.

Mercer suggest that as a result of the digital era, ageing populations, skills shortages, and unpredictable political and economic contexts, the landscape of global business is changing as are jobs that are critical for the future of work.

Multinationals are embracing this transformation by focusing on mobile talent and assessing the cost of expatriate packages for their international assignees. 

Australian and New Zealand cities have all dramatically dropped in this year’s Cost of Living rankings, primarily due to the movement of other cities.

Sydney was the highest ranking local city at 29, down from 24 in 2017.

Melbourne (58) and Perth (61) followed.

Canberra ranked 77 and Brisbane 84.

In New Zealand, both Auckland (81) and Wellington (101) fell 15 and 20 places from 2017, respectively.

The world’s 20 most expensive cities:

  1. Hong Kong
    2. Tokyo
    3. Zurich
    4. Singapore
    5. Seoul
    6. Luanda
    7. Shanghai
    8. Ndjamena
    9. Beijing
    10. Bern
    11. Geneva
    12. Shenzhen
    13. New York City
    14. Copenhagen
    15. Guangzhou
    16. Tel Aviv
    17. Moscow
    18. Libreville
    19. Brazzaville
    20. London

Where in the world is cheapest?

At the other end of the scale, the Uzbek capital of Tashkent slipped 86 places to the bottom of the table, with Tunis, Tunisia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Banjul, The Gambia, just above.


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Brett Warren is Director of Metropole Properties Brisbane and uses his 13 plus years property investment experience to advise clients how to grow, protect and pass on their build their wealth through property. Visit: Metropole Brisbane

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