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2012 Expat Cost of Living Ranking

15 January, 2013 10:36  Erin Erin

As we enter 2013, EuroCost International has released the 2012 cost of living ranking. Based on prices collected in June 2012 and updated with August exchange rates, it compares expat living costs in major locations worldwide. Life abroad can be quite pricey...

Most Expensive Cities for Expats

Tokyo Tower © SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.comThe top 3 have stood atop the ranking for several years, but the rest of the ranking has changed dramatically. This is partly due to inflation differential between the various countries and due to exchange rate fluctuations. These changed caused all of the euro zone cities to drop from the top 30. Last year, cities like Paris, Helsinki or Amsterdam were all present for the 2011 ranking. The Swiss franc has also depreciated, causing Swiss locations to drop as well. Brazil's currency was also evaluated by 10% against the euro between August 2011 and August 2012, dropping Sao Paulo from 6th to 18th and Rio de Janeiro from 8th to 19th.

On to the rankings!

1. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo remains unchallenged as the world's most expensive city for expats.

2. Luanda, Angola

Overtaking Moscow this year from last year's third position, this is the most expensive place for expats in Africa.

3. Moscow, Russia

Moscow is the home to billionaires and is one of the world's most expensive cities for foreign employees.

4. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore has a flourishing, highly developed free market economy with one of the highest per capita gross domestic products (GDP) in the world.

5. London, United Kingdom

The strengthening of the pound sterling allowed London to rise from 11th to 5th place this year.

6. Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Hong Kong has jumped from 13th to 6th place.

7. Sydney, Australia

Sydney is the economic and financial capital of the country. More than half of the head offices of the Australian companies and the most important banks are located in Sydney. Sydney takes top spot for Australian with Canberra ranked 12th in the world.

8. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Port Moresby is new to the list as the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea.

9. Geneva, Switzerland

The only Swiss to make the list, Geneva ranked 4th last year.

10. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

The ranking of this part of the world can quickly evolve: exchange rate fluctuations or inflation surge can rapidly alter the cost of living level of a country. But for now, Kinshasa is ranked number 10.

Expats in Cities with High Cost of Living

To stay afloat in the most expensive cities, refer to our article, "How to Live in a City with a High Cost of Living". We also offer some ideas for a cheap night out in our article, "Most Expensive Cities For a Night Out".

Do you live in one of these cities, or have tips on how to manage a high cost of living? Leave a comment below or contribute to the cost of living posts in the expat forum.


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2012 Expat Cost of Living Ranking - Expat News - EasyExpat blog [Reply]

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  architecture design     23 Jan 2013, 21:55

Cost of living [Reply]

Who knew that the Congo of all places would be so expensive? I thought Africa was supposed to be cheap?

  Dave @Budget Travel Guide     09 Feb 2013, 20:00