HONG KONG, June 28 — Asia dominates a ranking of the most expensive cities to live in for expatriates relocated abroad, taking eight of the top ten spots.
Topping Mercer’s annual “Cost of Living Survey” for the second year in a row is Hong Kong, due mostly to the cost of housing, declining currency value against the US dollar, and rising cost of living.
Rounding out the podium are Tokyo and Singapore.
The survey, now in its 25th year, is designed as a guide for multinational companies and governments in determining compensation allowances for expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city.
Currency fluctuations, cost of inflation and volatility in housing prices are cited as the biggest factors determining the cost of international assignments. This year, the high cost of expat consumer goods and housing costs are cited for making Asia the most expensive region on the list.
“In a skill-focused economy driven by digital disruption and the need for a globally connected workforce, deploying expatriate employees is an increasingly important aspect of a competitive business strategy for global companies,” said Ilya Bonic, President of Mercer’s Career business in a statement.
“There are numerous personal and organizational advantages for sending employees overseas, including career development, global experience, new skill sets, and re-allocation of resources. By offering fair and competitive compensation packages, organizations can facilitate moves that drive business results.”
The highest-ranked city in the US is New York (9). Vancouver is the most expensive city for Canada (112), Zurich the most expensive city in Europe (5) and Tel Aviv the most expensive in the Middle East (15).
Here are the most expensive cities in the 2019 “Cost of Living Survey”:
1. Hong Kong
2. Tokyo, Japan
4. Seoul, South Korea
5. Zurich, Switzerland
6. Shanghai, China
7. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
8. Beijing, China
9. New York, USA
10. Shenzhen, China