Last month Mercer released its annual Cost of Living City Rankings. The global survey ranked Amsterdam as the 39th most expensive city for expats worldwide and the 12th most expensive within Europe.
Cost of Living City Survey
Mercer‘s authoritative Cost of Living Survey is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.
How the Cost of Living Ranking works
Cities are ranked based on data from Mercer‘s annual Cost of Living Survey. The survey covers the cost of living for expats in 211 cities worldwide. The ranking compares costs of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
New York is used as the base city and all cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar.
African cities most expensive worldwide
African, European and Asian cities most expensive for expatriates due to currency fluctuations and the impact of inflation on goods and services, finds Mercer survey.
Two African cities top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates according to Mercer’s 2014 Cost of Living Survey. Luanda in Angola is the world’s most expensive city for the second year in a row followed by N’Djamena. Although they are relatively inexpensive cities, they are expensive for expats because of very high imported goods cost prices and secure housing.
Worldwide top 10: highest cost of living
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Swiss cities most expensive in Europe
Switzerland has the most expensive cities for expats in Europe, with Zurich, Geneva and Bern that are all in the global top 10.
European and Asian cities also continue to dominate as the costliest cities with Hong Kong in third place, followed by Singapore. Zurch jumped three places to rank fifth, followed by Geneva in sixth. Tokyo dropped four spots to rank seventh. Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates are Bern, Moscow and Shanghai
Following the Swiss cities are Northern European capitals London, Copenhagen and Oslo. Paris, Milan, Rome come immediately after. Vienna, Stockholm and Amsterdam complete the European top 12.
European top 12: highest cost of living
Looking at the stats we see that almost all of the top 12 European cities, except Oslo, have become more expensive in 2014, compared to last year. Especially Vienna, London, Rome and Amsterdam increased in costs of living in Europe and are therefore more expensive than a year ago.
Mercer attributes European cities’ rise in ranking to the strengthening of European currencies against the US dollar.
Read also our article: Amsterdam 11th in worldwide quality of life index