Expats gotta pay to play

June 17, 2015 12:45 PM (UTC+8)

 

If you want to be where the action is, then you gotta pay. Unless you live in Luanda. There you pay, but get no action.

If you’re an expat working abroad, Asia is now one of the most expensive places to do it, according to a new survey, taking half of the top ten spots.

Luanda, Angola’s capital, took the top spot of out 207 cities in Mercer’s 2015 Cost of Living Rankings. The city retained its notorious position due to the high price of imported goods and security services used by many foreigners.

However, Hong Kong moved up one spot to take the No. 2 position.

Singapore held onto fourth-place, with Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul coming in as sixth, seventh and eighth.

Here is the top ten list:

Rank 2015 Rank 2014 City Country
1 1 Luanda Angola
2 3 Hong Kong Hong Kong
3 5 Zurich Switzerland
4 4 Singapore Singapore
5 6 Geneva Switzerland
6 10 Shanghai China
7 11 Beijing China
8 14 Seoul South Korea
9 8 Bern Switzerland
10 2 N’Djamena Chad

Source: Mercer

Currency fluctuations are the major reason for high cost of living. The yuan’s appreciation against the dollar pushed nine Chinese cities into the top 30 cities on Mercer’s list.

Meanwhile the weaker yen caused Tokyo to drop to 11th place from the top spot three years ago.

“Japanese cities have continued to drop in the ranking this year as a result of the Japanese yen weakening against the dollar,” Mercer executive Nathalie Constantin-Metral told the Japan Times.

Shenzhen was 14th, Guangzhou jumped to 15 from 24. London topped Europe at No. 12, with the next European city being Oslo at 38th. New York City was No. 16.

Hong Kong at night
Hong Kong at night

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