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 Most Expensive Cities in Asia to Live

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PostSubject: Most Expensive Cities in Asia to Live   Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:55 pm

While most people in the west would agree there are more places in Asia where one can live more cheaply than in their own country, more than a half dozen cities in Asia ranked as more expensive to live in than the highest ranked cities in the United States or UK on Mercer’s 2011 Cost of Living Ranking. Each year Mercer reports individual cost of living and housing reports for 214 cities using 200 criteria that include housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. The reports are used to help multinational companies and governments determine salaries and expenses of employees assigned to live in the selected cities.

All of the 214 cities are compared with New York living expenses and currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The cost of housing – often the biggest expense for expatriates – plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked.

Nathalie Constantin-Métral, Senior Researcher at Mercer responsible for compiling the ranking each year, commented: “Multinational companies have long understood the competitive advantage of a globally mobile workforce, though the enduring challenge is to balance the cost of their expatriate programmes. Currency fluctuations, inflation, political instability and natural disasters are all factors that influence the cost of living for expatriates. It is essential that employers understand their impact, for cost-containment purposes but also to ensure they retain talented employees by offering competitive compensation packages”.

In Mercer’s world list of most expensive cities, Tokyo ranked number two and Osaka ranked number six in Japan making them the region’s most expensive cities in which to live. Hong Kong ranked number eight, Singapore number 11, Seoul 14, Beijing 16, Nagoya at 19 and Shanghai was ranked at 25.

New York, the most expensive city to live in the United States was ranked number 27 on the world list of most expensive cities to live followed by Los Angeles 55 and Washington 111.

London was the UK’s most expensive city to live in at number 17 on the world list followed by Aberdeen (149), Glasgow (155), and Birmingham (158). Belfast (182) is ranked as the UK’s least expensive city.

The cost of housing is often the biggest expense encountered by those relocating to another country. Ms Constantin-Métral commented: “Most Asian cities have moved up in the ranking as availability for expatriate accommodation prices is limited and demand is high.”

The weakened US dollar is another reason for the rise of Cost of Living for US expatriates in Asian countries as the need to use more US dollars to buy the same number of host currency units increases. Natural disasters, political upheavals, and inflation is cited as other reasons for the rise in rankings.

New Delhi (85) is India’s most expensive city followed by Mumbai (89) and Bangalore (190). Elsewhere, Jakarta in Indonesia ranks 94, followed by Vietnam’s Hanoi and Thailand’s Bangkok (both at 121) and Kuala Lumpur (138) in Malaysia. Pakistan’s Islamabad (212) and Karachi (214) are the region’s two least expensive cities.

In Mercer’s list of most expensive cities to live in, Luanda in Angola is ranked as number one; Tokyo is in second position, with Ndjamena in Chad in third place. Moscow is in fourth position followed by Geneva in fifth while Karachi is ranked as the world’s least expensive city. The survey found that Luanda is three times as costly as Karachi.




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