Where is it most expensive to live as an expatriate? According to the latest Cost of Living Survey from Mercer
you are going to spend the most in Japan. Tokyo owns the top spot with Osaka zooming up to second, up nine places since last year. In third place is Moscow which was first last year. Geneva rose four places to fourth position and Hong Kong rounds up the top five. The Mercer's survey uses New York s the base city for the index and scores 100 points. All cities are compared against New York and currency movements are measured against the US dollar. By this measure Tokyo scores 143.7 points and is nearly three times as costly as Johannesburg which has an index score of 49.6 and is at the bottom of the list of 143 cities across six continents. The list measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location and takes housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment into account. The survey is conducted to help corporations set pay rates for international employees.
Some cities fell dramatically in the rankings. Warsaw was down 78 places from 35th to 113th. London was down 13 places to 16th, Sydney has dropped 51 places from 15th to 66th and Mumbai went from 48th place to 66th. Meanwhile cities in the US, China, Japan and the Middle East went up in the ranks. In a press release, Nathalie Constantin-Métral, a senior researcher at Mercer said that the economic downturn has caused fluctuations in most of the world's currencies leading to the reshuffling of the ranks.