The 50 Most Expensive Cities in the World (2011) according to Mercer

Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey for 2011 is now live, and the result might surprise some of you. It’s not London, New York or Tokyo that’s most expensive to live in for expatriates, rather an African city – Luanda in Angola.

However, Tokyo comes in as the 2nd most expensive city to live, while N’Djamena in Chad turns out to be the third most expensive city in the world.
How does Mercer rank the cost of living?
The main factors in the survey of cities around the world are about the relative strength of each country’s currency against the USD and price movements compared to New York City as the base.
50 most expensive cities to live in for expatriates
1. Luanda, Angola
2. Tokyo, Japan
3. N’djamena, Chad
4. Moscow, Russia
5. Geneva, Switzerland
6. Osaka, Japan
7. Zurich, Switzerland
8. Singapore, Singapore
9. Hong Kong, Hong Kong
10. Sao Paulo, Brazil
11. Nagoya, Japan
12. Libreville, Gabon
12. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
14. Sydney, Australia
15. Oslo, Norway
16. Bern, Switzerland
17. Copenhagen, Denmark
18. London, United Kingdom
19. Seuol, South Korea
20. Beijing, China
21. Shanghai, China
21. Melbourne, Australia
23. Niamey, Niger
24. Tel Aviv, Isreal
25. Victoria, Seychelles
25. Milan, Italy
27. Paris, France
28. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
29. St. Petersburg, Russia
30. Perth, Australia
31. Brisbane, Australia
32. New York, USA
33. Brasilia, Brazil
34. Canberra, Australia
35. Rome, Italy
{div float:right}{module adsense text for text}{/div}36. Vienna, Austria
37. Noumea, New Caledonia
38. Guangzhou, China
39. Djibouti, Djibouti
39. Stockholm, Sweden
41. Lagos, Nigeria
42. Helsingki, Finland
43. Shenzhen, China
44. Dakar, Sengal
44. Khartoum, Sudan
46. Adelaide, Australia
47. Prague, Czech Republic
48. Baku, Azerbaijan
49. Bangui, Central African Rep.
50. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Currency variations make South America and SE Asia more expensive
Currency fluctuations in 2011 have a major impact on the rankings. The US Dollar has weakened considerable against several currencies, such as the Singapore dollar (13 %). Brazilian real, Malaysian ringgit and Australian dollar have also become way more expensive during the last year.
Cities with high inflation include Singapore, many Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai), Moscow (Russia) and African cities such as Luanda (Angola) and N’Djamena (Chad).