Zurich and Geneva are ranked as the first and second most expensive expat cities in Europe and the 5th and 6th most expensive cities in the world for expatriates. This is due primarily to the strong Swiss Franc which has maintained its position against the US Dollar despite the dollar’s strong showing in 2015, as well as due to high rentals and institutionalized high wages.
Despite the fact that there have been moderate price increases in most of Europe, the Euro has weakened against the US Dollar which has resulted in lower USD prices, pushing Euro cities down in the global ranking, only one of the top ten most expensive cities in Europe is on the Euro (Monaco).
Oslo is the world’s 7th and Europe’s third most expensive city as at August 2016. Oslo was the most expensive location in Europe in 2014, however the weaker Norwegian Krone (more than 18% weaker against the USD by the end of 2015) resulting primarily from the lower global oil price and subsequent weaker oil sector.
Hamilton in Bermuda is the most expensive location in the Americas, in 9th place globally; this is due to the high price of property and the fact that most items have to be transported to Bermuda adding a great deal to the cost of expatriate items.
New York (Manhattan) NY is the second most expensive location in the Americas, the most expensive city in the USA in 11th place worldwide, this is mainly due to the highly priced rental property market. Overall locations across the United States have climbed the rankings during 2015 as a result of the strong US Dollar against most other global currencies. The second most expensive city in the USA is Honolulu, HI ranked 5th in the region and 29th in the world, followed by San Jose in California ranked 36th in the world. In comparison the highest ranked city in Canada is Toronto, ranked 105th most expensive in the world in 2016.
Hong Kong has not only retained the top spot as the overall most expensive in Asia-Pacific, it has become the most expensive city in the world, mainly due to the extremely high housing costs, as well as high cost of schooling and limited space available making rentals high.
Singapore remains the second most expensive city in the Asia-Pacific region for expatriates (4th most expensive in the world) and tops the region rankings when costs related to housing, education, medical and transport are excluded.
Tokyo is the third most expensive city in Asia-Pacific. This is mainly due to the strength of the Japanese Yen, which has held steady against the USD, while most other currencies have weakened. In addition factors such as consumption tax increases have resulted in US Dollar prices increasing in global terms.
Shanghai is the fourth most expensive place for expatriates in the Asia-Pacific region, and 17th globally…
Luanda is most expensive city to live in the African region, and second most expensive city in the world. The Angolan New Kwanza (AOA) is approximately 36% weaker against the US Dollar compared to a year ago, extremely costly safe expatriate accommodation, imported produce and costly international private schooling has kept Launda at the top of the rankings in Africa.
Overall African countries are some of the poorest and least developed in the world, with relatively low local cost of living expenses; however the cost of importing and transporting the international standard of goods that expatriates expect to purchase in the cities in this region makes it extremely expensive to maintain the lifestyle that they are used to.
The 10 cheapest low hardship cities for expatriate professional migrants as at August 2016 for all expat basket items from most cheap to less cheap are as follows:
1. Lodz (Poland-Europe)
2. Krakow (Poland-Europe)
3. Warsaw (Poland-Europe)
4. Port Elizabeth (South Africa-Africa)
5. Budapest (Hungary-Europe)
6. Durban (South Africa-Africa)
7. Klang (Malaysia-Asia-Pacific)
8. Gaborone (Botswana-Africa)
9. Subang Jaya (Malaysia-Asia-Pacific)
10. Port Louis (Mauritius-Africa)
The cheapest low hardship countries for expatriate professional migrants as at August 2016 for all expat basket items from most cheapest to less cheap are as follows:
1. Poland (Europe)
2. Hungary (Europe)
3. Botswana (Africa)
4. South Africa (Africa)
Xpatulator’s hardship ranking system measures the relative quality of living in each locations, and assesses the level of difficulty that will be experienced in adapting to each location.
The ratings for hardship are classified into four main groups, the first being those with no real hardship, while the three categories with hardship can be described as follows:
1) Some Hardship (20% Hardship Premium)
2) High degree of Hardship (30% Hardship Premium)
3) Extreme Hardship (40% Hardship Premium).
The Xpatulator.com High and Extreme Hardship Premium Locations (30%-40% Premium) as at August 2016:
Pristina in Kosovo 40%
Puebla in Mexico 30%
Pune in India 30%
Pyongyang in Democratic Republic of Korea 40%
Quito in Ecuador 30%
Rabat in Morocco 30%
Reykjavik in Iceland 30%
Riga in Latvia 30%
Riyadh in Saudi Arabia 30%
Roseau in Dominica 40%
Saipan in Northern Mariana Islands 40%
Samara in Russia 30%
San Jose in Costa Rica 30%
San Juan in Puerto Rico 30%