Istanbul drops on most expensive city list
Istanbul has dropped on the annual list of most expensive cities in the world for expats.
The cost of living in Istanbul has fallen sharply over the last year, taking the city to 70th place in a list of most expensive cities around the world, down from 44th, according to Mercer, a global human resources consulting company.
Luanda in Angola is the world’s most expensive city for expatriates for the second year running, according to Mercer’s 2011 Cost of Living Survey. Tokyo remains in second position and N’Djamena in Chad in third place. Moscow follows in fourth position with Geneva in fifth and Osaka in sixth. Zurich jumps one position to rank seventh, while Hong Kong drops down to ninth.
Down one place from last year, London (18) is the UK’s most expensive city, followed by Aberdeen (144), Glasgow (148) and Birmingham (150). Belfast (178) is ranked as the UK’s least expensive city.
Only three European cities remain in the top 10 list of most expensive cities. Moscow (4) is still the most costly European city on the list, followed by Geneva (5) and Zurich (7). Oslo (15) is down four places from last year, whereas Bern (16) has jumped six and Copenhagen dropped seven places from 10 to 17. London (18) is followed by Milan (25) and Paris (27) both down 10 places from last year. St. Petersburg ranks 29, followed by Rome (34) and Vienna (36). Up from 76 in 2010, Stockholm (39) has seen one of the most dramatic changes in the region – mainly due to a considerable strengthening of the local currency against the US dollar.
The survey covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city and all cities are compared against New York. 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.