These are the most expensive cities for those working, living abroad

A new analysis determined which cities were the most expensive places to live for those working abroad and Asian cities dominated the list.

The annual analysis by Mercer found Hong Kong was the most expensive city for expats for the second year in a row. Following Hong Kong was Tokyo, Japan, Singapore, Seoul, South Korea, Zurich, Switzerland, Shanghai, China, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Beijing, China, New York, and Shenzhen, China, respectively.

New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles were the only American cities to break the top 20. London dropped four spots on the list from the previous year due to the U.S. dollar strengthening in the region.

Mercer determined its list by evaluating “200 goods and services that affect the cost of living” and compared it to other cities.

Meanwhile, the cheapest cities for those working abroad were Tunis, Tunisia, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Karachi, Pakistan, Bishek, Kyrgyzstan and Windhoek, Namibia.


Mercer did comparisons of what it cost to go out on the town in China, Poland, Mexico and South Africa this year versus ten years ago. In Beijing, China, a night out cost $136 10 years ago versus $163 today. The price for a night out in Johannesburg 10 years ago was $49. Meanwhile, today it costs around $79.