Most Expensive Global Cities For Expats


Switzerland has become entrenched as the most expensive country for expats, who voted five cities in the tiny nation into the top places in a global poll.

Switzerland is regularly voted as the most expensive place for expats to live in global surveys.

Although the country grabbed the prime positions in the table, the USA had the most listings in the survey of more than 440 cities worldwide.

The US ended top with 58 cities in the survey voted for by expats.

New York was the most expensive city in North America, followed by San Francisco. The US dominance of the table is explained by the strong dollar outperforming all other currencies.

In Europe, Zurich took top place – and top ranking in the table from expat data monitor Numbeo’s Cost of Living Index 2020. Norway rivalled Switzerland with four top 10 places.

The remaining top 10 slot was grabbed by the Iceland capital Reykjavik.

Montevideo, Uruguay, won the top ranking in South America.

Indian cities garnered 17 of the last 20 places, only rivalled by Pakistan taking the other three.

London ranked 28 and Paris 24.

Find more information and full listings on the Numbeo web site [Opens in new window]

Top 20 most expensive expat cities

Rank City Country
1 Zurich Switzerland
2 Basel Switzerland
3 Lausanne Switzerland
4 Geneva Switzerland
5 Bern Switzerland
6 Stavanger Norway
7 Oslo Norway
8 Trondheim Norway
9 Reykjavik Iceland
10 Bergen Norway
11 New York USA
12 San Francisco USA
13 Anchorage USA
14 Honolulu USA
15 Brooklyn USA
16 Aalborg Denmark
17 Washington DC USA
18 Tokyo Japan
19 Oakland USA
20 Tel Aviv Israel

Source: Numbeo

Countries with the most cities voted by expats

Rank Country No of cities
1 USA 58
2 India 32
3 UK 24
4 Russia 21
5 Germany 18
6 Canada 17
7 Poland 11
8 Spain 10
9 Romania 10
10 Australia 10
11 Ukraine 9
12 Italy 9
13 Netherlands 8
14 Mexico 8
15 France 6
16 Brazil 6
17 China 6
18 Switzerland 5
19 Turkey 5
20 Ireland 4

Source: Numbeo

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