Numbeo – Most Expensive Global Cities For Expats

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA
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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

RankCityCountry
1ZurichSwitzerland
2BaselSwitzerland
3LausanneSwitzerland
4GenevaSwitzerland
5BernSwitzerland
6StavangerNorway
7OsloNorway
8TrondheimNorway
9ReykjavikIceland
10BergenNorway
11New YorkUSA
12San FranciscoUSA
13AnchorageUSA
14HonoluluUSA
15BrooklynUSA
16AalborgDenmark
17Washington DCUSA
18TokyoJapan
19OaklandUSA
20Tel AvivIsrael

Source: Numbeo

Countries with the most cities voted by expats

RankCountryNo of cities
1USA58
2India32
3UK24
4Russia21
5Germany18
6Canada17
7Poland11
8Spain10
9Romania10
10Australia10
11Ukraine9
12Italy9
13Netherlands8
14Mexico8
15France6
16Brazil6
17China6
18Switzerland5
19Turkey5
20Ireland4

Source: Numbeo

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