Switzerland, most expensive location in the world for expats?

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Switzerland is the most expensive location in the world for expats due to the growing strength of the Swiss franc against most other currencies.

Zurich, Berne, Geneva and Basel took the top four places in a global study of the cost of living for expats.

Human resources company ECA International warns expats and their employers that to maintain spending power, they should regularly review their cost of living allowance as exchange rate movements and changing rates of inflation between where an expat works and their home country can leave them unexpectedly out of pocket.

“The relative strength of the Swiss franc against other currencies has pushed Switzerland to the top of the rankings and kept the country there, said Steven Kilfedder, manager of Cost of Living and Remuneration Services for ECA International.

“The cost of living has eased, but not enough to see Switzerland drop down the table.

“Other cities that were expensive last year have become cheaper in comparison and slipped down the rankings. Luanda, for instance, has moved off the top to fifth place.”

In other regions, Shanghai is the most expensive city for expat assignees in the Asia Pacific.

Although falling down the table, Luanda remains the city with the highest expat cost of living in Africa.

Manhattan, New York, maintains top place in North America and both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are the only Middle East cities in the table.

Top 30 Most Expensive Cities For Expats

 LocationCountry20152014
ZurichSwitzerland14
GenevaSwitzerland25
BernSwitzerland36
BaselSwitzerland47
LuandaAngola51
KinshasaDemocratic Republic of the Congo611
ShanghaiChina712
BeijingChina813
Hong KongHong Kong926
SeoulKorea Republic108
OsloNorway112
TokyoJapan1210
ConakryGuinea1336
GuangzhouChina1430
Manhattan NYUnited States of America1538
ShenzhenChina1645
StavangerNorway173
SingaporeSingapore1824
CopenhagenDenmark199
Tel AvivIsrael2022
Buenos AiresArgentina21121
JerusalemIsrael2225
Port MoresbyPapua New Guinea2328
BusanKorea Republic2421
LibrevilleGabon2514
YokohamaJapan2618
NagoyaJapan2720
New York NYUnited States of America2855
MacauMacau2999
HonoluluUnited States of America3052

 

Source: ECA International

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