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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The most expensive cities to live in. Mercer Rankings 2024

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Mercer has published the latest edition of the “Cost of Living Study” report dedicated to the most expensive cities in the world. The top two places in the ranking were taken by Hong Kong and Singapore, and the podium was completed by the Swiss Zurich.

Mercer's ranking ranks 226 cities in the world from the most expensive to the cheapest places to live. It takes into account living costs, including such issues as housing, food, transport, clothing and entertainment.

TOP 10 most expensive cities to live in

Hong Kong has once again won the title of the most expensive city for foreign workers in a published study. This city was also at the top of the list in 2022 and 2023. In the latest ranking, it was placed just behind Hong Kong Singapore.

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The next places are taken by Swiss cities. Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern took third, fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively.

As CNN notes, the highest ranking among cities USA New York took seventh place. There is a significant change in the case of London – last year it was in 17th place, this year it jumped to 8th. Nassau in the Bahamas took ninth place, and Los Angeles rounds out the top ten.

Mercer's list includes three Polish cities: Warsaw, Wrocław and Kraków. They were ranked 135th, 169th and 175th, respectively.

Housing is a key cost

The high position of cities at the top of the ranking is due to the rising costs of living, transport and prices of goods and services.

“The cost of housing is a major factor in the ranking,” says the Mercer study, which points out that workers who spend a significant portion of their income on rent or mortgages will have “less disposable income for other expenses.”

“In 2023–2024, there was high variability in these costs around the world, and apartment rental prices varied significantly in individual cities,” the company points out.

It further noted that “inflation and currency fluctuations” had a direct impact on “salaries and savings.”

The cost of living in the US will be a “major issue” in 2024

As CNN notes, although the top of the list has changed little compared to last year's ranking, there have been significant jumps further down the list. These included: Mexico (city) and Monterrey, Mexico, with the former rising 46 places to 33 and the latter rising 40 places to 115.

The study also indicated that the cost of living in the US will be a “significant issue” in 2024, with seven US cities in the top 20 of the ranking.

“Inflationary pressures may cause some foreigners to hold off on taking a position in some high-cost U.S. cities and metropolitan areas,” Vince Cordova, partner and mobility consulting leader at Mercer USA, told CNN. “That's why we believe that employers should openly share information about the cost of living and net wages with potential employees so that they can better understand the financial implications of moving to the United States and make a fully informed decision about their future career,” Cordova points out.

The cities with the lowest cost of living were Islamabad in Pakistan and Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria. However, it noted that this is partly due to “currency depreciation”.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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