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Hong Kong back in the top ten most expensive locations for expatriates

Press Releases   •   Dec 12, 2017 16:39 GMT

• Hong Kong is the world’s ninth-most expensive location for expatriates, after dropping out of the top ten in 2016. • Hong Kong is now the second-most expensive location in the Asia-Pacific region after Tokyo, Japan. • Asian cities dominate the list of top 50 most expensive locations, making up over half the entries.

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Sydney and Canberra back in the top 50 most expensive locations for expatriates

Press Releases   •   Dec 12, 2017 16:20 GMT

Sydney and Canberra, Australia, are once again among the top 50 most expensive locations in the world for expatriates, ranking 48th and 50th respectively in the rankings.

This was one of the findings in the latest cost of living survey published by ECA International, the world's leading provider of knowledge, information and software for the management and assignment of employees around the world.

“The Australian dollar has had a strong 12 months compared to other currencies and this has seen all the Australian cities on our list move up the rankings,” said Steven Kilfedder, Production Manager, ECA International. “However, Australian cities still have some work to do to get back to the levels they were at in 2012, when seven were in the top 50.”

ECA International has been conducting research into cost of living for over 45 years. It carries out two cost of living surveys per year to help companies calculate cost of living allowances so that their employees' spending power is not compromised while on international assignment. The surveys compare a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by assignees in 470 locations worldwide. Certain living costs, such as accommodation rental, utilities, car purchases and school fees are usually covered by separate allowances. Data for these costs are collected separately and are not included in ECA’s cost of living basket.

Elsewhere in Australasia, there has been a fall for the New Zealand cities on the list, with Auckland and Wellington both dropping out of the global top 50. In 2016, both locations were more expensive for expatriates than any Australian location, but this trend proved to be short-lived, with four Australian cities now overtaking their New Zealand neighbours in our rankings.

Global highlights – Luanda returns to the top spot, Khartoum rises over 200 places in five years and UK cities continue to fall

Luanda has returned to the top of ECA’s global rankings this year. The Angolan capital has been consistently in the top five most expensive cities since 2012.

“The cost of goods typically purchased by international assignees in Luanda, which was already high due to poor infrastructure and high oil-fuelled demand, continues to be pushed even higher. The Angolan kwanza is increasingly overvalued, which pushes up relative costs; while the ongoing weakness of the black-market exchange rate has also inflated the price of imported goods,” added Kilfedder.

Khartoum, Sudan, is up to second place on the list of most expensive cities and has risen by 224 places in just five years, as currency shortages and rising prices continue to take effect on the African nation.

Central London has slipped down the rankings and is now the 139th most expensive location for expatriates, down 36 places from the 2016 survey and falling 78 places in five years. Other UK cities have shown the same trend, with the next most expensive cities, Edinburgh and Manchester, dropping to 163rd and 173rd respectively. 

Australasia top 10 most expensive locations
Location 2017 ranking 2016 ranking
Sydney 48 53
Canberra 50 61
Melbourne 51 62
Perth 54 65
Auckland 57 44
Brisbane 58 72
Wellington 60 47
Darwin 62 76
Adelaide 64 80
Christchurch 67 54
Global top 20 most expensive locations
Location 2017 ranking 2016 ranking
Luanda 1 2
Khartoum 2 21
Zurich 3 3
Geneva 4 4
Basel 5 6
Bern 6 8
Oslo 7 14
Tokyo 8 1
Hong Kong 9 11
Stavanger 10 20
Seoul 11 12
Shanghai 12 13
Tel Aviv 13 19
Copenhagen 14 23
Jerusalem 15 22
Beijing 16 15
Kinshasa 17 10
Yokohama 18 5
Nagoya 19 7
Osaka 20 9

-ENDS-

Note to Editors

Figures used in this release were taken from ECA's September 2017 Cost of Living Survey. 

About ECA's Cost of Living Survey

ECA International's main cost of living surveys are carried out in March and September using a basket of day-to-day goods and services commonly purchased by assignees. The data used above refers to year-on-year movements between ECA's September 2012 to 2017 surveys. ECA’s cost of living survey rankings began in 2004.

Cost of living indices are used by ECA’s clients to calculate cost of living allowances for assignees. The survey covers:

Food: Groceries; dairy produce; meat and fish; fresh fruit and vegetables

Basic: Household goods; recreational goods; general services; leisure services

General: Clothing; electrical goods; motoring; meals out; alcohol and tobacco

Certain living costs such as accommodation rental, utilities charges (electricity, gas, and water), car purchases and school fees are not included in the survey. Such items can make a significant difference to expenses but are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages.

This comparison of cost of living was calculated on a base composed of various developed countries and is used to reflect an international lifestyle. Other indices available from ECA reflect specific city-to-city comparisons, and different levels of shopping efficiency.

ECA's blog provides updates and commentary on currency, inflation and expatriate cost of living. Follow the blog here: https://eca-international.com/insights/blogs

About ECA International (www.eca-international.com)

ECA International is the market leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

Partnering with thousands of clients on every continent, we provide a fully integrated suite of quality data, specialist software, consultancy and training. Our unparalleled insights guide clients as they mobilise their most valuable resource: people.

We make the complex world of international mobility simple, providing clients with the expertise and support they need to make the right decisions - every time.

ECA International: Mobility solutions for a world that’s constantly moving.

• Sydney and Canberra back in top 50 most expensive locations for expatriates for the first time since 2014 • Australian cities see increases in cost of living rankings, while New Zealand locations drop • Asian cities dominate the top 50 most expensive locations, making up over half the entries

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US cities fall in cost of living rankings during first year of new presidency

Press Releases   •   Dec 12, 2017 16:04 GMT

• Cost of living has fallen throughout the USA over the past 12 months • Los Angeles and San Francisco both drop out of global top 50 • Asia dominates top 50 most expensive cities in the world, but Luanda tops the list

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Luanda tops the rankings for most expensive location for expatriates

Press Releases   •   Dec 12, 2017 15:40 GMT

Luanda, Angola, is the most expensive location in the world for expatriates, as Asian cities dominate the top 50.

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UK now one of cheapest countries in Europe for visitors as cost of living continues to decline

Press Releases   •   Dec 12, 2017 15:39 GMT

• UK cities more attractive for overseas employers with lowest ever rankings in global Cost of Living Index • London sinks 36 places to 139th, dropping behind Athens, Moscow, Toronto, Harare, Rio and Dublin

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UK employees to receive among the lowest salary increases in Europe next year

Press Releases   •   Nov 14, 2017 16:21 GMT

UK professionals expected to receive just 0.2% real-terms salary increase in 2018, up to fifteen times less than European peers

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ARGENTINIAN EMPLOYEES TO RECEIVE THE HIGHEST SALARY INCREASES IN THE WORLD NEXT YEAR

Press Releases   •   Nov 14, 2017 13:06 GMT

Argentinian professionals expected to receive 7.2% real-terms salary increase in 2018, leaping 22 places in the global rankings

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Caracas now the most expensive location in the Americas for expatriates

Press Releases   •   Jun 07, 2017 15:47 BST

  • Manhattan no longer most expensive location in Americas for first time in three years
  • Buenos Aires world’s second-largest climber – reaching highest position since rankings began
  • Brazilian cities rapidly rise in regional and global rankings
  • Luanda, Angola, takes the global top spot this year

ECA International (ECA) today reveals that, using the main official DICOM exchange rate, Caracas is now the most expensive location in the Americas for expatriates, and the ninth-most expensive in the world, thanks to poor availability of goods and global currencies in Venezuela. Caracas is up 252 places from last year.

Published by ECA, the world's leading provider of information, software and expertise for the management and assignment of employees around the world, the Cost of Living Survey compares a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by international assignees* in over 460 locations worldwide. The survey allows businesses to ensure that their employees’ spending power is maintained when they are sent on international assignments. ECA International has been conducting research into cost of living for over 45 years.

ECA’s latest Cost of Living Survey indicates that Caracas now sits just above Manhattan in the regional rankings, and has also overtaken Buenos Aires (5th), Los Angeles (6th), Sao Paulo (20th) and Vancouver (38th).

“Using Venezuela’s main official exchange rate, DICOM, Caracas tops the regional rankings. Caracas has seen the most dramatic rise in the global rankings this year, climbing a staggering 252 places in our rankings as inflation, as measured by ECA, has soared to over 440% annually,” said Steven Kilfedder, Production Manager, ECA International. “However, this ranking is likely to change considerably in upcoming Cost of Living Surveys given ongoing exchange-rate volatility there. In fact, using the black-market exchange rate Caracas is by far the cheapest city in the world.”

Americas highlights

Manhattan no longer most expensive location in Americas for first time in three years

Manhattan has made way for Caracas to top the regional rankings this year, but Manhattan is still one of the most expensive locations in the world and the most expensive location in North America for expatriates. It has fallen by two places this year to 23rd globally.

South American cities re-enter the top 100 most expensive in the world

Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital, ranks 35th globally this year, in sharp contrast to 2016 when it was 163rd. It has risen by 128 places in the global rankings in the past year, mainly because of soaring inflation, and is the second-highest climber this survey, behind Caracas.

Sao Paulo (85th), Rio de Janeiro (88th) and Montevideo (97th) re-entered the top 100 most expensive locations in the world, with Brasilia reaching 103rd, up 106 places since last year.

Global highlights

Luanda is now the most expensive location in the world for expats

Luanda has risen from 8th position last year to top ECA’s global rankings this year.

“The cost of goods typically purchased by international assignees in Luanda, which were already high due to poor infrastructure and high oil-fuelled demand, have been pushed much higher in the last year. The Angolan kwanza is increasingly overvalued, which pushes up relative costs, while the continued weakness of the black-market exchange rate has also inflated the price of imported goods,” added Kilfedder.

UK cities fall dramatically by up to 68 places and out of top 100 global rankings

Central London is now 132nd in the world, down from 65th last year, the lowest ever recorded since ECA first began publishing the Cost of Living rankings over 10 years ago - thanks to the weakened British pound.

Edinburgh has fallen to 165th, Cardiff is now ranked at 175th and Belfast has dropped to 186th in ECA’s ranking.

Swiss cities continue to dominate the global top 10

Despite prices falling in the previous year, Swiss cities continue to dominate the global top 10 – with Zurich 3rd, Geneva 4th, Basel 5th and Bern 6th.

The relative decline of the euro between surveys has seen most Eurozone locations fall in the global rankings with French, Dutch and German destinations among those falling most in the past year. Berlin has seen the most significant decline in mainland Europe, falling by 28 places to 122nd place.

Russia and Australia climb the Cost of Living rankings

The strengthened rouble has led to Moscow climbing the rankings by 125 places this year to 56th. However, it has a long way to go to reach the heights of five years ago when it was ranked 13th in the world.

Sydney remains the most expensive city in Australia. It currently ranks 50th in the global rankings, up from 70th place last year. All ranked locations within Australia rose in our global rankings this year, with Adelaide rising the most, by 34 places to 75th position – although it is still the cheapest ranked location in Australia.

All surveyed locations in China remain in the top 100 most expensive in the world, with Shanghai peaking at 13th position. Even though all ranked Chinese cities fell in the global rankings this year, they’re far more expensive than five years ago – with cities there rising by over 52 places on average.

Global top 10 most expensive locations for expatriates

Country Location Ranking 2017
Angola Luanda 1
Hong Kong Hong Kong 2
Switzerland Zurich 3
Switzerland Geneva 4
Switzerland Basel 5
Switzerland Bern 6
Japan Tokyo 7
Korea Republic Seoul 8
Venezuela Caracas 9
Sudan Khartoum 10

For more information visit www.eca-international.com.

-Ends-

Notes to Editors

* Certain living costs, such as accommodation rental, utilities, car purchases and school fees are usually covered by separate allowances. Data for these costs are collected separately and are not included in ECA’s Cost of Living basket.

For further press information, please contact:

James Davis

PR Manager

+44 (0)20 7351 5000

james.davis@eca-international.com

About ECA's Cost of Living Survey

ECA International's Cost of Living surveys are carried out in March and September using a basket of day-to-day goods and services commonly purchased by assignees. The data used above refers to year-on-year movements between ECA's March 2012 to 2017 surveys. ECA’s Cost of Living Survey rankings began in 2005.

Cost of living indices are used by ECA clients to calculate cost of living allowances for assignees. The survey covers:

Food: Groceries; dairy produce; meat and fish; fresh fruit and vegetables

Basic: Household goods; recreational goods; general services; leisure services

General: Clothing; electrical goods; motoring; meals out; alcohol and tobacco

Certain living costs such as accommodation rental, utilities charges (electricity, gas, and water), car purchases and school fees are not included in the survey. Such items can make a significant difference to expenses but are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages.

This comparison of cost of living was calculated on a base composed of various developed countries and is used to reflect an international lifestyle. Other indices available from ECA reflect specific city-to-city comparisons and different levels of shopping efficiency.

ECA's blog provides updates and commentary on currency, inflation and expatriate cost of living. Follow the blog here: https://eca-international.com/insights/blogs

About ECA International (www.eca-international.com)

ECA International is the market leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

Partnering with thousands of clients on every continent, we provide a fully integrated suite of quality data, specialist software, consultancy and training. Our unparalleled insights guide clients as they mobilise their most valuable resource: people.

We make the complex world of international mobility simple, providing clients with the expertise and support they need to make the right decisions - every time.

ECA International: Mobility solutions for a world that’s constantly moving.

Caracas is now the most expensive location in the Americas for expatriates, and the ninth-most expensive in the world, thanks to poor availability of goods and global currencies in Venezuela.

Read more »
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Swiss cities dominate list of most expensive locations in the world for expats

Press Releases   •   Jun 07, 2017 14:21 BST

  • UK cities fall dramatically by up to 68 places and out of top 100 global rankings
  • Weak GBP causes Central London to drop to 132nd, its lowest ever ranking recorded by ECA International
  • Strengthened rouble leads to Moscow climbing the global rankings by 125 places
  • Luanda, Angola, takes the global top spot this year

ECA International (ECA) today reveals that Zurich is the most expensive city in Europe for expatriates in the latest Cost of Living rankings. Despite little change in prices compared with the previous year, Swiss cities continue to dominate the global top 10 – with Zurich 3rd, Geneva 4th, Basel 5th and Bern 6th.

“The comparative strength of the franc has contributed to Switzerland remaining as one of the most expensive countries surveyed in the world. Despite prices hardly rising in the previous year, Swiss cities dominate the top of the rankings,” said Steven Kilfedder, Production Manager, ECA International.

Published by ECA, the world's leading provider of information, software and expertise for the management and assignment of employees around the world, the Cost of Living Survey compares a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by international assignees* in over 460 locations worldwide. The survey allows businesses to ensure that their employees’ spending power is maintained when they are sent on international assignments. ECA International has been conducting research into cost of living for over 45 years.

European highlights:

UK cities have dropped as many as 68 places from last year – their lowest ever recorded

Central London is now 132nd in the world, down from 65th last year, its lowest ever recorded since ECA first began publishing the Cost of Living rankings over 10 years ago. Central London sits just above Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia, in the global rankings, and has now been overtaken by Rio de Janeiro (88th), Bangkok (116th) and Dublin (120th).

“Thanks to the weakened pound UK businesses are paying more to send staff to work overseas, but it is cheaper to bring staff to the UK,” stated Kilfedder. “UK locations have seen the most dramatic decline in Europe this year and the fifth-largest decline in the world - behind cities in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Egypt and Ghana in Africa. All ranked UK cities have dropped below regional rivals Paris, Berlin and Brussels in the Cost of Living rankings.”

Edinburgh has fallen to 165th, Cardiff is now ranked at 175th and Belfast has dropped to 186th in ECA’s ranking.

Strengthened rouble leads to Moscow climbing the global rankings

The strengthened rouble has led to Moscow climbing the global rankings by 125 places this year to 56th. However, it has a long way to go to reach the heights of five years ago when it was ranked 13th in the world. St Petersburg has also shot up the rankings this year, joining Moscow in the European top 20 and climbing 105 places in the global rankings – now sitting in 118th place.

The relative decline of the euro between surveys has seen most Eurozone locations fall in the global rankings with French, Dutch and German destinations among those falling most in the past year. Berlin has seen the most significant decline in mainland Europe, falling by 28 places to 122nd place.

Global highlights:

Luanda is now the most expensive location in the world for expats

Luanda has risen from 8th position last year to top ECA’s global rankings this year.

“The cost of goods typically purchased by international assignees in Luanda, which was already high due to poor infrastructure and high oil-fuelled demand, has been pushed much higher in the last year. The Angolan kwanza is increasingly overvalued, which pushes up relative costs, while the continued weakness of the black-market exchange rate has also inflated the price of imported goods,” added Kilfedder.

Australia climbs the cost of living rankings

Sydney remains the most expensive city in Australia. It currently ranks 50th in the global rankings, up from 70th place last year. All ranked locations within Australia rose in our global rankings this year, with Adelaide rising the most, by 34 places to 75th position – although it is still the cheapest ranked location in Australia.

South American cities re-enter the top 100 most expensive in the world

Caracas, in Venezuela, climbed a dramatic 252 places in the past 12 months, and is now ranked 9th in the world, “though this ranking is likely to change considerably in upcoming Cost of Living Surveys given ongoing exchange-rate volatility,” added Kilfedder.

Buenos Aires (35th), Sao Paulo (85th), Rio de Janeiro (88th) and Montevideo (97th) also re-entered the top 100 most expensive locations in the world, with Brasilia reaching 103rd, up 106 places since last year.

Although falling a few places this year to 23rd globally, Manhattan remains the most expensive location in North America for expatriates.

Hong Kong is the world’s second-most expensive location for expatriates

Hong Kong is up one place from second position in the regional rankings. From a global perspective, it has climbed seven places to become the second-most expensive location for expatriates – its highest ever rankings on both fronts. Since 2011, Hong Kong has risen steadily in both the regional and global rankings.

All surveyed locations in China remain in the top 100 most expensive in the world, with Shanghai peaking at 13th position. Even though all ranked Chinese cities fell in the global rankings this year, they’re far more expensive than five years ago – with cities there rising by over 52 places on average.

For more information visit www.eca-international.com.

-Ends-


European regional top 20 most expensive locations for expatriates (including global ranks)

Location Regional rank 2017 Regional rank 2016 Regional rank: 1 year difference Global rank 2017
Zurich 1 1 0 3
Geneva 2 2 0 4
Basel 3 3 0 5
Bern 4 4 0 6
Oslo 5 5 0 12
Stavanger 6 7 1 22
Copenhagen 7 6 -1 31
Helsinki 8 8 0 39
Stockholm 9 9 0 48
Moscow 10 52 42 56
Gothenburg 11 10 -1 79
Paris 12 12 0 92
Brussels 13 13 0 108
Vienna 14 16 2 113
Antwerp 15 18 3 117
St Petersburg 16 61 45 118
Dublin 17 19 2 120
Berlin 18 15 -3 122
Amsterdam 19 21 2 125
Munich 20 20 0 126


Global top 10 most expensive locations for expatriates
Country Location Ranking 2017
Angola Luanda 1
Hong Kong Hong Kong 2
Switzerland Zurich 3
Switzerland Geneva 4
Switzerland Basel 5
Switzerland Bern 6
Japan Tokyo 7
Korea Republic Seoul 8
Venezuela Caracas 9
Sudan Khartoum 10


Notes to Editors

* Certain living costs, such as accommodation rental, utilities, car purchases and school fees are usually covered by separate allowances. Data for these costs are collected separately and are not included in ECA’s Cost of Living basket.

For further press information, please contact:

James Davis

Marketing, PR and Communications

T +44 (0)20 7351 5000

james.davis@eca-international.com

About ECA's Cost of Living Survey

ECA International's Cost of Living surveys are carried out in March and September using a basket of day-to-day goods and services commonly purchased by assignees. The data used above refers to year-on-year movements between ECA's March 2012 to 2017 surveys. ECA’s Cost of Living Survey rankings began in 2005.

Cost of living indices are used by ECA clients to calculate cost of living allowances for assignees. The survey covers:

Food: Groceries; dairy produce; meat and fish; fresh fruit and vegetables

Basic: Household goods; recreational goods; general services; leisure services

General: Clothing; electrical goods; motoring; meals out; alcohol and tobacco

Certain living costs such as accommodation rental, utilities charges (electricity, gas, and water), car purchases and school fees are not included in the survey. Such items can make a significant difference to expenses but are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages.

This comparison of cost of living was calculated on a base composed of various developed countries and is used to reflect an international lifestyle. Other indices available from ECA reflect specific city-to-city comparisons and different levels of shopping efficiency.

ECA's blog provides updates and commentary on currency, inflation and expatriate cost of living. Follow the blog here: https://eca-international.com/insights/blogs

About ECA International (www.eca-international.com)

ECA International is the market leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

Partnering with thousands of clients on every continent, we provide a fully integrated suite of quality data, specialist software, consultancy and training. Our unparalleled insights guide clients as they mobilise their most valuable resource: people.

We make the complex world of international mobility simple, providing clients with the expertise and support they need to make the right decisions - every time.

ECA International: Mobility solutions for a world that’s constantly moving.

ECA International (ECA) reveals that Zurich is the most expensive city in Europe for expatriates in the latest Cost of Living rankings, with the strengthened rouble leading to Moscow climbing the rankings.

Read more »
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Cost of sending expatriates to the UK falls for foreign companies

Press Releases   •   May 17, 2017 07:30 BST

Fall in pound’s value decreases cost of expatriate packages for foreign companies in USD terms. Plus, highlights on the world's most expensive and cheapest expatriate packages.

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About ECA International

ECA International is the market leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

We provide data, software and expertise to multinational companies to help them manage and reward their international staff effectively.

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  • WC2B 5DG London
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