The 23rd Cost of Living Survey carried out by Mercer, the world’s largest human resource consulting firm, found that African, Asian, and European cities dominated the 2017 list of most expensive locations for working abroad.
According to the survey, Lagos ranked 13th while Abuja ranked 20th in 2016.
The capital city of Angola, Luanda, however, ranked first globally moving up from second place and taking over from Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city.
The survey attributed cost of goods and security as factors that determined the cost of living in Luanda.
Other African cities that ranked high reflected high living costs and prices of goods for expatriate employees.
They include Victoria, Seychelles in the 14th position, N’djamena, Chad in the 16th position and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo ranked 18th.
The least expensive African cities include Gaborone, Botswana in the 196th position; Cape Town, South Africa ranking 199th and Blantyre, Malawi ranking 205th.
Windhoek, Namibia ranked 206 while Tunis, Tunisia ranked 209 and was found to be the least expensive country globally.
In Europe, three cities remained in the top 10 list of most expensive cities for expatriates, which included Zurich, Geneva and Bern which ranked fourth, seventh and 10th respectively.
Moscow ranked 14th and London ranked 30th position and the German cities of Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin dropped significantly ranking 98, 117 and 120 respectively.
Also, five of the top 10 expensive cities in the ranking were in Asia; Hong Kong ranked second and was found to be the most expensive city in the region as a result of its currency pegged to the US dollar, which drove up the cost of accommodations locally.
Others are Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul and Shanghai which ranked third, fifth, sixth and eighth respectively.
Nathalie Constantin-Métral, Principal at Mercer responsible for compiling the survey ranking, explained that the majority of Chinese cities fell in the ranking due to the weakening of the Chinese yuan against the U.S. dollar.
In India, Mumbai ranked 57, moving up 25 places due to its rapid economic growth, inflation on the goods and services basket and a stable currency against the U.S. Dollar.
New Delhi and Chennai ranked 99 and 135 respectively.
In the Middle East, Tel Aviv ranked 17 and continues to be the most expensive city for expatriates followed by Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh ranking 20, 23 and 52 respectively.
Jeddah ranked 117, Muscat ranked 92 and Doha ranked 81 and are among the least expensive cities in the region.
The survey found that cities in the U.S. were the most expensive locations in the Americas.
New York City ranked ninth as the costliest city; San Francisco ranked 22nd and Los Angeles 24th.
Ms. Constantin-Métral said, “Overall, U.S. cities either remained stable in the ranking or have slightly increased due to the movement of the U.S. dollar against the majority of currencies worldwide.
The Canadian city of Vancouver ranked 107, overtaking Toronto which ranked 119, to become the most expensive Canadian city in the ranking. Ottawa was found to be the least expensive city in Canada ranking 152.
“The Canadian dollar has appreciated in value triggering the major jumps in this year’s ranking,” explained Constantin-Métral.
Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey finds that factors like instability of housing markets and inflation for goods and services contribute to the overall cost of doing business in today’s global environment.
The survey is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.