The Mercer 2011 cost of living survey has named Luanda, Angola’s capital as the most expensive city in the world for the second year running.
According to the survey results, which were released this week by HR consultants Mercer International, Tokyo is the second most expensive city in the world, followed by N’Djamena, in Chad.
Discussing the survey results Mercer senior associate Nathalie Constantin-Metral attributed the high living expenses that expatriates faced in African cities to the cost of accommodation, with property prices rising to an all-time high in many areas: "In Luanda, accommodation costs are very, very high," she explained in a press release.
"Availability is limited and most expats are looking for accommodation in secure compounds and prices for accommodation with international standards are high," she added.
This year's Mercer research reported the property prices for a two-bedroom unfinished apartment across a number of major cities as follows:
Similar to the findings of the Economist Intelligence Unit cost of living survey, Australian cities have entered the top 50 in the Mercer rankings, with this being attributed to the Australian dollar, which has increased by 14% against the US dollar. In this year’s Mercer survey, Australia now has four of the 31 most expensive cities in the world: Sydney jumped 10 places from last year’s survey to take position 14, Melbourne increased 12 places to 21st and Brisbane climbed 24 places to rank 31st. According to Mercer, Canberra is now as expensive as Rome for expatriates.
The 2011 Mercer cost of living survey covered 214 different cities across five continents. Rankings were calculated by measuring the comparative cost of over 200 different items, which included housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. The results also considered the local currency’s strength when compared with that of the U.S. over the past year: "The US dollar has weakened significantly against some currencies, including the Singapore dollar, the Brazilian real, and the Malaysian ringgit. So the Cost of Living indices for US expatriates will continue to increase to reflect the need to use more US dollars to buy the same number of host currency units," Mercer said in a statement.
Read the full article: http://www.mercer.com/press-releases/1311145
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