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2020 International cost of living and hardship / quality of living data for 780 global locations.


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America Expat Cost of Living Comparison Rankings January 2015



Cities in the USA have continued to climb up the global rankings due to the relative strength of the US dollar against other major currencies, which has contributed to the drop of many other cities in other regions, and has resulted in many USA cities becoming relatively more expensive in comparison. On the other hand cities in Canada have dropped out of the top ten, with Toronto now ranked 77th globally and Vancouver 89th.


Caracas is the most expensive expat destination worldwide. The anticipated fall in cost of living in Venezuela has not happened, while the parallel exchange rate continues to exist it is not widely available. It should be noted that Caracas's ranking can vary greatly depending on the exchange rate selected, we have taken the view that Caracas cannot be left out of the rankings, and that the relative, real cost to a typical professional expatriate, be included in the survey.


Venezuela's annual inflation rate is currently over 60 percent, the highest in Latin America, and the forecast does not look optimistic. The poor state of the economy, among other issues, resulted in protests earlier this year. Shortages of basic items such as flour, milk and toilet paper continue to be a challenge for shoppers, combined with tight government controls on foreign exchange have kept Caracas at the top of the list of the most expensive cities in the Americas for expatriates.


As the World’s fifth largest exporter of oil, Venezuela was once a top destination for skilled oil and gas expatriates. It’s attractiveness for expats has been steadily eroded by strict government regulations that limit hiring and compensation for foreign workers and by the soaring cost of living.


Manhattan is the second most expensive location in the Americas, the most expensive in the USA and 16th worldwide, mainly due to the highly priced rental property market. After New York, the next most expensive place in the USA is Honolulu, followed by San Jose and San Francisco.


While the allure of living in Bermuda is attractive, the reality is that it is an extremely expensive to live, currently ranked third most expensive place in the Americas. Accommodation typically comprises around 30 percent of an expatriate's expenses. There is very little property in the Hamilton area for rent to expatriates for less than USD $4,000 per month, low cost housing is reserved for Bermudian's. Very little is produced locally and imports are subject to high import duties, including fuel and communication. As a result all products are expensive, from alcohol, to groceries to vehicles which are also subject to a restriction of one vehicle per household. In addition to Bermuda, a number of other Caribbean locations are also ranked as expensive for expat cost of living within the Americas, with George Town in the Cayman Islands ranked fifth, Nassau in the Bahamas ranked sixth, and Sao Tome in Sao Tome and Principe ranked tenth most expensive.


Completing the top ten in the Americas are Sao Paulo, ranked fourth, and Rio de Janeiro, ranked seventh. Sao Paulo, once ranked one of the most expensive places in the world for expatriates, is now ranked 37th globally, as a result of the Brazilian real weakening against the US dollar despite increases in rental prices.



The cheapest American city is Managua in Nicaragua



Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. The cost of living ranking information is updated quarterly using data collected by Xpatulator.com over the past 12 months.


For more, read a free cost of living review for the following locations in the Americas:


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