OSLO NORWAY BECOMES MOST EXPENSIVE CITY IN EUROPE
New cost of living data released showed Oslo, Norway jumping ahead of Zurich and Geneva to become the most expensive European city for foreign workers. The rankings, which are updated quarterly, saw Zurich fall from 1st among the World’s most expensive cities in mid-2013 to 6th in the first quarter of 2014. Oslo has moved from 10th to 3rd during the same period of time.
One characteristic that Oslo shares with the it’s Swiss counterparts, is that despite being part of the European continent, it is neither part of the European Union nor part of the European Economic Community. Norway is free to set its own economic policies and maintains aggressive tax rates to fund social programs. It also actively pursues social objectives through taxes on tobacco, alcohol and gasoline.
Norway’s high cost of living and high taxes are offset by high wages. The concept of a living wage is deeply ingrained in Norwegian social values. The gap between the lowest paid 10% of workers and the highest paid 10% is surprisingly small. Wages for restaurant workers, teachers, service people and unskilled labor are high enough for most workers to live comfortably, even with the high cost of living.
Oslo also joins the capital cities of two other oil producing countries as one of the top three most expensive cities in the World. Luanda, Angola ranks #1 while Caracas, Venezuela ranks #2. Unlike Luanda and Caracas, Oslo enjoys low inflation, low unemployment, and one the highest GDPs per capita in the World.
Xpatulator.com provides up-to-date cost of living data for over 700 locations worldwide.
Top Ten City Rankings for Europe
While on international assignments ensure that you or your employee's spending power is not compromised by changes in inflation, the availability of goods as well as exchange rates. Multinational companies will often include a cost of living allowance in their pay packages to ensure that employee's remuneration packages are not compromised by changes in the relative cost of living.
Reference: The cost of living ranking information contained in this article is updated quarterly using data collected by Xpatulator.com over the past 12 months. The international cost of living indexes, on which the rankings are based, is only available using Xpatulator.com's online expatriate calculators that enable users to create personalized cost of living comparison reports which include:
- Salary Purchasing Power Parity Calculator
- Cost of Living Allowance Calculator
- Cost of Living Index Calculator
- International Assignment Management Calculator
Published by Xpatulator.com on 1 April 2014