- Caracas retains the top position as most expensive expatriate city to live in worldwide.
- Luanda remains as the 2nd most expensive expat destination for the second quarter of 2015.
- Hong Kong moves into 3rd position moving Oslo down to 7th.
- Singapore moves from 5th to 4th place overall.
- Zurich moving into 5th position most expensive places for expats to live worldwide.
Xpatulator.com's quarterly survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive, and is designed to help multinational organizations determine appropriate compensation and allowances for their expatriate employees. The survey data uses New York as the base city, and all countries and cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar. However subscribers can choose their own base city, host locations and currency. The reason why the survey is run quarterly is due to currency fluctuations and the impact of inflation on goods and services that influence the cost of expatriate programs as well as the rankings.
The survey covers 780 locations (countries and cities) across 5 continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, grouped into cost of living baskets such as household costs, transport costs, grocery costs, clothing costs etc.
Caracas in Venezuela continues to be the most expensive expat destination worldwide. Venezuela is home to a large expat community (although this is reducing due to the stringent government regulations limiting the hiring and compensation of foreign workers), many of them continue to work in the country's booming oil industry. For expatriates in Venezuela, rampant inflation, product shortages and tight government controls on foreign exchange have kept Caracas at the top of the list of the most expensive cities globally.
Luanda, the 2nd most expensive expatriate city in the world, remains costly due to its expensive accommodation where expatriate housing, imported produce and international private schooling are extremely high. Overall the cost of importing and transporting most produce into Luanda contributes to the high costs for expatriates. Finding secure accommodation that meets the expectations of professional expatriates is extremely challenging and costly.
Hong Kong is the most expensive city for expatriate's in Asia Pacific and remains the 3rd most expensive international city. Hong Kong has extremely high housing costs, as well as high schooling costs due mainly to the limited space available. If an expatriate posted to Hong Kong is provided with accommodation and schooling is paid for by their company, they will not experience as high a level of cost of living relative to other international cities.
Singapore moves into 4th most expensive, Zurich and Geneva move up one each to 5th and 6th most expensive cities for expats. Switzerland has been a dominant member of the most expensive countries in the world for many years, this is due primarily to the robust Swiss Franc, high rentals and wages. Restricted competition has resulted in Swiss prices being higher than the real value of the commodities or services.
Thimphu in Bhutan remains the cheapest city once again for this quarter, in contrast Caracas is three times more expensive for expats to live in than Thimphu.
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.
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