The Biggest Piece of the Expat Puzzle

Sydney, Australia Opera HouseThe largest piece of the expat puzzle is usually cost of living. How will your expenses compare in your new location to what they are now?

Of course, everyone’s different. John might not be able to live without imported caviar while Sally eats what the local people do, for example. But you have to start your researches somewhere, so here’s a good place to jump in.

This information comes from’s third quarter update.

Most Expensive Cities for Expats

  1. Tokyo, Japan
  2. Geneva, Switzerland
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Hong Kong, China
  5. Lichtenstein, Vaduz
  6. Sao Paulo, Brazil
  7. Osaka, Japan
  8. Oslo, Norway
  9. Moscow, Russia
  10. Sydney, Australia

There was one big change on this list from the beginning of the year — Caracas, Venezuela had been #2 and now it’s doesn’t even show up on the top 10 of the Americas. Other than that, no real surprises here.

If you’re looking for inexpensive, South Asia is the place for you. Here are the top ten most expensive cities in the region, but note that Mumbai, at #139 in the world out of 300, falls in the middle of the expense spectrum.

In other words, even the most expensive S. Asian cities are pretty cheap. . . All on this list are in India unless otherwise noted.

  1. Mumbai (139)
  2. New Delhi (179)
  3. Chennai (181)
  4. Calcutta (182)
  5. Sri Lanka, Colombo (186)
  6. Hyderabad (193)
  7. Bangalore (201)
  8. Male, Maldives (241)
  9. Kabul, Afghanistan (252)
  10. Lahore, Pakistan (273)

A few other interesting notes — Jerusalem (80 in the world) is the most expensive city in the Middle East, followed by Abu Dhabi, UAE and Doha, Qatar.

Almost all the most expensive European cities are in non-Euro countries, with Switzerland claiming the top two spots. France, #9 on the Europe list and #23 in the world) is the only country in this list that spends in Euros.

You can get more detailed cost of living information here.

photo by Linh rOhm on flickr

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