Mercer’s 2009 Cost of Living Survey

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the Best Cities to Live based on 3 recent global surveys recently published.  One of those surveys was by Mercer.

Mercer just released in 2009 worldwide cost of living survey with Tokyo replacing Moscow as the most expensive city to live for expatriates in the world, with Johannesburg as the cheapest.  Top 10 cost of living ranking for cities worldwide are:

  1. Tokyo, Japan
  2. Osaka, Japan
  3. Moscow, Russia
  4. Geneva, Switzerland
  5. Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  6. Zurich, Switzerland
  7. Copenhagen, Denmark
  8. New York City, USA
  9. Beijing, China
  10. Singapore, Singapore


Currency fluctuations, as well as the global economic recession, played a major impact to the rankings as the strength of the Yen pushed Tokyo and Osaka to the top of the rankings.  The strength of the US dollar has also moved New York City (the base city) from #22 last year to #8 to join the top 10.

“Mercer’s Cost of Living survey covers 143 cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey and is used to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowance for their expatriate employees.”


2 thoughts on “Mercer’s 2009 Cost of Living Survey

  1. If I’m just barely surviving in Tokyo, then I should be able to do fine in Zurich or Copenhagen, both of when places I’d love to go to.

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