Considering working overseas? Top 10 cities: highest and lowest cost of living

Luanda, Angola. Photo by David Stanley.If you are considering moving overseas to work as an expat, and your employer is covering the costs, even a high-cost destination can be manageable. If you are traveling and working as a digital nomad or as a freelance remote worker, it really matters what the cost of living in the destination is. Surprisingly, a city in the African continent has the most expensive living costs.

Mercer has collected data from over 400 cities, including more than 200 items from each city that indicate the cost of living and compensation requirements for professionals who are being sent overseas to work. Mercer has published a summary of their findings as a ranking of the most expensive and most economical cities to live in.

Top 10 cities with the highest cost of living in 2017:

    1. Luanda, Angola
    2. Hong Kong
    3. Tokyo, Japan
    4. Zurich, Switzerland
    5. Singapore
    6. Seoul, South Korea
    7. Geneva, Switzerland
    8. Shanghai, China
    9. New York City, U.S.A.
    10. Bern, Switzerland

Naturally, many other features have even bigger impact on your life in a city, such as capability to communicate with local people, how easy it is to get inside into the local culture, possibilities for hobbies and activities, and travel and touring options in the region.

Top 10 cities, the lowest cost of living in 2017 according to Mercer:

    Minsk, Belarus
    Karachi, Pakistan
    Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Monterrey, Mexico
    Tbilisi, Georgia
    Blantyre, Malawi
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Skopje, Macedonia
    Bishkek, Kyrgysztan
    Tunis, Tunisia

Tunis. Photo by Christian Mange.


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