• Hong Kong ranks first in Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey for the second consecutive year.
  • Eight out of the top ten costliest cities for expats are Asian cities. 
  • The survey measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment. 

Following the increase in the share of remote and mobile employees in the total workforce of most organizations today, the design and implementation of mobility programs have gained significant importance. According to Mercer's 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 65% of employers across all industries and countries are using mobility programs to enhance their workforce strategies.

Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey finds that a number of factors, including currency fluctuations, cost of inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices, contribute to the overall cost of expatriate packages for employees on international assignments.

most expensive expats cities MercerMercer’s 25th annual Cost of Living Survey considers 209 cities across 9 continents and finds that eight of the top ten costliest cities for expatriates are Asian cities, with Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and Seoul taking the first, second, third, and fourth position, respectively. Hong Kong is ranked as the costliest city for expats for the second consecutive year.

Mercer’s annual survey takes New York City as the base city for all comparisons and the currency movements are measured against the US Dollar. It measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

“Cost of living is an important component of a city’s attractiveness for businesses,” said Yvonne Traber, Global Mobility Product Solutions Leader at Mercer. “Decision makers increasingly acknowledge that globalization is challenging cities to inform, innovate, and compete to foster the kind of satisfaction that attracts both people and investment – the keys to a city’s future.”

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