London has moved down from 12th to be 17th most expensive city to live and work as an expatriate in the annual rankings by HR and consulting company Mercer. But it is still the most expensive city in Europe with the exception of those in Switzerland – Zurich, Geneva and Bern are higher up the cost league.
Other UK cities have also become comparatively cheaper. Aberdeen has move down to 85 from 82 last year and Birmingham is 96th in 2016 compared to 80th in 2015. Mercer say that the strength of the pound against the dollar in the past 12 months has been a factor as dollars are used as the base currency for calculations.
The most expensive city in the world for an expat is Hong Kong, according to Mercer research. Last year’s most expensive city, Luanda, drops to second place. Five of the top ten are Asian cities, three of them in China.
|Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2016 – 10 most expensive|
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In Europe, apart from the Swiss cities and London, the only cities in the top 50 globally are Copenhagen, Paris and Dublin.
|Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2016 – Europe’s most expensive|
The survey looks at the cost of 200 items in each city including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. The cost of housing helped push Hong Kong to the top of the rankings, but London comes out as expensive for a number of everyday purchases.