Sydney is the 10th most expensive city in the world

Global wealth consultant Mercer has released its annual 2013 Cost of Living City Rankings. The study ranks 214 cities based on the cost of living for an expatriate employee in each city. The aim of the Mercer study is to provide insights for multinational companies and governments to help them set compensation rates for their expatriate employees.

It is certainly an interesting Top 10. Three of the top four spots will no doubt surprise many; however issues around remoteness, security and short-term rental rates play a major part when considering cost of living for an expat. Consider for example that a cup of coffee in Moscow costs US$8.29! Coming in at number 1 is Luanda, Angola, followed by Moscow and N’Djamena, Chad in.

After accounting for the ‘more remote’ members, the list then contains many of the usual contenders. Fourth place went to Tokyo, fifth place to Singapore, sixth to Hong Kong, with seventh, eighth and ninth all taken by cities in Switzerland.

Perhaps the most surprising entry on the list (although not to many locals!) is that Sydney was rated the tenth most expensive city, coming in ahead of other global cities such as New York and London. While there are certain caveats to Mercer’s survey including that the base currency is US dollars which means that the cost of living is affected by movements in currency it does reinforce the commentary from many CEOs about how expensive Australia is to do business in.

With the cost of living being a major factor in the cost of doing business, it really is little wonder that Australian-based global businesses such as QBE Insurance (ASX: QBE), Incitec Pivot (ASX: IPL) and Transfield Services (ASX: TSE) have chosen to invest in expanding their businesses in lower cost overseas locations.

Interested in our #1 dividend-paying stock? Discover The Motley Fool’s favourite income idea for 2013-2014 in our brand-new, FREE research report, including a full investment analysis! Simply click here for your FREE copy of “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2013-2014.”

More reading

Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in QBE Insurance.

The 5 mining stocks we’re recommending in 2019…

For decades, Australian mining companies have minted money for individual investors like you and me. But if you believe the pundits and talking heads on TV, those days are long gone. Finito! Behind us forever…

We say nothing could be further from the truth. To earn the really massive returns, you’ve got to fish where others aren’t fishing—and the mining sector could be primed for a resurgence. That’s why top Motley Fool analysts just revealed their exciting new research on 5 ASX miners they believe could help you profit in 2019 and beyond…


The best way we see to play the global zinc shortage… Our #1 favourite large-cap miner (hint: it’s not BHP)… one early-stage gold miner we think could hit the motherlode… Plus two more surprising companies you probably haven’t heard of yet!

For free access to our brand-new research, simply click here or the link below. But be warned, this research is available free for a limited time only, and we reserve the right to withdraw it at any time.

Click here for your FREE report!