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Expatriate survey Swiss cities ranked among world’s most expensive

View of the city of Zurich with Lake Zurich in the background


Zurich, Geneva, and Bern are among the top ten most expensive cities in the world for expatriates, according to a survey by consulting company Mercer. 

Only three European cities remain in the top ten list, all of them in Switzerland. Zurich was ranked fourth, Geneva seventh, and the Swiss capital tenth in the surveyexternal link, published on Wednesday. 

The Angolan capital Luanda knocked Hong Kong off the top spot in the annual ranking of 400 cities. Tokyo came third, Singapore fifth, Seoul sixth, Shanghai eighth, and New York ninth. 

The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer’s survey, are Tunis, Bishkek, and Skopje.  

The Cost of Living Survey 2017 is designed to help multinational companies and governments calculate expatriate compensation packages. It measures currency movements against the dollar over 12 months, and uses price movements in New York City as a base for comparison. 

The survey measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.  

The survey comes after the release of the latest Eurostat consumer price figuresexternal link, which confirm Switzerland’s ranking as the most expensive European country overall, ahead of Iceland and Norway. 

Consumer prices in Switzerland are 61% more costly than the EU average, it shows.

Switzerland is the most expensive in Europe for food and beverage (73% more than the EU average), hotels and restaurants (+67%), clothing (+43%) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+28%). Personal transport (+3%) and consumer electronics (-3%) are both closer to the EU average.

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