London slips down rankings of world's most expensive cities


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The Independent Online

If you think the UK in general and London in particular are expensive locations for foreign businessmen – think again.

The capital has slipped from 18th to 25th place in the annual worldwide cost of living league, compiled by international human resource consultancy Mercer. Other UK cities are well down the list, with Birmingham at 133, Aberdeen at 144, Glasgow at 161 and Belfast at 165.

The survey looked at 214 cities across five continents, and compared the cost of 200 items.

There are a few surprises at the top of the league. Japan has three entries in the top 10: Tokyo (1), Osaka (3) and Nagoya (10). Moscow comes fourth.

But in second place is Luanda, the capital of Angola, and in 8th place is N'Djamena, capital of Chad. This is because the survey is based not on the cost of living for the native population, but on the cost to companies of keeping their expat staff in the style they would expect back home, a spokesperson explained.

So, while the monthly rent of an average two-bedroom unfurnished apartment in a good area in London is estimated at£2,800, in Luanda such accommodation is so scarce that the price is a massive £4,114.

And, while a Big Mac meal will set you back £3.99 in London, the absence of a direct equivalent in Luanda pushes the price for expats to £12.62.