Where is the most expensive place for expatriates to live?

The cheapest city for expats was Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan

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The Independent Online

If expatriates are looking for low cost of living, they might want to avoid Luanda.

For the third year running, the oil-rich Angolan capital has ranked as the most expensive city for expats in Mercer's annual Cost of Living City Rankings.

Despite Luanda being a relatively inexpensive city, it was costly for expats because many of their goods had to be imported and they had to pay more for safe living.

According to database Numbeo, the average cost of monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in the city centre was $3,125.

The cheapest place for expats in 2015 was Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, where the average cost of monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in the centre was just £500, according to Numbeo.

In addition to housing, Mercer ranked 207 cities on costs including transport, food, imported goods and entertainment, using New York as the base city.

"Sending employees abroad is necessary to compete in markets and for critical talent, and employers need a reliable and accurate reflection of the cost to their bottom line," said Ilya Bonic of Mercer.

Hong Kong took the second place as the most expensive city in 2015, up one place from last year.

The increased presence of Chinese cities in the upper end of the table, with nine cities in the top 30, was down to the stronger Chinese yuan and higher cost of goods consumed by expats.

London was the twelfth most expensive city for expats in 2015 - the same position as last year.

Mercer’s principal Nathalie Constantin-Metral said the Eurozone's economy and falling interest rates had affected Europe's rankings this year.

“Despite moderate price increases in most of the European cities, European currencies have weakened against the US dollar which pushed most Western European cities down in the ranking," she said.

Most expensive cities for expats in 2015

1. Luanda, Angola

2. Hong Kong

3. Zurich, Switzerland

4. Singapore

5. Geneva, Switzerland

6. Shanghai, China

7. Beijing, China

8. Seoul, South Korea

9. Bern, Switzerland

10. N’Djamena, Chad


Least expensive cities for expats in 2015

1. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

2. Windhoek, Namibia

3. Karachi, Pakistan

4. Tunis, Tunisia

5. Skopje, Macedonia

6. Banjul, Gambia

7. Minsk, Belarus

8. Cape Town, South Africa

9. Managua, Nicaragua

10. Tbilisi, Georgia