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Mercer ranks the world's most expensive cities

If you think your apartment is expensive, try living in Luanda, Angola -- which has been named the world's most expensive city by the compensation consulting firm, Mercer.

In Luanda, a luxury 2-bedroom apartment goes for $7,000 a month, and a sandwich goes for a whopping $20.

The U.S.'s most expensive city, New York City, doesn't even crack Mercer's top 30. The Big Apple comes in at No. 32.

The survey is created to help companies compensation ex-patriot employees, and ranks cities on the prices of more than 200 items -- including housing, transportation, food, clothing and entertainment. The survey also looks at the cost of renting a 2-bedroom apartment in U.S. dollars, rather than home purchase prices.

The biggest trend to emerge in this year's survey was that American and European cities fell in the rankings, while African and Asian cities claimed the top spots.

"Overall, the cost of living in cities across Europe has remained relatively stable," said Nathalie Constantin-Metral, a senior researcher at Mercer. "In North America, increasing petroleum prices continue to contribute to rising consumer prices, but many of its cities dropped in the rankings as price increases in other regions have been more severe."

Mercer explains that political upheavals, natural disasters and the rising cost of oil all influenced the results, but because the survey uses the cost of living in New York and the U.S. dollar as the base for comparison, exchange rates had the most significant impact on the ranking of many countries.


City rankings

Top 50 cities: Cost of living ranking

 

Mercer international basket including rental accommodation costs

 

Base City: New York, US

Rankings

 

March 2011

March 2010

City

Country

1 1 LUANDA ANGOLA
2 2 TOKYO JAPAN
3 3 N'DJAMENA CHAD
4 4 MOSCOW RUSSIA
5 5 GENEVA SWITZERLAND
6 6 OSAKA JAPAN
7 8 ZURICH SWITZERLAND
8 11 SINGAPORE SINGAPORE
9 8 HONG KONG HONG KONG
10 21 SÂO PAULO BRAZIL
11 19 NAGOYA JAPAN
12 7 LIBREVILLE GABON
12 29 RIO DE JANEIRO BRAZIL
14 24 SYDNEY AUSTRALIA
15 11 OSLO NORWAY
16 22 BERN SWITZERLAND
17 10 COPENHAGEN DENMARK
18 17 LONDON UNITED KINGDOM
19 14 SEOUL SOUTH KOREA
20 16 BEIJING CHINA
21 25 SHANGHAI CHINA
21 33 MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA
23 23 NIAMEY NIGER
24 19 TEL AVIV ISRAEL
25 13 VICTORIA SEYCHELLES
25 15 MILAN ITALY
27 17 PARIS FRANCE
28 67 OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO
29 30 ST. PETERSBURG RUSSIA
30 60 PERTH AUSTRALIA
31 55 BRISBANE AUSTRALIA
32 27 NEW YORK CITY, NY UNITED STATES
33 70 BRASILIA BRAZIL
34

26

ROME ITALY
34

74

CANBERRA AUSTRALIA
36

28

VIENNA AUSTRIA
37

38

NOUMÉA NEW CALEDONIA
38

38

GUANGZHOU CHINA
39

62

DJIBOUTI DJIBOUTI
39

76

STOCKHOLM SWEDEN
41

62

LAGOS NIGERIA
42

31

HELSINKI FINLAND
43

42

SHENZHEN CHINA
44

32

DAKAR SENEGAL
44

141

KHARTOUM SUDAN
46

90

ADELAIDE AUSTRALIA
47

47

PRAGUE CZECH REPUBLIC
48

36

BAKU AZERBAIJAN
49

33

BANGUI CENTRAL AFRICAN REP.
50

35

AMSTERDAM NETHERLANDS
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