25th Annual Cost of Living Survey: Key Facts

Published on Tuesday, August 06, 2019


  • The report is published by Mercer which is the World’s largest human resources consulting firm. The number of factors which includes currency fluctuations, cost of inflation for goods and services and volatility in accommodation prices contributes to the overall cost. The report is most comprehensive and helps MNCs determine allowances for their employees. New York City is used as a base city to compare. The report has ranked 209 cities this year.


  • Eight out of the top ten of the World’s most expensive cities are Asian.
  • Top 10 costliest city
    1. Hong Kong
    2. Tokyo
    3. Singapore
    4. Seoul
    5. Zurich
    6. Shanghai
    7. Ashgabat
    8. Beijing
    9. New York City
    10. Shenzhen
  • The World’s least expensive cities :
    1. Tunis (209)
    2. Tashkent (208)
    3. Karachi (207)
  • Cities of the US were able to improve their ranking due to the strengthening of the dollar against other currencies.
  • No significant improvement in ranking was seen in Canadian countries.
  • European countries were also not able to improve their rankings despite a moderate price increase due to the weakening of most European currencies against the dollar.
  • Middle East countries were able to improve their rankings as many currencies in the region pegged to the US dollar.
  • The cities of Australia continues to fall in the ranking due to the depreciation of the currency.
  • Region-wise rankings of cities:
    • North America – New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles
    • South America – Montevideo, San Juan, Panama City
    • Europe – Zurich, Bern, Geneva
    • Middle East – Tel Aviv, Dubai, Abu Dhabi
    • Africa – N’Djamena, Victoria, Kinshasa
    • Asia Pacific – Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore


  • Mumbai has been ranked as the costliest city in the country despite a drop of 12 spots and stood at 67th position.
  • It also ranked in the top 20 costliest cities in Asia.
  • Other Indian cities in the list are New Delhi (118), Chennai (154), Bengaluru (179), Kolkata (189).
  • The weakening of rupee compared to dollar pushed our cities down in the ranking.


Q.1 Which city has topped Mercer’s annual cost of living survey for a second consecutive year?
a. New York City
b. Hong Kong
c. Geneva
d. Tokyo

Q.2 Which is the costliest city in India?
a. New Delhi
b. Bengaluru
c. Mumbai
d. Noida

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