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London jumps into top 10 in global ‘most expensive cities’ list

London has jumped into the top 10 in a global index which looks at the most expensive cities for expatriate employees (Yui Mok/PA)
London has jumped into the top 10 in a global index which looks at the most expensive cities for expatriate employees (Yui Mok/PA)

London has jumped into the top 10 list in a global index which looks at the most expensive cities for expatriate employees.

The city has moved up nine places since last year, to be ranked eighth in Mercer’s 2024 cost-of-living city ranking.

Placed just below New York on the list, London jumped up the list thanks to factors including the general cost of living and rental prices, according to those behind the list.

Hong Kong retained the top spot in this year’s ranking, followed by Singapore. Swiss cities Zurich, Geneva and Basel round out the top five most expensive cities.

Edinburgh was placed at 53, Glasgow at 68, Birmingham at 78, Aberdeen at 82, and Belfast at 87.

Edinburgh, which was placed at 53 in the global index from Mercer
Edinburgh was placed at 53 in the global index from Mercer (Jane Barlow/PA)

Paris was ranked 29th and Dublin at 41.

The index includes 226 locations across the world. It measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Abuja in Nigeria was ranked least expensive in the survey, at number 226.

Mercer, a business of Marsh McLennan, compiles the ranking to help multinational employers plan compensation packages for workers.

Rising housing costs in many cities around the world have been a challenge for employers, with volatile inflation trends also putting a strain on workers’ compensation packages, Mercer said.

These factors can make it difficult for employers to attract and retain top talent and can increase compensation and benefits expenses, limit talent mobility and raise operational costs, the report added.

Yvonne Traber, Mercer’s global mobility leader, said: “Cost-of-living challenges have had a significant impact on multinational organisations and their employees.

“It’s important for organisations to stay informed about cost-of-living trends and inflation rates and seek input from employees on these issues to effectively manage their effects.

“High living costs may cause assignees to adjust their lifestyle, cut back on discretionary spending or even struggle to meet their basic needs.”

She said some employers may wish to offer compensation packages that include housing allowances or subsidies, or provide support services.

Here are the 2024 cost-of-living city rankings from Mercer:

1. Hong Kong

2. Singapore

3. Zurich, Switzerland

4. Geneva, Switzerland

5. Basel, Switzerland

6. Bern, Switzerland

7. New York, United States

8. London, United Kingdom

9. Nassau, Bahamas

10. Los Angeles, United States