It’s official: these are the world’s most expensive cities in 2024

A study looked at 200 factors to reveal the cities with the highest cost of living for international workers

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer

While some people move abroad for a more affordable cost of living (particularly those living the digital nomad life), others follow their careers to some of the world’s most expensive cities – that’s where the opportunities are, after all. 

But which city is the costliest place to move to for international workers? Financial services company Mercer, which does research to inform multinational employers how best to compensate their workers who move abroad, has conducted some research to find out. 

Based on the analysis of 200 factors like the cost of transport, food, clothes and entertainment across 226 locations, the study cites housing prices and inflation as the most prevalent factors in cost of living increases across the board. 

Hong Kong once again ranks as the most expensive place for expats to live – a position it has held for the last five years. Singapore comes in second place, and four Swiss cities (Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern) claim places three, four, five and six. London also soared nine places up the ranking this year to claim a spot in the top 10 – you can read more about that here.

These are the 10 most expensive cities for expats

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Geneva, Switzerland
  5. Basel, Switzerland
  6. Bern, Switzerland
  7. New York, USA
  8. London, UK
  9. Nassau, Bahamas
  10. Los Angeles, USA

For more information on the study, head to Mercer’s website

Did you see that France is launching a mega-cheap rail pass next month?

Plus: These are officially the best cities for students in 2024-25

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