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Lisbon has dropped three places in the latest ranking of the world’s most expensive cities for expats.

The Portuguese capital has fallen to 137th in the 2017 cost of living rankings compiled by advisory firm, Mercer.  

Luanda, the capital of Angola, has regained top spot as the world’s most expensive city for expats, pushing Hong Kong back into second place. 
Zurich is the most expensive city in Europe, while Dublin is the Eurozone city where money stretches the least.

Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey finds African, Asian, and European cities dominate the list of most expensive locations for working abroad.

According to Mercer’s 2017 Global Talent Trends Study, fair and competitive pay as well as opportunities for promotion are top priorities for employees this year – not surprising given the current climate of uncertainty and change. 

As a result, multinational organisations are carefully assessing the cost of expatriate packages for their international assignees. 

Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey finds that factors like instability of housing markets and inflation for goods and services contribute to the overall cost of doing business in today’s global environment. 

“Globalisation of the marketplace is well documented with many companies operating in multiple locations around the world and promoting international assignments to enhance the experience of future managers,” said Ilya Bonic, Senior Partner and President of Mercer’s Career business. 

“There are numerous personal and organisational advantages for sending employees overseas, whether for long- or short-term assignments, including career development by obtaining global experience, the creation and transfer of skills, and the re-allocation of resources.” 

Mercer’s 2017 Cost of Living Survey finds Asian and European cities – particularly Hong Kong (2), Tokyo (3), Zurich (4), and Singapore (5) – top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates. 

The costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security, is Luanda (1), the capital of Angola. 

Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates are Seoul (6), Geneva (7), Shanghai (8), New York City (9), and Bern (10). The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer’s survey, are Tunis (209), Bishkek (208), and Skopje (206). 

Mercer’s survey is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. 

New York is used as the base city and all cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The survey includes over 400 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment. 

Only three European cities remain in the top 10 list of most expensive cities for expatriates.

Meanwhile, London (30), Aberdeen (146) and Birmingham (147) dropped thirteen, sixty-one and fifty-one spots respectively as a result of the pound weakening against the US dollar following the Brexit vote. 

Other Western European cities dropped in the rankings as well, mainly due to the weakening of local currencies against the US dollar.

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