According to an annual assessment by Wealth Manager Mercer, the most expensive city to live and work in outside of the United States in 2021 is Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan in Central Asia.
Mercer’s 2020 Cost of Living City index lifted Ashgabat one spot, swapping places with Hong Kong, topped the rankings for the previous three years.
The Mercer 2021 index compared the costs of more than 200 things in each place, including food, household products, transportation, and housing, to rank living costs in 209 cities.
In Turkmenistan’s capital city, Mercer said inflation had risen 11% since 2020, and a “lack of foreign money in the country has damaged” the economy.
Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, was ranked as the third most expensive city for ex-pats. It rose 42 places in the rankings for 2021 “as a result of a severe and widespread economic downturn caused by the deepening of multiple crises — the country’s greatest financial crisis, for example,” according to the report.
Mercer ranked Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital, as the least costly city for ex-pats, followed by Lusaka, Zambia, and Tbilisi, Georgia.
Mercer remarked that, in the context of the current pandemic, relocating overseas for employment was shifting away from “long-term assignments” and toward alternative types of migrations. Short-term assignees, international foreign hires, permanent transferees, commuters, international remote workers, and international freelancers were among those who were affected.
Here’s a rundown of the most expensive cities for expats, according to Mercer’s findings.
Most Expensive Cities For Working Abroad 2021
- Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
- Hong Kong
- Beirut, Lebanon
- Tokyo, Japan
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Shanghai, China
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Beijing, China
- Bern, Switzerland