Top 10 costliest cities for expats

Ever think of tossing your current life aside, starting anew and moving to a new city, or even a new country? It's a great idea for some people -- but it also might cost you.

Mercer, the international professional services firm, has released their latest annual cost of living survey, outlining the most expensive cities for expatriates.

The survey looked at 211 cities on five continents and factored in the comparative costs of more than 200 items at each location -- things like food, housing, transportation, clothing, housing goods and entertainment.

The rankings were also affected by intangibles such as international events -- including political and economic unrest -- which Ed Hannibal, partner and global leader for Mercer's mobility practice, says can cause "currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices."

The survey also has a practical value. Hannibal notes that while multinational corporations need to have a global workforce, they also have to be able to consider competitive compensation packages for employees traveling to work in other countries.

Surprisingly, there were no U.S. cities listed among the Top Ten most expensive in the world for expats -- although New York came in at number 16 this year, compared to 24th in 2013.

"Even though we saw U.S. cities rise in the rankings this year due in part to the strength of the U.S. dollar," said Hannibal, "it's important to note that relative costs shift with currency volatility, making overseas assignment costs sometimes greater and sometimes smaller."

With all that in mind, here is Mercer's list of the world's Top ten most expensive cities for expatriates.

  • Bruce Kennedy

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