Mercer 2019 Cost of Living Survey A survey on cost of living and housing for expatriates worldwide.

The 2019 Cost of Living Survey conducted by consultancy firm Mercer places Luxembourg 83rd out of the 209 cities included.  

Hong Kong tops the list

Hong Kong, Ashgabat and Tokyo are the most expensive cities. Zurich is the most expensive city in Europe. Luxembourg is ranked 83rd in the world. Other European cities are ranked as follows: Geneva (9th), London (19th), Paris (50th), Vienna (54th), Amsterdam (64th), Rome (65th), Brussels (78th) and Berlin (82nd). The two least expensive cities in the world are Tunis (209th) and Windhoek (208th).

New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons, and currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The survey includes over 400 cities throughout the world; this year's ranking features 209 cities across five continents.

© Cedric Letsch, Unsplash
© Mercer

Cost of living study

Mercer is the main provider of data on cost of living and housing for employees working abroad. To help companies calculate cost of living allowances, Mercer conducts research in more than 400 locations, measuring the comparative cost of more than 200 items including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

The rankings show how currency fluctuations and changing prices of goods and services can affect the purchasing power of expatriate employees. Multinational companies depend on Mercer to obtain precise, relevant information to calculate cost of living allowances for their qualified professionals who accept missions abroad.

Changes ahead for international mobility?

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, companies are re-evaluating their international mobility programmes, while continuing to prioritise the well-being of their staff. New working methods, technological developments and changing mentalities are facilitating the introduction of new forms of mobility at global level in addition to existing programmes.

Sending employees abroad on international missions has become a huge responsibility. New approaches to international postings after the crisis may involve relocating returning staff, developing new business models for staff with shorter supply chains, increasing regional business travel and boosting skills training.

Regardless of how the situation develops, the Mercer survey on cost of living and locations of expatriates worldwide remains an important source of information for international mobility after the crisis.