Singapore still fourth most expensive city for expats

23 Jun 2016

Singapore skyline-crop

Singapore is still the world’s fourth most expensive city for expats. (Photo: chensiyuan; Wikimedia Commons)

Singapore has maintained its ranking from last year as the world’s fourth most expensive city for expatriates, according to Mercer’s 2016 Cost of Living Survey.

Hong Kong topped the list, pushing Angolan capital Luanda to second place. Zurich remained in third place, while Tokyo climbed to fifth. Kinshasa and Shanghai took the sixth and seventh spots respectively, while Geneva, N’Djamena and Beijing rounded up the top 10.

Designed to help companies determine allowances for expat workers, the survey weighs the cost of living in 209 cities across the world, comparing the cost of over 200 items in each location, including transport, housing, clothing, food and entertainment.

“Despite technology advances and the rise of a globally connected workforce, deploying expatriate employees remains an increasingly important aspect of a competitive multinational company’s business strategy,” said Ilya Bonic, Senior Partner and President of Mercer’s Talent business.

“However, with volatile markets and stunted economic growth in many parts of the world, a keen eye on cost efficiency is essential, including a focus on expatriate remuneration packages. As organizations’ appetite to rapidly grow and scale globally continues, it is necessary to have accurate and transparent data to compensate fairly for all types of assignments, including short-term and local plus status.”

Earlier this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released survey results that ranked Singapore as the world’s priciest city, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong, Geneva and Paris.


Cheryl Marie Tay, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email


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