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Bucharest, still among the cheapest cities for expats, survey shows

Romania’s capital Bucharest fell to 181st this year in the most expensive cities for expats in the world from 172nd  in 2016, according to Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey.

Asian cities continue to dominate the rankings, with five in the top 10.

However, Luanda, the capital of Angola, was the costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security, followed by Hong Kong and Tokyo at the second and third places, respectively.

Others in the top 10 include Zurich at the 4th place, Singapore (5th), Seoul (6th), Geneva (7th), Shanghai (8th), New York City (9th), and Bern (10th).

The world’s least expensive cities for expats, according to Mercer’s survey, are Tunis (209), Bishkek (208), and Skopje (206).

“Although a number of Asian cities remain amongst the world’s most expensive cities, key financial hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore still continue to attract talent and remain a top choice for relocation,” said Mario Ferraro, global mobility leader for Asia, Middle East and Africa with Mercer.

As regards the Central and Eastern Europe, due to the depreciation of local currencies against the US dollar, some cities, including Prague (132nd) and Budapest (176th) lost positions in this ranking, while Minsk (200th) and Kiev (163rd) have climbed 4 and 13 places, despite the relatively stable cost of housing in these locations. In CEE region, the most expensive cities for expats are Moscow (14th), St. Petersburg (36th), Riga (126th), Prague (132nd) and Istanbul (142nd). Bucharest is behind Warsaw (180th), but before Sofia (184th) or Belgrade (198th).

The annual survey uses New York as its base point of comparison and includes more than 400 cities across five continents, measuring the cost of more than 200 items including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

About Anca Bernovici