Compare the latest tech products

The world's most and least expensive cities plus the most expensive extreme hardship postings


July 31, 2011

Tokyo is the world's most expensive city in which to live, while Karachi is the cheapest

Tokyo is the world's most expensive city in which to live, while Karachi is the cheapest

Image Gallery (3 images)

Luanda in Angola, Libreville in Gabon and N'Djamena in Chad are the most expensive extreme hardship locations in the world and thanks to the marketplace volatility which results from local inflation, political instability, currency fluctuations and natural disasters, Tokyo has consolidated its title as the most expensive city in the world in which to live. Comparing the latest Economist Intelligence Unit's expat cost-of-living rankings with Mercer's guide shows how much cost-of-living varies depending on what you take into account. You can see that the correlation between the reports is not as high as you'd expect.

Everyone is different, and uses different amount of consumer goods and services, and so too is the correlation between raw rankings quite different. It just highlights how volatile this dynamic marketplace is and how measuring slightly different cost-of-living criteria makes for quite different results.

The most expensive extreme hardship locations come about when there is a strategic need for a large group of westerners to be in a particular town, which creates demand, and circumstances conspire to create a massive undersupply of hotels, apartments and everything we take for granted in most societies.

Mercer's guide is one of several reputable guides which cover every major city in the world and because the cost-of-living depends on what you consume, and everyone is different, the correlation between raw rankings is quite different.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
1 Comment

whoever said Mumbai is cheap to live in hasn\'t tried to buy a house here.

Pranav Vissanji
Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles