Photograph by Micheal McLaughlin/Gallery Stock

Most Expensive Cities for Expats in 2012

  1. The 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expatriates
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    The 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expatriates

    Tokyo was ranked as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates in Mercer’s 2012 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. Last year’s top city—Luanda, Angola—came in second. Mercer’s survey, used by employers to determine compensation allowances for expatriate employees, measures the cost of more than 200 items in 214 cities. Housing, often the biggest expense for expats, played an important part in the ranking, as did currency fluctuations. Overall, European cities experienced a decline in cost of living; North American cities rose as the U.S. dollar strengthened against many currencies; and all surveyed cities in Australia, China, Japan, and New Zealand moved up in the rankings, according to Mercer.

    Data source on all slides: Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2012

    Photograph by Micheal McLaughlin/Gallery Stock
  2. No. 10: Nagoya, Japan
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    No. 10: Nagoya, Japan

    Monthly rent, luxury 2-br. unfurnished apt.: $2,551.42
    Cup of coffee, with service:
    $6.38
    Fast food, hamburger meal:
    $8.42
    One liter gas, unleaded 95 octane:
    $1.77
    Photograph by Getty Images
  3. No. 9: Hong Kong
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    No. 9: Hong Kong

    Monthly rent, luxury 2-br. unfurnished apt.: $7,092.48
    Cup of coffee, with service:
    $6.83
    Fast food, hamburger meal:
    $3.54
    One liter gas, unleaded 95 octane:
    $2.21
    Photograph by Tom Nagy /Gallery Stock
  4. No. 8: N’Djamena, Chad
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    No. 8: N’Djamena, Chad

    Monthly rent, luxury 2-br. unfurnished apt.: N/A
    Cup of coffee, with service:
    $3.32
    Fast food, hamburger meal:
    $25.18
    One liter gas, unleaded 95 octane:
    $1.21
    Photograph by Philipp Horak/Anzenberger/Redux
  5. No. 6 (tie): Singapore
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    No. 6 (tie): Singapore

    Monthly rent, luxury 2-br. unfurnished apt.: $3,587.80
    Cup of coffee, with service:
    $5.18
    Fast food, hamburger meal:
    $5.66
    One liter gas, unleaded 95 octane:
    $1.73
    Photograph by Michael Weber/Gallery Stock
  6. No. 6 (tie): Zurich
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    No. 6 (tie): Zurich

    Monthly rent, luxury 2-br. unfurnished apt.: $3,613.71
    Cup of coffee, with service:
    $6.02
    Fast food, hamburger meal:
    $12.59
    One liter gas, unleaded 95 octane:
    $1.95
    Photograph by Nicole Tung/The New York Times via Redux
  7. No. 5: Geneva
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    No. 5: Geneva

    Monthly rent, luxury 2-br. unfurnished apt.: $4,818.27
    Cup of coffee, with service:
    $6.57
    Fast food, hamburger meal:
    $12.59
    One liter gas, unleaded 95 octane:
    $1.97
    Photograph by Katarina Stefanovic/Getty Images
  8. No. 4: Moscow
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    No. 4: Moscow

    Monthly rent, luxury 2-br. unfurnished apt.: $4,200
    Cup of coffee, with service:
    $8.37
    Fast food, hamburger meal:
    $6.70
    One liter gas, unleaded 95 octane:
    $0.97
    Photograph by Vladimir Zakharov/Getty Images
  9. No. 3: Osaka, Japan
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    No. 3: Osaka, Japan

    Monthly rent, luxury 2-br. unfurnished apt.: $3,061.70
    Cup of coffee, with service:
    $7.02
    Fast food, hamburger meal:
    $8.29
    One liter gas, unleaded 95 octane:
    $1.81
    Photograph by Pearl Images/Getty Images
  10. No. 2: Luanda, Angola
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    No. 2: Luanda, Angola

    Monthly rent, luxury 2-br. unfurnished apt.: $6,500
    Cup of coffee, with service:
    $3.90
    Fast food, hamburger meal:
    $19.94
    One liter gas, unleaded 95 octane:
    $0.63
    Photograph by Ken Gerhardt/Getty Images
  11. No. 1: Tokyo
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    No. 1: Tokyo

    Monthly rent, luxury 2-br. unfurnished apt.: $4,847.69
    Cup of coffee, with service:
    $8.29
    Fast food, hamburger meal:
    $8.29
    One liter gas, unleaded 95 octane:
    $1.94
    Photograph by Getty Images