What is the cost of the country you live in?

Zurich was ranked in Switzerland as the most expensive city to live around the world, according to the July 2013 International Cost of Living Rankings. Luanda ranks first with the exception of housing, education, medicine and transport basket groups. Thimphu in Bhutan, ranked cheapest.

Zurich remains at the top of the list mainly because the eurozone crisis has created a safe trip to the Swiss franc, which is generally considered safer. The inflows led to a rise in the Swiss franc, and as a result prices rose on the basis of what was already a high cost base compared to the euro and US dollar. Especially expensive in Zurich grocery, health care, catering out meals, hotels, transportation.

What about classification in the regions?

The most expensive

Top 5 countries

AfricaAngola, Nigeria, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana.

USABermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Venezuela and Aruba.

Asia and the Pacific: Australia, Japan, Micronesia, New Caledonia and New Zealand.

Europe: Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Denmark, and Jersey.

Middle east: Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Lebanon and Bahrain.

South Asia: Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Top 5 cities

Africa: Luanda (the second most expensive in the world), Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Ibadan.

USANew York (Manhattan) (11th in the world), Hamilton (Bermuda), Caracas, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Asia and the PacificHong Kong (the third most expensive in the world), Tokyo, Sydney, Singapore and Yokohama.

Europe: Zurich (the most expensive in the world) Geneva, Monaco, Oslo and Moscow.

Middle east: Doha (118th in the world), Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jerusalem and Beirut.

South Asia: Male in Maldives (353 most expensive in the world); Colombo. And Mumbai.

The cheapest cities in the world

Africa: Tunis, Tunisia (15)

USA: Managua in Nicaragua

Asia and the Pacific: Medan in Indonesia (27)

Europe: Sofia in Bulgaria (twelfth)

Middle east: Sana'a in Yemen (110)

South Asia: Thimphu in Bhutan (the cheapest city in the world)

Largest movers per region

Africa: Monrovia in Liberia, rose from 245 to 126.

USA: Toluca in Mexico, rose from 240 162.

Asia and the Pacific: Tashkent in Uzbekistan, rose from 500 to 370.

Europe: Minsk in Belarus, rose from 222 to 191.

Middle east: Tehran in Iran, rose from 546 to 395.

South Asia: Kathmandu in Nepal, rose from 752 to 685.

Larger movers down for each area

Africa: Gaborone in Botswana, dropped from 543 in April to 667.

USA: Stanley in the Falkland Islands dropped from 75 in April to 111.

Asia and the Pacific: South Tarawa in Kiribati dropped from 148 to 314.

Europe: Budapest in Hungary, dropped from 507 to 642.

Middle east: Beirut in Lebanon, decreased from 278 to 292.

South Asia: Male, dropped from 338 to 353.

Top 10 global rankings (aggregated by all regions and city ranking) – all baskets included:

1. Switzerland, Zurich

2. Angola, Luanda

3. China and Hong Kong

4. Switzerland, Geneva

5. Angola, all areas

6. Japan, Tokyo

7. Switzerland, all areas

8. Monaco, Monaco

9. Australia, Sydney

10. Singapore, Singapore

Ranking of the 10 best countries in the world (All Areas) – All Baskets:

1. Angola

2. Switzerland

3. Norway

4. Bermuda

5. Liechtenstein

6. Denmark

7. Cayman Islands

8. Australia

9. Japan

10. Jersey

Top 10 Global City Ratings – All Baskets:

1. Switzerland, Zurich

2. Angola, Luanda

3. China and Hong Kong

4. Switzerland, Geneva

5. Japan, Tokyo

6. Monaco, Monaco

7. Australia, Sydney

8. Singapore, Singapore

9. United States of America, New York (Manhattan), New York

10. Bermuda, Hamilton

The taxonomic cost of living measures the relative cost of arrivals to live and covers every country around the world. Local prices are used for specific quantities of the same goods and services, converted into a single currency. Sources include local service providers at each site, international service providers, official government statistics and agency data. The prices of similar related items were grouped together in 13 basket groups and the cost-of-living index calculation per basket per location. The 13 basket groups are the result of extensive research into actual spending habits to ensure that the COL index reflects a pattern of international spending based on reality.

The above classifications allow expatriates to consider the high cost of living in certain locations to help determine the salary they should consider when moving from one place to another. Higher living costs in one area may lead to a lower standard of living or vice versa.

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