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Hong Kong, Singapore and Zurich lead Global Costliest Cities; Mumbai Tops in India: Mercer Report

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Mumbai Tops in India As Hong Kong, Singapore, and Zurich Lead Global Costliest CitiesAccording to the Mercer’s latest ”Cost of Living City Ranking 2024” report, Mumbai (Maharashtra) emerged as the costliest city in India, compared to all the Indian cities featured in the report.

  • Overall, Mumbai has secured 136th spot in the report, up by 11spots compared to 2023.
  • While, Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region (SAR) (China), Singapore (Singapore) and Zurich (Switzerland) ranked at 1st, 2nd and 3rd spot respectively, emerged as the world’s top3 Costliest Cities in 2024 for 2nd consecutive year.
  • As per the report, Abuja, Nigeria (226th), Lagos, Nigeria (225th ) and Islamabad, Pakistan (224th ) are the top 3 least expensive cities in the world.

About Mercer’s Cost of Living City Ranking 2024:

i.The report surveyed around 226 cities worldwide to provide information on global mobility.

ii.It covered over 200 expense items such as: housing, transportation, food, clothing, and entertainment, among others. It used New York City as the base city and the currency was maintained in US dollars to maintain consistency.

iii.The report highlighted that various factors have contributed to the increase in the cost of living such as: inflation and exchange rate fluctuations are directly impacting the salaries and savings for expatriates.

  • Also, increased economic and geopolitical volatility and rising conflicts and emergencies have led to additional expenses in areas such as: housing, utilities, local taxes and education.

iv.The report outlined factors like: expensive housing, high transportation costs, and expensive goods and services have mainly contributed for high living costs in Hong Kong, Zurich and Singapore.

  • However, currency devaluation has made cities like: Islamabad, Lagos and Abuja as affordable cities in terms of living costs.

Top 5 Global Costliest Cities:

RankName of the CityCountry
1stHong KongSpecial Administrative Region (SAR) of People’s Republic of China

Top 5 Costliest Cities in India:

RankName of the CityName of the State
189thChennaiTamil Nadu


i.Total 7 Indian cities featured in the Mercer’s Cost of Living City Ranking 2024.

ii.After Mumbai, Delhi emerged  as the 2nd costliest city in India. It has secured overall 165th rank and improved its ranking by 4 places.

iii.Chennai(189th ) and Bengaluru(195th ) are the only two Indian cities whose rank has dropped by 5 places and 6 places respectively.

  • While, Hyderabad ranked at 202nd, retained its position since last year.
  • Pune (205th) saw an improvement in its ranking by 8 places and Kolkata up by 4 places, ranked at 207th in the list.

Key Highlights:

i.The report further classified cities in different regions: Europe, Middle-East, North America, South AmericaAfrica region, Pacific region, among others.

ii.Among the top 10 most expensive cities in the world, 50% are from Western Europe, with 4 cities such as:  Zurich (3rd), Geneva (4th), Basel (5th) and Bern (6th) are from Switzerland only.

  • Other Costliest cities in the Europe region: London, the United Kingdom (UK) (8th); Copenhagen, Denmark (11th); Vienna, Austria (24th); Paris, France (29th) and Amsterdam, the Netherlands (30th),.

iii.Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with global ranking of 15th (up by 3 places compared to 2023) emerged as the costliest in the Middle-East region, followed by Tel Aviv (16th), Abu Dhabi, UAE (43rd ), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (90th ) and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (97th ).

iv.In South America region, Montevideo, Uruguay ranked at 42nd position is the most expensive city, followed by Buenos Aires, Argentina (77th) and Sao Paulo, Brazil (124th).

v.New York City, the USA ranked at 7th spot in the list, is the most expensive city in North America region, followed by Nassau, Bahamas (9th), Los Angeles, the United States of America (USA) (10th ), among others.

vi.Bagui, Central African Republic (CAR) secured 14th spot in the list (improved its rank by 12 places), emerged as the costliest city in the African region followed by Djibouti, Djibouti and N’Djamena, Chad ranked at 18th and 21st position respectively.

  • While, Blantyre (221st), Lagos (225th) and Abuja (226th) are the least expensive cities in the African region as well as at global level.

vii.Sydney, Australia ranked at 58th position globally, topped among the cities from Pacific region, followed by Noumea, New Caledonia (60th); Melbourne, Australia (73rd) and Brisbane, Australia (89th).

  • While, Wellington and Auckland, both cities are from New Zealand ranked at 111th, 145th spot in the list respectively, are the least expensive cities in Pacific region.

About Mercer:
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Pat Tomlinson
Headquarters- New York, the USA
Established- 1945