Know the Top 25 Most Expensive Cities for Expats in 2023

A new study known by Mercer known as 2023 Cost of Living City reveals the most and least expensive locations for international employees worldwide. Here are all the details you need to know.

Nikhil Batra
Jun 8, 2023, 00:11 IST
New Mercer Data reveals the most expensive cities for expats
New Mercer Data reveals the most expensive cities for expats

Moving to a new city can be expensive, but if a person is an expat, the cost of living in a new city goes up significantly higher. Mercer’s Cost of Living City Ranking 2023 reveals the most expensive cities around the world and here is everything you need to know. 

According to Mercer’s Cost of Living City Ranking 2023, Hong Kong holds the top spot while Islamabad in Pakistan is the least expensive city ranking at 227. 

Here is the list of the 25 Most Expensive Cities:

City Name


Hong Kong

Hong Kong (SAR)









New York City

United States



Tel Aviv






Los Angeles, CA

United States





San Francisco, CA

United States

Honolulu, HI

United States


South Korea


United Kingdom


United Arab Emirates





Boston, MA

United States

Miami, Fl

United States

Washington, DC

United States

Chicago, IL

United States



India's seven largest cities ranked 147th to 213th in the list. Mumbai was ranked 147th, followed by New Delhi at 169th, Chennai at 184, Bengaluru at 189, Hyderabad at 202, Kolkata at 211, and Pune at 213.

Rahul Sharma, India Mobility Leader at Mercer stated "We have observed a change in the relative positioning of Indian cities in the global ranking, which can be attributed to multiple factors. 

“In particular, the shifting order is partly influenced by currency volatility and the inflationary increase in prices of goods and services in other regions, such as Europe, that has played a role in pushing down the overall rankings of Indian cities."

According to Mercer’s Website “High inflation and market fluctuations impact the cost of living across the world, impacting our purchasing power and standard of living.”

Why Living in a New City is Costly for Expats? 

Moving to a new city can be exciting and rewarding but it comes with significant costs. Expats face a higher cost of living due to a variety of factors: 

Housing: When shifting to a new place, expats need a roof over their heads, and rents in major cities can be quite high which makes it difficult to find affordable housing. 

Food: In comparison to rural areas, restaurants, and grocery stores have higher food costs. 

Transportation: Usually there is no possibility for foreigners to bring over their personal vehicles to their new lives and that is why they have to rely on public transportation which can burn a huge hole in the pocket. 

Utilities: Utilities, such as electricity, water, and gas, can also be more expensive in major cities.

Other expenses: Other expenses, such as clothing, entertainment, and healthcare, can also be higher in major cities.

To Conclude, being aware of the Most Expensive Cities for Expats in 2023 is crucial for individuals or businesses that are planning to relocate or expand internationally. Mercer's comprehensive research provides valuable insights into the cost of living and factors influencing these cities' rankings.

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