Mumbai is the most expensive city for expatriates in India and is ranked higher than major global cities such as Paris, Canberra, Seattle and Vienna, says a report. According to Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey, Mumbai is placed 57th on the list while New Delhi was placed at 99. Chennai (135), Bangalore (166) and Kolkata (184) were the other Indian cities on the list. Luanda, the capital of Angola, was the costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security, followed by Hong Kong and Tokyo at the second and third places, respectively.
Others in the top 10 include Zurich at the 4th place, Singapore (5th), Seoul (6th), Geneva (7th), Shanghai (8th), New York City (9th), and Bern (10th). Overall, Indian cities have moved up the global ranking substantially. Mumbai has moved 25 notches up from being at 82 in 2016 while New Delhi has improved to 99 in 2017 from 130 in 2016, Chennai (135 this year from 158 in 2016), Bengaluru (to 166 from 180) and Kolkata (to 184 from 194).
The improvement of ranking of Indian cities was not just on account of internal factors, but also because some global cities fell in ranking following currency volatility, especially in Egypt, Turkey and the United Kingdom, Mercer said. “Residential rental prices increased in Mumbai and New Delhi. Due to demonetisation, real estate sales market has been severely hit. However, the rental market benefited from the consumers’ sudden withdrawal from the purchase market, thereby putting pressure on rental prices,” said Ruchika Pal, India Practice Leader, Global Mobility at Mercer.
The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer’s survey, are Tunis (209), Bishkek (208), and Skopje (206). The survey further said across continents, countries with highest current number of India assignees are the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Across continents, countries with the highest expected increase in the number of Indian international assignees are the UAE, the UK and Kenya.
The survey is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city and all cities are compared against it and currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The survey includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.