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The World's 15 Most Expensive Cities, and a Sampling of Their (Ridiculous) Costs

If you think YOUR morning paper is expensive, wait until you get a load of how much it costs in Moscow -- the world's MOST expensive city for two years and counting, according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

moscow most expensive city

A luxury two-bedroom apartment in Moscow costs over $4,000 a month to rent.

Mercer's annual Cost of Living Survey -- used to help governments and multinational companies determine how much compensation to give their expatriate employees -- includes 143 cities spread over six continents. The survey compares costs not only for food and housing, but also for transportation, household goods and entertainment.

This list may be just what the doctor ordered if you've been feeling a financial pinch lately; only one U.S. city made the cut for the top 15.

The 15 Most Expensive Cities in the World

  1. Moscow, Russia: A luxury two-bedroom apartment in Moscow will cost you about $4,000 a month. One CD will run you $24.83 and an international newspaper $6.30.

    "The appreciation of the Rouble against the U.S. Dollar, combined with ever-increasing accommodation charges, has driven up costs for expatriates in Moscow," said Yvonne Traber, research manager and senior associate at Mercer.

  2. London, United Kingdom: A cup of coffee in London is about $4, a fast-food burger meal nearly $8.

  3. Seoul, South Korea: Seoul moved down one spot from number 2 in 2006.

  4. Tokyo, Japan: A two-bedroom luxury apartment will cost you similar to that in Moscow, a little over $4,000 a month.

  5. Hong Kong, Hong Kong: Compared to New York City (cost of living base 100), Hong Kong's cost of living index is 119.4 (or 19.4 percent more expensive than New York) -- Moscow's is 134.4.

  6. Copenhagen, Denmark: A bus ticket in Copenhagen is $3.50, a fast-food burger meal over $10.

paris expensive city

Have dreams of living in Paris? It'll cost you about 1.4 percent more than it does to live in New York City.

  1. Geneva, Switzerland: "The relative strength of the Euro and other European currencies, including the Swiss Franc and the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian Krone, has pushed up the living costs faced by expatriates in many European countries," Traber said.

  2. Osaka, Japan: Osaka ranked number 6 in 2006.

  3. Zurich, Switzerland: It is 7.6 percent more expensive to live in Zurich than it is to live in New York City.

  4. Oslo, Norway: Oslo's rank has remained stable for the
    last two years.

  5. Milan, Italy: It is 4.4 percent more expensive to live in Milan than New York City.

  6. St. Petersburg, Russia: St. Petersburg ranked number 12 in 2006, as well.

  7. Paris, France: It is just 1.4 percent more expensive to live in Paris than New York City.

  8. Singapore, Singapore: Sharp increases in house prices have caused Singapore to climb from number 17 in 2006 to number 14 in 2007, according to Mercer.

  9. New York City, NY, United States: It's nearly $19 for a music CD in New York City, and nearly $4 for a cup of coffee.

Recommended Reading

Caribbean Now the World's Murder Capital: Why, and Which Islands are Safest & Most Dangerous?

The Top Ten Strangest Statues in the World


Mercer Human Resource Consulting


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