Vancouver most expensive Canadian city to live in: Survey

But city falls 23 places on global list of 207
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/19/2015

Vancouver remains the most expensive Canadian city to live in, passing Toronto for the third year in a row, according to Mercer’s 2015 Cost of Living Survey.

While cities in the United States climbed dramatically in the cost of living ranking due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against other major currencies, Canadian cities dropped down the list significantly compared to international counterparts.

A weakened Canadian dollar and slower pace of price increases compared to the survey’s base city (New York) means Canadian cities are comparatively more affordable than many others around the world.

Canadian cities dropped in this year’s ranking with the country’s highest-ranked city, Vancouver (119), falling 23 places, and surrounded by Kuwait City (117) and Cairo (120) in the rankings. Toronto (126) dropped 25 spots, in the company of Hamburg and Barcelona, both ranking at 124.

Montreal (140) and Calgary (146) fell 17 and 21 spots, respectively, with Montreal ranking close to Casablanca (140) and Phnom Penh (142), and Calgary with Lisbon (145) and Lyon (147).

“As the global economy has become increasingly interconnected, close to 75 per cent of multinational organizations are expecting long-term expatriate assignments to remain stable or increase over the next two years to address business needs,” said Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president of Mercer’s talent business. “Sending employees abroad is necessary to compete in markets and for critical talent, and employers need a reliable and accurate reflection of the cost to their bottom line.”

Asian and European cities — particularly Hong Kong (2), Zurich (3), Singapore (4) and Geneva (5) — top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates, found Mercer. The costliest city for the third consecutive year is Luanda (1), the capital of Angola. Despite being recognized as a relatively inexpensive city, the cost of imported goods and safe living conditions in this country are available at a steep price.

Other cities appearing in the top 10 are Shanghai (6), Beijing (7) and Seoul (8) in Asia; Bern (9); and N’Djamena (10). The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to the survey, are Bishkek (207), Windhoek (206) and Karachi (205).

The survey includes 207 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.

Mercer cost of living survey – worldwide rankings 2015

(Mercer international basket, including rental accommodation costs)

Rank as of March

City

Country

2014

2015

1

1

Luanda

Angola

3

2

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

5

3

Zurich

Switzerland

4

4

Singapore

Singapore

6

5

Geneva

Switzerland

10

6

Shanghai

China

11

7

Beijing

China

14

8

Seoul

South Korea

8

9

Bern

Switzerland

2

10

N'Djamena

Chad

194

198

Tbilisi

Georgia

207

199

Managua

Nicaragua

205

200

Cape Town

South Africa

191

200

Minsk

Belarus

199

202

Banjul

Gambia

193

203

Skopje

Macedonia

202

204

Tunis

Tunisia

211

205

Karachi

Pakistan

210

206

Windhoek

Namibia

209

207

Bishkek

Kyrgyzstan

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