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New Delhi most expensive Indian city for expats: Survey

The national capital has emerged as the most expensive city in the country for expatriates in terms of cost of living, a survey by global HR consultancy Mercer said.

delhi Updated: Jun 29, 2010 21:09 IST

The national capital has emerged as the most expensive city in the country for expatriates in terms of cost of living, a survey by global HR consultancy Mercer said.

However, the cost of living in Indian cities still happens to be cheaper than 84 cities in other parts of the world, the '2010 Cost of Living Survey', which covers 214 such locations across five continents, stated.

Angola's Luanda topped global rankings as the most expensive city for international assignees of companies to live in. It was followed by Japan's Tokyo (second), Ndjamena in Chad (third), Russia's capital Moscow (fourth) and Geneva in Switzerland (fifth).

Indian cities figure somewhere in the middle of the list as the cost of living in the country is on the rise due to escalating property prices and a steadily improving economic climate.

"New Delhi (85) is India's most expensive city, followed by Mumbai (89) and Bangalore (190)," the report stated.

Chennai and Kolkata ranked 195th and 207th on the global list respectively.

"At the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010, residential property prices in many Asian countries rose as the economic environment began to stabilise and demand for good expat housing increased," Mercer senior researcher Nathalie Constantin-Metral said.

Mercer's cost of living index is typically used by companies as a measure to compensate expatriates, who reside in expensive assignment locations as compared to their hometowns.

Other cities figuring in the top ten of the global rankings are Japan's Osaka (6th) and Libreville in Gabon (7th), while Switzerland's Zurich and Hong Kong occupy the same spot (8th). Denmark's Copenhagen figures 10th in terms of cost of living for expats.

The survey had taken the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment, into account.

New York was used as the base city for the index, and all the cities were compared against it. Currency movements were measured against the US dollar.

The cost of housing, often the biggest expense for expats, plays an important role in determining the ranking of cities, the report added.

Pakistan's Islamabad (212) and Karachi (214), and Nicargua's Managua (213) were ranked at the bottom -- as the least expensive cities in the world.