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World's most expensive cities for foreign workers

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A shopkeeper in Caracas, Venezuela, the world's most expensive city for workers from abroad. Inflation is running …

For the first time ever, the world's most expensive city for international workers is Caracas, Venezuela, edging out even notoriously costly Tokyo and Oslo, Norway.

So reports ECA International, a company that specializes in employment conditions abroad.

Companies contract with ECA International to determine cost-of-living allowances for their expatriate employees. The biannual report compares, across hundreds of cities, a "basket" of consumer goods and services including groceries, clothes, electronics, gasoline costs and restaurant meals. (The basket does not include apartment/house rentals, utilities, school fees or auto purchases, because companies usually compensate expatriates separately for those.)

Rampant inflation pushed Caracas from No. 7 in the fall of last year all the way to the top of the list this fall: You can expect to pay the American equivalent of $3.04 for a can of soda, $7.28 for a dozen eggs, and $46.03 for a "quick lunch." Prices have shot up more than 60 percent compared with the same time last year for the same basket of goods and services.

In the United States, we're accustomed to thinking of New York City as expensive -- and of course it is, factoring in real estate. But based only on consumer goods and services, it doesn't even crack the top 30 internationally.

No U.S. city does.

On the other hand, Switzerland and Norway account for a whopping six out of the top 10 cities. Two cities in Africa, along with Caracas and Tokyo, round out the top 10.

These are the world's most expensive cities for workers from abroad:

Country

Location

Global rank in 2013

Global rank in 2012

Venezuela
Caracas
1
7
Angola
Luanda
2
4
Norway
Oslo
3
3
South Sudan
Juba
4
14
Norway
Stavanger
5
8
Switzerland
Zurich
6
9
Switzerland
Geneva
7
10
Switzerland
Bern
8
11
Switzerland
Basel
9
12
Japan
Tokyo
10
1
Denmark
Copenhagen
11
17
Russia
Moscow
12
15
Congo
Brazzaville
13
29
Finland
Helsinki
14
28
China
Beijing
15
21
Japan
Nagoya
16
2
Gabon
Libreville
17
30
China
Shanghai
18
25
Sweden
Stockholm
19
19
Japan
Yokohama
20
5
Korea Republic
Seoul
21
22
Congo
Pointe Noire
22
33
Japan
Osaka
23
6
Israel
Tel Aviv
24
46
Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby
25
13
Sweden
Gothenburg
26
34
Israel
Jerusalem
27
54
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
28
32
France
Paris
29
43
Singapore
Singapore
30
31
Australia
Sydney
31
16
Azerbaijan
Baku
32
40
United States of America
Manhattan
33
37
Senegal
Dakar
34
49
Germany
Berlin
35
52
Nigeria
Abuja
36
35
Nigeria
Lagos
37
39
China
Guangzhou
38
57
Australia
Canberra
39
18
China
Shenzhen
40
61
Korea Republic
Busan
41
53
Russia
St Petersburg
42
45
Guinea
Conakry
43
97
Chad
N'Djamena
44
71
Australia
Melbourne
45
23
Australia
Adelaide
46
20
Australia
Perth
47
24
Belgium
Brussels
48
63
United States of America
Honolulu
49
51
United States of America
New York City (overall)
50
50

 

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