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Australia might be more expensive but still the most sought after for Expats

A new survey says that Australia remains ever popular with international talent who don’t mind forking out to live there.

Australia Might Be More Expensive But Still The Most Sought After For Expats

The Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey has just been concluded and although Australian cities are amongst the most expensive locations companies are not backing down from getting the experts they need.


The Mercer’s 2017 Cost of Living Survey found that Australian cities are amongst the top 50, out of 209cities surveyed. Well ahead of the rest, Sydney came in as the 25th most expensive city in the world to live in. Melbourne placed at 46th and Perth at 50th position.

Yet Australia is seen as a safe destination with an exceptionally high quality of living standard, combined, these factors are a huge drawcard for multinational companies when sending expatriate workers abroad. According to Mercer’s 2016 Quality of Living Survey, Sydney ranked tenth place in the world for quality of life, followed by Melbourne at 16th place.

Topping the list as most expensive expat cities was Luanda in first position followed (in descending order) by Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich, Singapore, Seoul, Geneva, Shanghai, New York City (9), and Bern in 10th position. The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer’s survey, are Tunis (209), Bishkek (208), and Skopje (206).

“It’s not surprising that Australia, and in particular Sydney, has climbed so rapidly as being the most expensive cities in the world to work and live”, said Simon Kennedy, Market Insights Practice Leader at Mercer.

“However, the jump in the ranking for Australian cities is not all bad news. Eight of the top fifteen most expensive cities for expats are in Asia, which means Australia could be more cost-effective and attractive for businesses to send employees on international assignments, particularly those doing business in the Asia Pacific region,” said Mr Kennedy.

“Already we have seen a large number of multi-national companies opening their doors in Australia. This has been largely due to our steady economic growth, low-risk environment and proven resilience to global volatility.”


As a result, multinational organisations are carefully assessing the cost of expatriate packages for their international assignees. Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey finds that factors like instability of housing markets and inflation for goods and services contribute to the overall cost of doing business in today’s global environment. The ranking combines day-to-day living expenditure on ten different categories such as rental accommodation, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

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