Thursday, March 31, 2011

Generation What? Gen Z and Alpha

Generation Z / Net Generation / Dreamer Generation / Generation I / Generation @ / Generation 9/11 / 21st century generation

Relatively little has been established about this generation

Born: Roughly between the years of 1995-2010

Age: Between 1 and 16 they are the youngest generation, have older parents (late 20s to early 30s) and are being taught by older teachers (40s up). The youngest was born during the Global Financial Crisis of the late 2000s.

Education: They are the most formally educated generation in history, having started their education early and are projected to stay in education for longer than any other generation.  Despite being in day care facilities, many children have structured after school activities, this has reduced free playtime.  Parents help out more with homework and are becoming more like advisers to this generation. 

These kids know how to multi-task effectively and place value on the speed of their work rather than accuracy. They are the most internet-savvy, technologically literate generation and have only known life WITH mobile phones, pc’s, the internet, and wireless networks.

Influencers:  There major influencers are YouTube, Facebook, My Space, Wikispaces, and User Generated Content.  They are too young to remember the September 11th 2001 attacks other than through the media, but are aware of the threat of terrorism. 

Family:  The parents of Generation Z are working part time or are becoming stay-at-home parents so that their children are raised by them and other family members.  They have been born into older, wealthier families with fewer siblings, more entertainment provided for them rather than creating their own and much more technological options.

Money:  Compared to the previous generation they are much more consumer-oriented.  Financially intelligent they make decisions on how to spend their money based on the latest trends and media mania.  They are the most financially capable generation in history, having as much purchasing power in the home as Gen Y kids.

Values:  Self-directed, individualistic, and media mongrels

Motivation:  They are motivated by instant gratification (we want it and we want it now!), instant connectivity, communication with peers via technology, they are a highly connected generation.  They have had lifelong use of media technologies such as mobile phones, instant messaging, MP3 players, the world wide web resulting in the nickname – digital natives.  These connective devices are now carried in their pockets with the internet available on mobile phones or iPads, making news, communication and homework easier and more adaptable to do anywhere, anytime. This Generation have been born into the mass media and technology revolution and have never known a life without it

Work / School:  Described as a generation that lacks ambition in comparison to previous ones due to their parenting and instant gratification, and further described as impatient and instant minded.   As their attention span is much lower, with a high dependency on technology, as opposed to reading books and other printed material, there have been references by Psychologists of this generation having "Acquired Attention Deficit Disorder".

They are a materialistic generation, that want more and more technology at their fingertips.  In the next  decade they will comprise 10% of our workforce,  and they will be entering the workforce in an era of declining supply i.e. there will be more people exiting the workforce than entering it.  This will result in a skills shortage, with an ageing population and a global demand for labor, Gen Z will have a greater chance of finding work. 

Generation Alpha

Born: 2010 onwards

They will be truly the first millennial generation because they will be the first entirely born into the 21st century (some of the youngest members of Generation Z were born at the tail end of the 20th century).

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Generation What? Generation Y .....

Generation Y is the money spending generation, having seen economic expansion and experienced the booming economy, money has allowed for travel, gadgets and fun. Let’s take a closer look.

Generation Y / Gen Yer / Generation Next / Millennials  / Echo Boomers / 24x7’s

Born: Between  years of 1977 to 1994 and 1981 to 2000,

Age: Between 11 and 34

Education:  Seen as an incredible expense but the most educated generation, they will continue to study to enhance themselves in the work environment

Influences: 9/11 - World Trade Center, Pentagon attack, Oklahoma bombings, terrorist attacks, AIDS, Internet access made available, Kids shooting kids, School uniforms, Death of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, Timothy McVeigh execution, Globalization, George W. Bush. There major influences are Friends, The Simpsons, Media and sports stars.

Family: Comfortable with a looser family structure, single mother / father family units, merged families (step mother or father) and have a new respect for the family unit.   They are coddled kids, every child gets a prize even when you come last.  Their parents have protected them from all the wrongs / evils of the world, and they are therefore more sheltered than any other generation.  They are kept busy, with homework, after school activities and most of these kids have schedules.  They consider their parents as their heroes.

Money: Have grown up in a world that has seen economic expansion.   They are eager to spend money and therefore work to indulge in fun and gadgets. They shop around for the best deals and bargains. They are part of the purchasing power of the family and take part in purchasing decisions.

Values: Achievement oriented, loyal, confident, diverse, fun, sociable, techno savvy, spiritual, they want everything now, optimistic, realists, members of a global community, high morals and very tolerant, competitive, like personal attention, street smart, and Individual in their thinking.  They value their lifestyle over upward mobility. If presented with a work promotion that will throw their life out of balance, they will choose their lifestyle.

Motivation:  They value their children, parents and family, they believe they can change the world via technology, they hope to be the next great generation to turn all the wrongs into rights.

Work: Ambitious but not entirely focused. They want a balance between work, life, community involvement and self-development / mentoring by managers.  They are entrepreneurial, effective, tenacious and good at multi-tasking but will be gone at 5pm, they view work as a means to an end and live for the weekends.

They look to the workplace for direction and to help them achieve their goals.  They will test authority but will seek them out when they need guidance and more readily accept older leadership than other generations.  Gen Y are global and networked, they have grown up in a world with cell phones, computers and the internet, they are always connected. They believe they can work flexibly anytime and anywhere, and that they should be evaluated for their output rather than where and when they got it done.  They want long term employment, but on their own terms and with more of a collaborative work environment. There is a decrease in career ambition and would rather have more family time, less travel and less personal pressure.

 “Me First “ Attitude in work life.

An Expat Gen X person, would be good in an organization looking for flexible, creative and ambitious candidates. This generation are willing to learn from managers and are willing to be molded into the organizations culture and goals.  They would not be the group of candidates required for their own experience and knowledge, but are rather seeking to gain this from the company they go to.

And in History…

1978 - Mass suicide in Jonestown

1979 - Three Mile Island nuclear reactor nears meltdown

1979 - US corporations begin massive layoffs

1979 - Iran holds sixty-six Americans hostage

1980 - John Lennon shot and killed

1980 - Ronald Reagan inaugurated

1986 - Challenger disaster

1987 - Stock market plummets

1988 - Terrorist bomb blows up flight 103 over Lockerbie

1989 - Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill

1989 - Fall of Berlin Wall

1991 - Operation Desert Storm

1992 - Rodney King beating videotaped, Los Angeles riots, child focused violence

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Generation What? The first Generation babies .... Gen X

Generation X is probably the generation with the biggest turning point, brought up by Baby Boomers, technological advancements, changes in politics and the economy, democracy, black and women’s rights, space exploration and all this happening at a rapid rate, this group have seen the biggest changes happening over time.

Generation X / Gen X / The Doer / Post Boomers / 13th Generation

Born: Between 1965 and 1980

Age: Between 31 to 46

Education: Seen as a way to get there

Influencers:  Watergate, the energy crisis, Challenger disaster, The fall of the Berlin Wall, Persian Gulf War, AIDS, The Clinton Administration, Reagan Assassination Attempt, dual income families and single parents, first generation of Latchkey Kids, Y2K, the energy crisis, activism, corporate downsizing, the end of the cold war, mom’s that work, and an increase in the divorce rate / single parent units.  There major influence however is the media.

Family: Born after the BabyBoomers.  Due to their workaholic Babyboomer parents, their focus is on a clearer balance between work and family life.

Their perceptions were shaped by growing up having to take care of themselves early, with working mothers, an increase in the divorce rate and single parent units.

Money: They are the first generation that will NOT do as well financially as their parents did.

Values: Their values revolve around life balance, self-reliance, diversity, being entrepreneurial, and having fun.

Motivation: They crave independence, ignore leadership, are pragmatic, anti-establishment, unimpressed with and will test authority repeatedly.

Work: They are Highly Educated, think globally and are technically literate with high job expectations. 

They are independent and informal with the result that they lack organizational loyalty, are cynical, pragmatic and would rather be self-employed or be able to move between employers if they so choose.

They take time off to “find themselves” as they are not worried about losing their place on the corporate team.  They are however very loyal to their managers. 

They are highly adaptable, confident, competent, ethical, results focuses, flexible, self-starters, willing to take on responsibilities and put in the extra time to get a job done if required and are more results driven than job driven.  They work smarter and with greater output.

They are the first “day care” generation, where women are expected to work outside the home due to the requirement of dual incomes.

Mostly this generation value their time, time away from work, time with their families and time to have fun. They work to live, not live to work.

As an expat this generation is highly employable and adaptable, they are extremely educated with the experience required for the job.  They enjoy moving and adapting to new experiences of a new country, culture and job, and are willing to work the extra hours to get the job done.

History onwards …..

1965 - United States sends ground combat troops to Vietnam

1966 - National Organization for Women founded

1966 - Cultural Revolution in China

1967 - American Indian Movement founded

1968 - Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy assassinated

1969 - First lunar landing

1969 - Woodstock

1970 - Kent State University shootings

1970 - Women’s Liberation protests and demonstrations

1972 - Arab terrorists at Munich Olympics

1973 - Watergate scandal

1973 - Energy crisis begins

1976 - Tandy and Apple market PCs

1978 - Mass suicide in Jonestown

1979 - Three Mile Island nuclear reactor nears meltdown

1979 - US corporations begin massive layoffs

1979 - Iran holds sixty-six Americans hostage

1980 - John Lennon shot and killed

1980 - Ronald Reagan inaugurated

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Generation What? The Baby Boomers .....

Having spoken about the Traditionalist Generation, we now move on to the Baby boomers and how they left and are leaving their mark in our lives.

Baby boomers 

Born: Between 1946 and 1964

Age: Between 47 to 65

Education: Seen as a birthright

Influencers: Civil Rights, Space Travel, the Vietnam War, the Sexual Revolution, and the Cold War/Russia.

Family:  Came from privileged backgrounds, due to their parents’ hard work and savings.  Long work hours and living to work resulted in an imbalance and the family unit disintegration with the highest divorce rate and 2nd marriages in history. 

Values:  Value success but also think of themselves as a special generation, due to their radical views and democratic outlook. They have a broad continuity of values with older and younger generations and have a tendency to define the world in terms of the generations. The Baby boomers are post War Babies who grew up to be the radicals of the 70’s and yuppies of the 80’s. 

Money: As a group in general, they are the healthiest, most educated and wealthiest generation of that time and grew up with an optimistic outlook for life, their futures and the world as a whole.

They strived for the American Dream, they are well established in their careers and hold positions of power and authority, and as a result they are seen as being greedy, materialistic and ambitious.

Motivation:  The strongest motivator for this group is being valued, prestige, perks and their need for money, they define themselves by their professional accomplishments.

Work: Baby boomers live to work, they are loyal to their careers and employer. They have a strong work ethic, are multi-taskers and traditionally found their worth in working long hours (they established the 60 hour work week). Working hard gave them the self-worth and fulfillment they required.

They established “flat” organizational structures, democracy, equal opportunity, and creating a more humane, warm and friendly workplace.

They were rebellious against convention and tradition due to their conservative parents , however they were also independent, confident and self-reliant with a competitive edge and goal orientation.

This hard work ethic led to this group being hesitant to take too much time off work for fear of losing their place in the corporate environment.

Now, the Baby boomers  strive for a work life balance with a leaning towards a healthy lifestyle and strong family bonds.  

Baby boomers defined a new form of working – living to work, they were / are scared that not working hard will result in failure, being successful is all important.  As expats, they may be a bit set in their ways and struggle to find their feet within structured work units.  They do however, have the knowledge required to complete tasks and will be of great benefit to the organization as a whole when dispatching experience and information into the workplace.  Although they are aiming for better work / life balance at this stage at life they are still achievers and are still looking at climbing the corporate ladder given the opportunity.

And more from history

1950 - Korean War

1954 - McCarthy HCUAA hearings begin

1955 - Salk Vaccine tested on the public

1955 - Rosa Parks refuses to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, AL

1957 - First nuclear power plant

1957 - Congress passes the Civil Rights Act

1960 - Birth control pills introduced

1960 - Kennedy elected

1961 - Kennedy establishes Peace Corps

1962 - Cuban Missile Crisis

1962 - John Glenn circles the earth

1963 - Martin Luther King leads march on Washington,DC

1963 - President John Kennedy assassinated

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Generations What? Lets begin with the Traditionalist.....

Have you considered how the period you were born into determines how you will be as a person? How you and your school mates reacted towards circumstances?  How to cope with the generation gap that we all feel between ourselves, our grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren?  How some people cope with change better than others?  I am going to discuss each in a series of blogs.

There are 6 generations defined in Wikipedia and research has been completed on most of these, with a few speculative websites.  They are Traditionalists, BabyBoomers, Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z and Generation Alpha. I will discuss Traditionalists in this first blog and how as an expat their experiences can be of value.


Born: Between 1900 and 1945

Age: Between 66 to 111.

Influencers: WWII, the Korean War, the Great Depression, the New Deal, the Rise of Corporations, and the Space Age.

Education: Was more of a dream than a reality

Family: Generally came from the Traditional Nuclear family unit 

Values: Hard work and saving for tomorrow was their aim.  They valued the family unit and community above all else and were respectful of their elders and authority.

Money: They put money away, paid cash for everything and saved for retirement.

They were raised by survivors (not the reality type, but the real deal) and experienced hard times while growing up.  A hard childhood was followed by a time of prosperity.

Motivation:  Your experience is respected

Work: Was of the utmost importance to their livelihoods, they believed in working hard, were dedicated to their jobs, made sure they got the job done, were always on time and punched in and out for the hours required.  They worked hard to gain senior positions, where time on the job and working hard resulted in promotions. They believed in long term assignments which gave them job security and stability. Conservative in their outlook on life, they believed in hierarchal work and home structures, with clear chains of command and top-down management with job - recognition and respect for their experience.

As an expat, this group of aging people can bring experience to a company.  They have had their careers and are looking at either topping up their pensions or experiencing the world. They are no longer looking for upward mobility in the workplace, but rather enjoyment. They still respect authority and have a gentler more respective outlook on life in general.  If they are employable, this shows that they have kept up with technology and the changing times and generations.

A group well worth having around.

Events in history during their time:

1927 - Lindbergh completes first transatlantic flight

1929 - Stock market crashes

1930 - US Depression deepens

1931 - Star Spangled Banner becomes national anthem

1932 - Lindbergh baby kidnapped

1932 - FD Roosevelt elected

1933 - The Dust Bowl

1933 - The New Deal

1934 - Social Security system established

1937 - Hindenburg tragedy

1937 - Hitler invades Austria

1940 - United States prepares for war

1941 - Pearl Harbor; United States enters World War II

1944 - D-Day in Normandy

1945 – FD Roosevelt dies

1945 - Victory in Europe and Japan

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Expatriate Spotlight on Andorra la Vella in Andorra

Andorra is famous for great skiing and shopping and some of the most dramatic scenery in the Pyrenees with over 300 days of sunshine a year. In the last five years, over €50 million has been invested in mountain caf├ęs and restaurants, chairlifts and gondolas, car parks and snow-making machines.

Andorra has over 2000 shops – more than one for every 40 inhabitants and attracts over 12 million tourists annually.

Andorra’s cost of living is approximately 20% cheaper than Paris, France and has no sales tax. This means that you could earn 20% less salary in Andorra than Paris and still maintain a similar standard of living to that of Paris.

Andorra is a Tax Haven with no personal income or inheritance tax and has all the normal tax haven benefits without the high living costs.

Andorra is well located for expatriates wishing to escape from the big cities. It is within 3 hours drive by car of major cities in France and Spain.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Expatriate Spotlight on Algiers in Algeria

Algiers is a large, busy, Mediterranean city that, thanks mainly to oil and gas, is growing and prospering. The number of new cars on the roads is a sign of growing personal prosperity. The population has doubled in the last 20 years. It is the largest port in northwest Africa and the largest city too. Despite the growth Algiers has preserved its old mystique and strong sense of identity in dazzlingly white.

Algiers cost of living* compared to Houston Tx:

  • Alcohol & Tobacco is more expensive
  • Clothing is cheaper
  • Communication is cheaper
  • Education is cheaper
  • Furniture & Appliances is cheaper
  • Groceries is cheaper
  • Healthcare is more expensive
  • Household is more expensive
  • Miscellaneous is cheaper
  • Personal Care is more expensive
  • Recreation & Culture is cheaper
  • Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels is cheaper
  • Transport is cheaper
*As at 1 January 2011

The overall weighted cost of living difference between Houston and Algiers is 5.21%.

Hardship compared to Houston:
Houston is ranked as a minimal hardship location with a hardship premium of 10%. Algiers is ranked as an extreme hardship location with a hardship premium of 40%. The relative difference in hardship premium (i.e. Host Location Premium minus Home Location Premium) is 30%.

Salary Purchasing Power Parity (SPPP)
The SPPP report calculates how much you need to earn in another location to compensate for a higher cost of living, hardship, and the exchange rate, in order to have the same relative spending power and as a result have a similar standard of living as you have in your current location.

A person would require a salary of 135,205.39 US Dollar (USD) in Algiers to have the same standard of living as currently enjoyed in Houston on a salary of 100,000.00 US Dollar (USD). This salary compensates for the overall cost of living difference of 5.2%, the hardship difference of 30%, and the exchange rate.

SPPP Formula: Salary in Houston ($100,000) + Cost of Living Difference ($5,205.39) + Hardship ($30,000) = $
135,205.39 Salary in Algiers

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mediterranean Tsunami – More Likely than you think

Expatriates living in retirement in the sunny climate of the Mediterranean region may be wondering if the devastation in Japan could happen to them. Not only have tsunamis hit the Mediterranean in the past, there may be more to come.

The first known tsunami in the Mediterranean occurred in the Syrian region around 2000BC, while the first tsunami in Greece destroyed the Persian fleet in Potidea, Chalkidiki, in 479BC. There was also a large tsunami that hit Alexandria in 365AD, killing approximately 50,000 people.

Shorter distances in the Mediterranean mean that tsunamis hit the coasts faster despite travelling at lower speeds because the sea is not as deep as those in the Pacific Ocean.

The last large tsunami that struck in the Aegean Sea was created by the Santorini earthquake of 1956. The tsunami wave that hit the east side of Amorgos was approximately 25-metres high. The most recent tsunami followed the Turkey earthquake of 1999 with the seismic wave affecting the coastal areas of the Marmara region.

The zone extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran and India is the second most seismic zone on the planet, which records some 15 per cent of the earthquake activity worldwide.

According to seismologists there it is highly likely that strong earthquakes will hit the Mediterranean region sometime in the future. Informing and preparing the public is imperative. Those living in coastal areas should head inland the minute an earthquake strikes. Although nothing on the scale of the recent tsunami in Japan and the one in Southeast Asia in 2004 has occurred in the Mediterranean in recent decades, putting tsunami warning systems in place would be helpful to everyone living in the region.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Comparable Worth: Equal Pay for Equal Work – Expatriate Salary Purchasing Power Parity


Comparable worth is a principle that states that people who perform work of equal value should receive similar levels of compensation regardless of gender, ethnicity, nationality etc, but with the exception of legally allowable differences such as level of performance, seniority, location based allowances etc.

Jobs have an organization value that can be measured and compared across jobs of widely differentiated content. Tools such as job evaluation can be used to explain these differences in terms of levels of work, skills, competencies, length of training and the amount of responsibility etc.

In the USA, despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963, it is legal to discriminate in pay if the job of one is not precisely identical to the work of another. Critics of equal pay for equal work argue that comparable pay for comparable work (comparable worth) would be far more effective in addressing gender pay differences in the USA. Comparable worth implies “comparing” rather than a precise measure of equality. Employers constantly “compare” jobs internally through job evaluation and externally through compensation and benefit surveys.

In the USA this principle applies largely to gender based pay discrimination. However what about expatriate pay? Expatriate compensation typically uses home salary as the basis of an assignee’s pay. For example, examine two equally skilled, experienced and performing expatriates doing work of equal value, side by side, in a third country. The expatriate from a higher paying / higher cost of living country earns more than their colleague from a lower paying / lower cost of living country. Does it mean that the two expatriates should be paid the same amount to achieve the principle of comparable worth?

Comparable worth seeks to ensure comparable pay for comparable work. The reality is that each dollar earned by the expatriate from the lower cost of living country will go further in their home country than it will for their colleague. To ensure that the principle of comparable worth is applied it is necessary to ensure that salary purchasing power parity (SPPP) is achieved.

SPPP calculates how much you need to earn in another location to compensate for cost of living, hardship, and exchange rate differences, in order to have the same relative spending power and as a result have a similar standard of living as you have in your current location.

No company pays the “market rate”, because there is no single universally accepted, appropriate rate for any job. Actual pay is influenced by market related targets, competition, perception, retention fears, circumstance and legacy. Expatriate pay is further influenced by cost of living, hardship and exchange rate differences. Whether we have comparable pay for comparable work or equal pay for equal work or even equal pay for equivalent work the principle is the same. People who perform work of equal value should be rewarded equally without discrimination. In the case of expatriates this implies salary purchasing power parity.

International Cost of Living Q1 2011

Well Q1 of 2011 is almost behind us. What a year it has been already with the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan and the Humanquake in North Africa and the Middle East. 

Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world in which to live, out of 300 global locations. The cost of living for an expatriate is affected by both the availability and prices, of goods and services representative of an expatriate lifestyle, local inflation, and the exchange rate between the home and host country. As a result the cost of living has a significant impact on an expatriate’s salary package. We expect that Japan will remain at the top of the rankings for some time to come.

Asia-Pacific has 4 of the 10 most expensive cities in the world. Tokyo is first and Hong Kong the third most expensive location in the world (and most expensive in greater China), whilst Osaka is the third most expensive city in Asia-Pacific (ranked 5 in the world), followed by Nagoya (ranked 9 in the world). Cities in mainland China remain relatively cheap, mainly due to the pegging of the Chinese Yuan to the US Dollar which has kept costs down. Within mainland China, Shanghai (ranked 19 in the world), and Beijing (ranked 126 in the world) are the most expensive locations. The cheapest city surveyed in China is Tianjin (ranked 284) with a cost of living index of just 61.4. The cheapest city in Asia-Pacific is Nuku’Alofa in Tonga (ranked 299) with a cost of living index of 53.1.

Most expensive cities in Asia-Pacific (Global rank in brackets)
Japan, Tokyo (1)
2. China, Hong Kong (3)
3. Japan, Osaka (5)
4. Japan, Nagoya (9)
5. Japan, Yokohama (13)
6. Australia, Sydney (17)
7. China, Shanghai (19)
8. Australia, Canberra (20)
9. Kiribati, South Tarawa (23)
10. Singapore (26)

South Asia is the least expensive region in the world for expatriates to live in. The most expensive city surveyed is Mumbai (ranked 109 in the world), followed by New Delhi (ranked 136), and Chennai (ranked 139). The cheapest city in South Asia is Thimphu in Bhutan (ranked 297).

Most expensive cities in South Asia (Global rank in brackets)
India, Mumbai (109)
2. India, New Delhi (136)
3. India, Chennai (139)
4. India, Calcutta (141)
5. Maldives, Male (147)
6. India, Hyderabad (149)
7. India, Bangalore (167)
8. Afghanistan, Kabul (208)
9. Bangladesh, Dhaka (263)
10.Pakistan, Lahore 278)

Europe’s most expensive cities are mostly those that are not on the Euro. The most expensive city in Europe is Geneva (ranked 4 in the world), followed by Zurich (ranked 6), making Switzerland the most expensive country in Europe. Zurich is followed by Oslo (ranked 8). Moscow is the world's 10th most expensive city (4th in Europe) followed by Vaduz in Liechtenstein. The cheapest city in Europe is Tirana in Albania (ranked 283 in the world) with a cost of living index of 61.7.

Most expensive cities in Europe (Global rank in brackets)
Switzerland, Geneva (4)
2. Switzerland, Zurich (6)
3. Norway, Oslo (8)
4. Russia, Moscow (10)
5. Liechtenstein, Vaduz (12)
6. Denmark, Copenhagen (14)
7. United Kingdom, London (16)
8. France, Paris (21)
9. Monaco, Monaco (22)
10.Jersey, Saint Helier (24)

The Middle East's most expensive city is Abu Dhabi (ranked 27 in the world), followed by Doha (ranked 49), and Manama (ranked 87). Dubai is the fourth most expensive city in the Middle East (ranked 89 in the world) with a cost of living index of 89.7. The cheapest city surveyed in the Middle East (and cheapest in the world) is Sanaa in Yemen (ranked 300 in the world) with a cost of living index of 49.7, half that of New York which has a cost of living index of 100.

Most expensive cities in the Middle East (Global rank in brackets)
United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi (27)
2. Qatar, Doha (49)
3. Bahrain, Manama (87)
4. United Arab Emirates, Dubai (89)
5. Israel, Jerusalem (102)
6. Lebanon, Beirut (138)
7. Palestinian Territories, West Bank (152)
8. Kuwait, Kuwait City (156)
9. Syria, Damascus (165)
10.Iran, Tehran (170)

The Americas most expensive city is Caracas, which is the world’s second most expensive city to live in for expatriates. Brazil has 3 of the 4 most expensive cities in the Americas. Sao Paulo (ranked 7 in the world), Rio de Janeiro (ranked 11) are followed by Brasilia (ranked 15). Nassau (ranked 25) is the fifth most expensive city, while New York (ranked 33) is the sixth most expensive city in the America’s and most expensive in the United States of America. The cheapest city to live in the Americas is La Paz in Bolivia (ranked 294 in the world). The cheapest city surveyed in the United States of America is Indianapolis Ind (ranked 285 in the world).

Most expensive cities in the Americas (Global rank in brackets)
Venezuela, Caracas (2)
2. Brazil, Sao Paulo (7)
3. Brazil, Rio de Janeiro (11)
4. Brazil, Brasilia (15)
5. Bahamas, Nassau (25)
6. USA, New York NY (33)
7. Canada, Toronto (37)
8. Falkland Islands, Stanley (42)
9. Trinidad and Tobago, Port-of-Spain (47)
10.Canada, Vancouver (54)

Spending and Cost of Living
Spending patterns amongst expatriates on international assignments can vary a great deal. How do spending patterns impact expatriate salary calculations? 
Read More

Negotiating an Expatriate Package
Although international experience can be helpful for future promotional prospects, companies recognize that employees are cautious about going abroad for "possible future consideration". Consequently companies usually offer employees financial and non-financial incentives to compensate for the upheaval associated with relocation abroad. 
Read More

Figures used in this report were taken from®’s cost of living database as at 1 January 2011. The above ranks are based on the overall cost of living index using all 13 basket groups with New York as the base city (Cost of living index = 100).

About®’s Cost of Living Data®’s cost of living data is based on prices for the same quantity and quality of goods and services, representative of expatriate lifestyle, in each city. The data is collected and updated on a quarterly basis. The cost of living data is used by® clients to calculate salary purchasing power parity, cost of living allowances, and customized (i.e. clients can select their own base city) cost of living indexes for expatriate assignments online, using®’s 3 premium content calculators.

The 13 basket groups do not count equally and are weighted according to expatriate expenditure norms as follows (weighting percentage is in brackets):
1. Alcohol & Tobacco (2%): Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
Clothing (2.5%): Clothing and footwear products.
Communication (2%): Telephone, Internet, Mobile Contract and Calls.
Education (5%): Creche Fees, School Fees, College Fees, and Tertiary Study Fees.
Furniture & Appliances (5%): Furniture, household equipment and appliances.
Groceries (16.5%): Food, non-alcoholic beverages and cleaning materials.
Healthcare (5%): Doctor Consultation rates, Private Ward Rate, Prescription Medicine, and Private Medical Insurance Contributions.
Household Accommodation (30%): Housing rental, utilities, local rates and residential taxes.
Miscellaneous Items (3%): Stationary, Linen and general goods and services.
Personal Care (3%): Personal Care products and services.
Recreation and Culture (6%): Books, Camera Film, Cinema Ticket, DVD and CD’s, Sports goods, Theatre Tickets.
Restaurants Meals Out and Hotel (2%): Dinner at Restaurant (non fast food), Hotel Rates, Take Away, Drinks & Snacks (fast Food).
Transport (18%): Public Transport, Vehicle Costs, Vehicle Fuel, Vehicle Insurance and Vehicle Maintenance.

About®® is the most comprehensive source of international cost of living information. We provide free international cost of living overviews and rank information covering 13 cost of living baskets and 300 global locations as well as 3 premium content calculators.
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