Monday, August 24, 2015

Asia Pacific Cost of Living for the second half of 2015

Singapore remains the 2nd most expensive city in the Asia-Pacific region for expatriates and tops the region rankings when costs related to housing, education, medical and transport are excluded.  While Hong Kong has retained the top spot (overall most expensive in Asia-Pacific) due to the extremely high housing costs, as well as high cost of schooling and limited space available making rentals high. 
What are the other changes to the cost of living rankings for the second half of 2015?

Read all the news here. has been conducting research into cost of living and hardship since 2007. The data is used to help companies calculate cost of living and hardship differences so that their employees' purchasing power is maintained while on an international assignment. The cost of living data compares 13 different baskets of goods and services commonly purchased by expatriates in over 780 locations worldwide.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

With the World Changing, is Modern Expatriate Pay Keeping Up?

How can organizations become more innovative and cost effective in their expatriate reward approaches to attract and retain the right expatriate talent?

Do you need some 
Expatriate Reward Approaches Explained......

Modern organizations are adopting a more flexible approach in the design of international assignment packages. For example instead of a standardized approach, expatriate reward is becoming differentiated based on the nature of the assignment and the individual's needs. For some assignees career development opportunities are more valued than compensation for cost of living and hardship.

Here are some suggestions:
• Talent needs to be sourced from a global talent pool. Instead of focusing on exporting home based expatriate talent, look more closely at potential host based expatriate talent.
• Look at alternatives to cash to be more cost effective. Promote opportunities such as mentoring by senior leadership, developmental exposure to a new product or strategy, or a sabbatical or paid further study after successfully completing an assignment.
• Turn around the traditional home (HQ) to host (developing nation) assignment with the typical large pay disparity between the HQ expatriate and local employees, by incentivizing the right host company talent with expatriate assignment opportunities back to the global or regional HQ. The total cost of expatriating a lower paid assignee, from a low cost location to a high cost location, is far more cost effective.
• The traditional International Assignment Management (see table below) build-up / balance sheet approach is no longer suitable for all. Expatriates consist not only of traditional assignees, but also commuters, employees in global roles and short-term project moves. It is expected that the trend will be increasingly towards these non-traditional expatriates. Consider alternative reward approaches such as Cost of Living Index (COLI), Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) and Salary Purchasing Power Parity (SPPP) approaches (see table below).
• Develop consistent principles for each expatriate type, depending on the purpose of the assignment, the duration, the family/residency status and the home-host combination.
• Instead of replacing one expatriate with another, cut the number of expatriates in the long run by making the identification and successful upskilling of a local successor a core objective of the assignment. Not only are expatriate mobility costs reduced over time, but it will have a positive impact on the company's local brand if the organization is seen to be focused on training and developing local people.
• Treat locations where additional cost of living, hardship and mobility incentives are justifiably required, as differentiated exceptions, by having a clearly articulated expatriate reward strategy and policy framework that is understood and communicated across the organization.
• Continually look for innovative opportunities to evolve the current expatriate reward approaches to ensure they stay modern and relevant.
Expatriate Reward Approaches Explained
Cost of living Index (COLI):
An index is used as input into the organizations expatriate package calculation. A COLI is calculated based on the cost of living difference between the home and host locations for cost of the same basket of goods and services in both locations.
Salary Purchasing Power Parity (SPPP):
Expatriate salary is adjusted for the cost of living difference between the home and host location, ensure the same standard of living (purchasing power) with no loss and no gain (parity) to the individual.
Cost of Living Allowance (COLA):
An allowance (over and above the current salary) to compensate for the difference in the cost of living.
International Assignment Management (IAM):
Expatriate package is calculated using the build-up / balance sheet / home based approach and including hypothetical tax, cost of living index, hardship premium, exchange rate, expatriation premium, benchmark housing allowance and benchmark transport allowance. The approach is to ensure consistent equitable treatment and benefits for all international assignees and have a user friendly reward structure to provide seamless coverage for different family scenarios.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Africa, how expensive is it for expats?

Overall African countries are some of the poorest and least developed in the world, with relatively low local cost of living expenses, however the cost of importing and transporting most of what expatriates expect to purchase in the cities in this region makes it extremely expensive to maintain the lifestyle that they are used to.

For more information go here.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Living in Europe, Here's what to expect from the cost of living....

Wondering why your expenses are so high in some cities, living as an expat?  
Here are the latest listings for Europe over the last five years.

For the full listing go here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Which cities are the most expensive to live in The Americas?

If Manhattan moves to 3rd from 2nd most expensive location in the Americas, and the most expensive in the USA, then what are the two most expensive cities to live in?

For more cost of living information for the Americas go here

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Expat's Most Expensive vs Least Expensive....Which Are You?

Do you live in any of these countries? Do you know if you are being paid enough to cover your quality and standard of living?

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Americas Still Hold The Top Spot For Most Expensive Expat City In The World

Caracas has retained this top spot for the last five years, even with the drop in the cost of living in the country, many factors ensure it's position.
Manhattan is the second most expensive location in the Americas, with  Managua in Nicaragua as the cheapest.

The Americas Top 10 Most Expensive Expat Destinations 2010 - 2015

For the full listing go here. For The America's Cost of Living full article go here.

This article may be freely copied as long as reference is made to 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Here Are The Americas Most Expensive Expatriate Locations

With the relative strength of the US Dollar cities in the USA have continued to climb the expatriate cost of living rankings. This has also contributed to cities in other regions dropping in the rankings with Canadian cities moving out of the top ten.

The top five ranked locations in the Americas include: Caracas, Manhattan NY, Hamilton, Sao Paulo and George Town. has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. The cost of living ranking information is updated quarterly using data collected by over the past 12 months.

For the full list of the rankings go here.

This article may be freely copied as long as reference is made to 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo - Asia Pacific Expatriate Cost of Living

What do these three Asia Pacific locations have in common?

They are all on the top of the list of the most expensive expatriate locations to live, in this area.

Hong Kong tops the list as the most expensive location, this is due to the high cost of housing, schooling and limited space available.  Singapore is second, Tokyo comes in third, Sydney fourth and Shanghai fifth.   Australia sees four of its cities in the top ten, these include Sydney fourth (14th worldwide), Canberra sixth (24th overall), Melbourne eighth (29th overall) and Perth tenth (32nd overall).

For full cost of living comparison go here.

Top Ten Cost of Living Comparison over the Last Six Years

This article may be freely copied as long as reference is made to  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Thinking of Living in The Middle East? Which City Rates as the Most Expensive on the Cost Of Living Rankings?

Considering moving to the Middle East, raises many questions.  Which country are we moving to? Will we cope with the culture change?  How much will our every day living change?  How big is the expat community? What about people from our own country? Are the schools good? Will they have the same schooling system that our children are used to?The questions go on and on....

Interestingly, many people do the basic calculations on how much it will cost to live in the desired city, but many do not take all the relevant costs into account. assists subscribers to calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Data is collected from 50 types of data sources, including local service providers in each location, international service providers, official governmental statistics and global agency data. The data is thoroughly quality assured and manually checked by Xpatulator Analysts. 

Jerusalem in Israel is ranked as the most expensive city to live in as an expat in the region but ranks 136th worldwide, this is followed by Abu DhabiDoha and Dubai respectively.

For expat's the strong shekel has made imports more expensive, and the relatively high cost of housing has further contributed to Israel becoming the most expensive country, and Jerusalem the most expensive city in the Middle East.

Six Year Top Ten Ranking Comparison:

For the full listing go here.

This article may be freely copied as long as reference is made to 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Living In Africa As An Expat? Where Does The City You Live In Rank On The Cost Of Living Scale?

Although Africa is perceived as one of the poorest continents in the world with a low cost of living for locals, the cost for expatriates due to the transportation and importation of products as well as accommodation make many of the cities here extremely expensive to live in.

LuandaAngola remains at the top of the list due to its high cost for accommodation, imported produce and international schooling. Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) is the second most expensive city in Africa, and N'Djamena in Chad third, with the cheapest being Tunis in Tunisia.

Top Ten Cost of Living Ranking Comparisons:

For the full list for Africa go here.

This article may be freely copied as long as reference is made to 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

January 2015 Sees Changes in Cost of Living Rankings?

It is no surprise that rampant inflation, product shortages and tight government controls on foreign exchange have kept Caracas in Venezuela as the most expensive global expat city to live in.
What are the other changes that have occurred over the last quarter into 2015 around the world?'s 2015 Quarterly Cost of Living Top Ten Rankings :'s survey covers 780 locations (countries and cities) across 5 continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, grouped into cost of living baskets such as household costs, transport costs, grocery costs, clothing costs etc.

For the full listing go here.

This article may be freely copied as long as reference is made to