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Nairobi among world expensive cities for expatriates

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Kenya’s capital city Nairobi is among the top one hundred most expensive cities in the world for expatriates to live in, a new survey by Mercer reveals.

Within the African continent, Kenya is ranked 15 behind Seychelles, Chad, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Cote de Ivoire, Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Djibouti, Ghana, and Senegal.The Mercer 2020 cost of living survey ranks Nairobi at 95.

Hong Kong tops the list of most expensive cities for expatriates, followed by Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in the second position.

Tokyo and Zurich remain in third and fourth positions, respectively, whereas Singapore is in fifth, down two places from last year. New York City ranked sixth, moving up from the ninth place.

The study’s 2020 Cost of Living Ranking highlights the results for 209 cities across five continents, measuring the comparative costs of more than 200 items in each location.

The survey also highlights essential factors such as currency fluctuations, cost inflation and accommodation price instability in determining the cost of expatriate packages.

The overall Cost of Living Index reflects the prices of over 200 items from Food, alcohol and tobacco, domestic supplies, housing, clothing and footwear, home services, utilities, personal care, transportation, recreation and entertainment.

The survey is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation strategies for their expatriate employees. New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons and currency movements are measured against the US dollar.

Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates are Shanghai (7), Bern (8), Geneva (9), and Beijing (10). The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer’s survey, are Tunis (209), Windhoek (208), Tashkent and Bishkek, which tied to rank 206.


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