ECA International Cost of Living Survey 2014

Caracas in Venezuela has topped the Cost of Living survey conducted by ECA International, with Oslo and Luanda coming 2nd and 3rd respectfully while Tokyo falls out of the top 10 but still takes the top spot for Asian countries.
Caracas, which ranked 32nd in the global table in the 2013 report, has overtaken the Norwegian capital for the top spot of the survey of cities across the world that is calculated using a basket of day-to-day goods and services; including food, drink, clothing, electrical goods and motoring. It is thought that the Venezuela’s annual inflation, which is now at 80%, is partly responsible for the rise along with the cost of living being 40% higher than Oslo.
Expats moving to Switzerland may notice an increase in cost of living, especially in Zurich and Geneva, which came in positions 4 and 5. However, Switzerland is widely renowned for having amongst the highest wages in the world, meaning that it is still affordable for expats to live there.
Compared to last year’s list, Moscow has fallen from 5th to 22nd position, which may have been caused by the sharp falling of the Russian Rouble against the US Dollar and other currencies during the year since the previous report.
Tokyo, despite being top of the list last year, has fallen to 11th place – the first time in a decade that it has been outside of the top 10, although it is still the most expensive destination in Asia.
Despite rising compared to last year’s list, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi remain outside of the top 100, ranking 165th and 177th respectfully, making the region even more attractive to expats thinking of moving to the UAE.
The survey also featured other popular destinations for expats including Singapore, which has consistently held a healthy position on the table in recent years (31 in the 2014 survey and 35 in 2013). In the last few years International Removals company Cadogan Tate has noticed an increase in expats moving to Singapore because of its cultural diversity, ease of access to other desirable locations and favourable weather.
The cost of living for people moving overseas is something which can be overlooked, so it is very good advice to do as much research into your destination as possible. The ECA International Report is not the only cost of living survey available to expats, with other slight variants being offered by Mercer, HSBC Expat Explorer and The Economist.

Information correct at time of publication