Spain's most expensive cities for expats

The consulting firm Mercer has published a new edition of its ranking on the cost of living in the main cities of the world for expats. Hong Kong leads the list of the most expensive cities but where does Spain feature?

Freepik and Bjorn Christian Torrissen_Wikimedia_(CC BY-SA 4.0)
Freepik and Bjorn Christian Torrissen_Wikimedia_(CC BY-SA 4.0)
23 June 2020, Redaction

The consulting firm Mercer has published a new edition of its famous ranking on the cost of living in the main cities of the world for expats. As usual, Hong Kong leads the list of the most expensive cities, although there are some changes in the top positions compared to previous editions. Let's have a look at this year's ranking of the most expensive cities in the world for expats and find out where Spain's most expensive city ranks. 

Ashgabat (the capital of Turkmenistan) takes second place from Tokyo. The Japanese capital is third, followed by Zurich (Switzerland), Singapore (Singapore), New York (USA), Shanghai (China), Bern (Switzerland), Geneva (Switzerland) and Beijing (China). 6 of the top 10 positions are therefore occupied by Asian cities. Among the next 10 major cites in the ranking are Seoul (South Korea), Tel Aviv (Israel), Shenzhen (China), London (UK), followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles (USA). 

To see the first Spanish city on the list, you have to go down almost to 90th place. Madrid is in 87th place in this 2020 edition (in the previous edition it was in 82nd), making it Spain's most expensive city behind other European cities such as London, Paris, Berlin, Oslo or Frankfurt, while Barcelona falls to 102nd place, just behind New Delhi (India). The cheapest cities in this edition are Tunis (Tunisia), Windhoek (the capital of Namibia), Taskent (capital of Uzbekistan) and Bishkek (capital of Kyrgyzstan).

In order to complete the ranking, the consultancy firm annually analyses the prices of dozens of products and services, from food to renting a house, as well as entertainment services. As the firm explains, this annual survey "is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation strategies for their expatriate employees". New York is used as the reference city for all comparisons, and currency fluctuations are measured against the US dollar. The survey this year includes 209 cities around the world and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household items and entertainment.

Ready to find the house of your dreams?

Ready to find the house of your dreams?

Find houses for sale and long term rentals on idealista