Luanda, N’Djamena and Libreville – the cities more expensive than London

Life isn’t cheap in Britain, but it could be worse – new figures show 24 cities are even more expensive to live in than London.

The second most expensive city on Earth is Angola's capital Luanda (Image:PA)

We all know prices are rising in Britain, the latest figures show the cost of living in the UK is 3.5% higher than last year, but while things here are bad, they could be a lot worse.

The latest international study shows there are some 24 cities where life is more expensive than in London (the UK’s most expensive city), 132 places more expensive than Birmingham, 160 places costlier than Glasgow and 164 major cities cheaper to live in than Belfast – the lowest-ranked UK city on the list.

Dublin was ranked as the 77th most-expensive place to live – making it more expensive than anywhere in the UK except London. However, the weak euro meant the Irish capital droped 14 places on the list compared to last year, making it cheaper to live in than Prague according to the latest figures.

That’s not to say things are cheap in Britain and Ireland, but thank goodness we don’t live in Luanda. Residents in the Angolan capital fork out more than twice as much as Londoners for a pint of milk, pay 40% more for a pair of jeans, more than four times as much for a burger and 47% more to rent a two-bedroom apartment, figures Mercer’s annual cost of living city rankings show.

In fact, only Tokyo costs more to live in than Luanda, the global consultancy calculates, with cities such as N’Djamena in Chad (8th most expensive), Libreville in Gabon (20th) and São Paulo in Brazil (12th) all rated as more expensive than London.

“Despite price increases on goods and services most UK cities moved down in the ranking this year, following the loss in value of the British pound,” explained Milan Taylor, Head of Mercer's data and product services in the UK and Ireland.

As well as the three African capitals, three Swiss cities (Geneva, Zurich and Bern), three Japanese cities (Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya) and four Australian cities (Sydney, Perth, Canberra and Brisbane) were all more expensive than anywhere in the UK.


The 10 most expensive cities on Earth

Rank

City

Country

2011 Rank

1

Tokyo

Japan

2

2

Luanda

Angola

1

3

Osaka

Japan

6

4

Moscow

Russia

4

5

Geneva

Switzerland

5

6=

Zurich

Switzerland

7

6=

Singapore

Singapore

8

8

N’Djamena

Chad

3

9

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

9

10

Nagoya

Japan

11


Mount Fuji rising up behind the skyscrapers of Tokyo.


So where’s cheapest then?


As well as looking at the most expensive cities on the planet, Mercer also takes a look at the cheapest major cities to live in.

For the second year in a row Pakistan’s Karachi was the least expensive place to live, followed by the country’s capital Islamabad.

Mangua in Nicaragua was next cheapest, with Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan fourth and Bolivia’s La Paz fifth cheapest.

Mercer looks into the cost of living – covering everything from housing, to clothes, food and drink, newspapers and petrol – so that companies and governments can work out how much it would cost to base employees in different parts of the world. This year it studied 214 major cities globally.


Karachi is the cheapest city to live in on the planet (Image:PA)


The 10 cheapest places to live as an ex-pat
 

Rank

City

Country

2011 Rank

1

Karachi

Pakistan

1

2

Islamabad

Pakistan

6

3

Managua

Nicaragua

2

4

Bishkek

Kyrgyzstan

5

5

La Paz

Bolivia

3

6

Tunis

Tunisia

8

7

Kolkata

India

12

8

Skopje

Macedonia

15=

9=

Tegucigalpa

Honduras

7

9=

Tirana

Albania

15=