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Mumbai Tops the List as India’s Costliest City for Expatriates

Why Mumbai in news?

According to Mercer’s Cost of Living survey, Mumbai has been identified as the most expensive city for expatriates in India. The survey analyzed 227 cities across five continents to determine the cost of living for expats. Following Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru ranked second and third respectively on the list.

Global Ranking and Asian Comparison

In the 2023 survey, Mumbai was positioned at 147 in the global ranking, with New Delhi at 169, Chennai at 184, Bengaluru at 189, Hyderabad at 202, Kolkata at 211, and Pune at 213. Interestingly, Mumbai and Delhi were noted as cost-efficient destinations for multinational corporations (MNCs) due to their lower cost of living and expat accommodation costs compared to major cities in the Asia Pacific region like Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo.

On a global scale, the most expensive cities for expats were Hong Kong, Singapore, and Zurich. The survey assessed the cost of various items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment. This data helps employers design fair and effective compensation packages for international assignees in over 400 locations worldwide.

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Mumbai’s Position in Asia and Global Ranking

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In Asia, Mumbai and Delhi ranked among the top 35 most expensive cities for expats. However, Mumbai dropped one spot within Asian cities, moving to the 27th position compared to the previous year’s ranking.

Among Indian cities surveyed, Mumbai had the highest cost of living for expats. However, cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Pune offer significantly lower accommodation costs compared to Mumbai, with Kolkata being the most affordable option for residents and expatriates.

The survey also highlighted the least expensive locations, including Havana (which dropped 83 spots due to currency devaluations) and two cities in Pakistan, Karachi, and Islamabad.

Overall, Mercer’s Cost of Living survey provides valuable information for employers to design fair compensation packages and helps expatriates understand the cost of living in various cities worldwide.

Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey Methodology

Survey conducted across 227 cities from five continents Comparative cost analysis of over 200 items, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment

Employers’ Benefits from the Data

  • Key information for designing efficient and transparent compensation packages for international assignees
  • Helps international employers with compensation package design in over 400 assignment locations worldwide

Least Expensive Locations and Indian Cities Comparison

  • Havana, Karachi, and Islamabad identified as the least expensive locations
  • Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Pune offer significantly lower accommodation costs compared to Mumbai
  • Kolkata claims the lowest cost of expatriate accommodation among the surveyed Indian cities

Find More Ranks and Reports Here

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