Lisbon Is the 100th Most Expensive City for Expats

Written By Manuel Poças

It’s official. According to the last rankings published by Mercer, Lisbon has climbed 17 steps in the rankings and is now the 100th most expensive city for expats.

Mercer’s annual ranking report compares the cost of living of 226 cities around the world. Hence, a fluctuation isn’t necessarily because a city became more or less expensive in absolute terms. Instead, it simply means that the city became more or less expensive in comparison to the other cities.

This year, the list was built through the analysis and comparison of the prices of more than 200 items, including the following categories: housing, transportation, food, clothing, household products, and entertainment.

In accordance with the report and the words of a Mercer executive, Lisbon’s increase in cost of living can be justified by a combination of at least four different things. First and foremost, the strength of the euro led to a general increase in the costs of every European city on the list. However, Lisbon has also shown more resilience.

These factors, combined with the increase of housing prices and of accommodation and hospitality prices (all when compared to other cities), which are influenced by changes in tourist numbers, were what may have led to Lisbon’s change in ranking.

Of course, what happened in the other 225 cities also contributed to this change. Given the criteria that are defined to make the list, the justification includes two dimensions – the city and the cities.

Regarding the rest of the rankings, Hong Kong came in 1st place while Singapore came in 2nd. Zurich, Geneva, and Basel came in 3rd, 4th, and 5th, respectively. In the context of European cities, Copenhagen ranked 11th, Vienna 24th, Paris 29th, and Amsterdam 30th. Minsk is the least expensive European city, occupying the 212th spot. When it comes to North American cities, all of them were within the top 100. The two most expensive are New York, which came in 7th, and Los Angeles, which came in 10th place.

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