Sticker shock: Cost of living varies widely

July 9, 2012 | Categories: Infographics | Tags:

Mercer’s 2012 Cost of Living Survey provides an intriguing look at how the cost of common items for an expatriate worker – such as a cup of coffee or a fast-food hamburger meal – varies dramatically in cities around the world.

The survey, covering 214 cities, measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. Mercer’s survey, the world’s most comprehensive, helps multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.

Nathalie Constantin-Métral, the Mercer Principal responsible for compiling the ranking each year, says, “Part of appropriately compensating an expatriate employee is having a good understanding of what items cost where an expatriate is likely to live and shop. It may be vastly different than what it would cost a local resident of the same city.”

See how the cost of common items varies around the world.

(Click image to enlarge)

For more information about this survey, visit

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