Guess The World's Most Expensive City
While Edward Snowden can perhaps breathe a sigh of relief at being abale to avoid the humdrum beat of airport food for a while, he will be stepping out into the 2nd most expensive city in the world. Based on a survey of over 200 items, Moscow ranks 2nd in the world (with $8 cups of coffee and $4,600 average apartment rental costs), and Tokyo 3rd (with $5 newspapers and $7 coffees). But the most expensive city in the world will come as a surprise to most and likely create the need for a Google Maps search. With 40.5% of the population of this nation living in property and the average monthly rent a sky-high $6,500, this southern African country's capital is the most expensive city in the world (it would seem the Chinese arrival in resource-rich African nations - N'Djamena, Chad is 4th - has had its hot-money inflationary effects).
Most Expensive Cities In The World (using Mercer data)
Number 10. Sydney
A tight housing market has made Sydney an extremely expensive place for anyone to live. Few vacancies have driven rental prices higher, with the average rent on a luxury two-bedroom hitting more than $2,500 a month.
Prices for other goods aren't cheap either: Want a burger and a soda? That will cost you more than $9. A trip to the movies for two? Close to $40 -- and that's without popcorn.
Number 9. Bern, Switzerland
Even though Switzerland has experienced some deflation over the past couple of years, prices for everything from milk to movie tickets are still staggeringly high. The average cost for a fast food hamburger meal in Bern is $12.51 and a pair of blue jeans will cost an average $138.
For Americans, the prices are made all the more cumbersome due to an unfavorable exchange rate.
Number 8. Zurich
One of the world's major financial centers, nearly one-quarter of the city's residents work at banks and investment firms. In fact, wealth and security are a way of life here. The unemployment rate is a super low 3.1%.
Yet, nothing comes cheap. A club sandwich will cost $30.45 (one of the most expensive club sandwiches in the world) and coffee rings in around $6 a cup, according to Mercer.
Number 7. Geneva, Switzerland
One of three Swiss cities to make Mercer's list, Geneva offers many luxurious, well-crafted goods, as well as many everyday ones -- almost all of which will cost Americans handsomely.
Part of the reason is an unfavorable exchange rate. The Swiss franc is more robust than the U.S. dollar. Tickets to the movies will cost an average of $18.50 apiece and a hamburger meal at a fast food joint will put you back about $12.50, according to Mercer.
Number 6. Hong Kong
Hong Kong's rental market is exploding. Home prices have climbed significantly and potential buyers are having such a hard time securing financing that they are turning to rental homes instead, according to Mercer's Miriam Siscovick.
While a luxury two-bedroom averages a little more than $7,000 a month, Mercer found that luxury three-bedroom apartments can go for more than $13,500 a month.
Number 5. Singapore
One of the fastest growing economies in the world, Singapore's per capita income is also one of the highest -- at $51,709. But thanks to a history of high inflation and taxes, residents still pay top dollar for goods and services.
When eating at a restaurant in Singapore, for example, be prepared to fork over a 7% goods and services tax and pay a 10% service charge, according to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.
Number 4. N'Djamena, Chad
Just getting to N'Djamena is expensive. A round-trip flight from New York's JFK airport to this central African city costs at least $2,500, on Travelocity.
Once you get there, things don't get much cheaper. Order a club sandwich and a soda in Chad's capital city and it will easily cost you $25 or more, according to Mercer's report. Grab the daily paper and it will cost close to $7.
Number 3. Tokyo
Home to 13.2 million people, Tokyo is one of the most densely-populated cities in the world -- and that means real estate comes at a premium. Rents here are among some of the most expensive on the planet, with luxury two-bedroom apartments going for an average of $4,500 a month, according to Mercer.
Number 2. Moscow
Rental apartments in Moscow can make Manhattan's prices look cheap, with unfurnished luxury two-bedrooms averaging $4,600 a month. And the imported goods and services that expats commonly want also command a premium. A gallon of milk costs an average of $7.59. Even a cup of coffee -- averaging more than $8 -- doesn't come cheap.
and the most expensive city in the world....
Number 1. Luanda, Angola
Oil has brought this southern African country vast riches, but high taxes and internal strife keep prices extremely high.
For Americans who come to work here, everything can cost top dollar. A pair of blue jeans will cost an average $204, according to consulting firm Mercer's annual survey.
Such sky-high prices have created a big chasm between the haves and have-nots, with 40.5% of the population living in poverty according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA.)
One thing that is relatively cheap here: gas, at an average of 63 cents a liter. But you'll still pay a high price to take a taxi.