Amsterdam and The Hague are both in the top 50 most expensive cities for international employees to live in, according to Mercer’s Cost of Living City Ranking for 2023. Hong Kong remains the most expensive city for expats.
Amsterdam is in 28th place, dropping three spots from last year. And The Hague is in 46th, climbing one position. Compared to its neighbors, the Netherlands is pricier to live in, with Amsterdam outranking the most expensive cities in Germany (Berlin, 37th) and Belgium (Brussels, 41st).
Despite the top two spots in the ranking being claimed by Asian cities – Hong Kong and Singapore – Europe dominates the top 10. Five of the top ten most expensive cities are in Europe, including four in Switzerland – Zurich (3), Geneva (4), Basel (5), and Bern. Copenhagen is the fifth. The United States has one city in the top ten – New York in sixth place.
For this ranking, Mercer assessed the prices of over 200 products and services in 227 cities across five continents. The American firm used New York City as its baseline for price comparisons, measuring worldwide currencies against the U.S. dollar.
According to Mercer, high inflation sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over a year ago continues to affect the cost of living worldwide. Many economies are still absorbing the shocks caused by the invasion and more contagious variants of Covid-19. For internationally mobile employees, inflation and exchange-rate fluctuations are among the biggest issues impacting their income and savings, Mercer said.