With technology constantly advancing, economies around the world on the rise, and more companies becoming global enterprises the world is starting to seem like a much smaller place. Just a few decades ago the thought of immigrating to another country was a huge ordeal that few would consider. But now it seems more and more people are moving out of their American homes in favour or more exotic locations. But how do the world's cities compare when it comes to cost of living and real estate prices?
Mercer's Consulting forms a survey each year of the Cost of Living of all of the world's major cities and ranks them from most expensive to more affordable. To do this, they convert all of the figures from each country into American dollars and compare them on everything from the cost of bread to the cost of your average home. While this does produce a reasonable picture of the differences between living in Paris and finding a home with your local agent, it can depend as much on changes in currency as it does price inflations.
Keeping that in mind, the most expensive cities according to the survey in 2009 were, in order, Tokyo, Osaka, Moscow, Geneva, and Hong Kong. The first North American city to make the list was New York City, taking the ninth spot. Out of the whole list of the top fifty cities, seven of them are North American and all of those are from the United States. In order after New York City they are Los Angeles, White Plains, San Francisco, Honolulu, Miami, and Chicago. The first Canadian city is Toronto, which sits in eighty-fifth position. So, if you're trading your Toronto mortgage for one oversees, there are many places where you will be paying a little more.
When comparing these rankings to that of last year, Japan, China, India, the Middle East, and the United States are generally increasing their cost of living score while Canada, Europe and Australia are lowering their numbers. The cost of living index is based on over two hundred products and surveys 290 cities. This means that all of the information is quite general and may not tell you everything about what you can expect to spend if you're moving from Toronto to Geneva, for example.
If you are looking for more detailed information about the difference in cost of living between your current location and another major world city, there are calculators available online that allow you to factor in your own life circumstances. You can account for paying for home health care Saint John based opposed to paying those costs in France and can get a full price list for each of the cities surveyed.