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Brussels rises in cost of living city ranking for expats
The city of Brussels has jumped from 104th to 67th place in a worldwide ranking of the most expensive locations for working abroad, according to an annual study by US global consultancy Mercer.
Globally, the most expensive city for expat living is Hong Kong. Reflecting the strength of Far eastern economies, Asian cities claimed six out of the top 10 spots.
The ranking of more than 200 countries around the world compared local prices and services, such as accommodation, transport, clothing, household goods and pleasure activities.
On a European level, Brussels sits in 16th place, between Madrid and Frankfurt. European cities have also risen in living costs because of the strength of the euro compared to the dollar. If New York has dropped only four places to 13th position, San Francisco and Los Angeles have fallen 7 and 13 places respectively to 28th and 35th.
Over the past 20 years, some cities have seen a massive hike in living costs, notably Kinshasa (+55%), Bangkok (+34%), Dublin and Seoul (+15%) and Sydney (+14%).
Others have become cheaper, such as Cairo (-45%), Moscow (-37%), Beijing (-34%), Warsaw (-33%) and Tokyo (-26%).
The study is used by multinationals and other organisations to determine salary packages and work conditions for expats.
Photo: Cinquantenaire, EU district (c) Marcel Vanhulst/Visitbrussels