The Financial Times announced on June 17 (local time) that Seoul ranked eighth this year on the list of the cities in which foreigners have to spend the most to live in, climbing six notches from a year ago. The rankings are based on American consulting firm Mercer’s recent survey. Seoul had ranked second in 2006 and 51st in 2009 on the list.
In the meantime, Tokyo, which used to top the list for a while, took 11th place this year, owing to the weak yen. It had come in third and seventh in 2013 and last year, respectively.
This year’s top is Luanda, the capital city of Angola, as last year. It was followed by Hong Kong, Zurich, Singapore, Geneva, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Bern. Moscow slid from ninth to 50th due to the depreciation of the ruble. New York took 16th place in 2014, and this year LA jumped from 62nd to 36th. London remained in 12th place.
“The foreign exchange rate factor had a particularly significant effect on this year’s list,” the consulting firm explained. Mercer calculates the living expenses based on 200 items and services including hamburgers and movie tickets, and the fluctuations of the U.S. dollar have an important effect on the calculation, because New York is the reference city.