Wednesday, October 23, 2019

San Juan, Puerto Rico ranked 72 worldwide in Mercer Cost of Living Survey

By on June 27, 2019

Jumps 23 spots, becoming more expensive than Frankfurt

SAN JUAN — Although the main finding of the 25th annual Cost of Living Survey by benefits consulting firm Mercer was that several cities in Asia are the most expensive for U.S. employees working abroad, also noteworthy is that San Juan, Puerto Rico, rose 23 spots from last year, making it the 72nd costliest worldwide.

Governments and major companies use data from the survey to determine pay for employees when transferred abroad. New York is used as the base city for comparisons.

The survey includes more than 500 cities, with this year’s ranking including 209 cities and measuring the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Mercer is a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Cos., a professional services firm, and provides advice and data on worker compensation globally.

Explaining that mobility programs have become a “core component of multinational organizations’ global talent strategy,” Mercer said that according to its 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 65% of employers are using the programs to enhance their workforce strategies.

Its 2019 Cost of Living Survey to help employers make decisions about their employees working abroad found that “a number of factors, including currency fluctuations, cost of inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices, contribute to the overall cost” of compensation packages for international assignments.

The survey found that eight out of the top 10 of the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates are Asian. Tokyo (2), Singapore (3) and Seoul (4) top the list, while the costliest city in the world for the second consecutive year is Hong Kong (1). Other cities in the top 10 are Zurich (5), Shanghai (6), Ashgabat (7), Beijing (8), New York (9), and Shenzhen (10).

U.S. cities “climbed in the ranking due to the strength of the US dollar against other major currencies as well as the significant drop of cities in other regions. New York jumped four places to rank 9, the highest-ranked city in the region. San Francisco (16) and Los Angeles (18) climbed twelve and seventeen places, respectively, while Chicago (37) jumped fourteen places. Among other major US cities, Washington, DC (42) is up fourteen places, Miami (44) is up sixteen places and Boston (49) is up twenty-one spots. Portland (107) and Winston Salem, North Carolina (138) remain the least expensive US cities surveyed for expatriates,” a release on the survey reads.

Mercer includes San Juan (72), which jumped 23 spots from March last year, in its Central and South America region, becoming the second-most expensive, only surpassed by Montevideo, Uruguay, (70).

“Other cities in South America that climbed on the list of costliest cities for expatriates include Panama City (93), San José (131), and Havana (133) rising twenty-one, ten, and twenty-two spots, respectively,” Mercer said.

Found third most expensive in the region was Santiago, Chile (79), followed by Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago (83); and São Paolo, Brazil (86), which dropped 28 spots from last year.

Mercer Cost of Living Survey – Worldwide Rankings 2019

(Mercer international basket, including rental accommodation costs)

Mercer Cost of Living Survey – Worldwide Rankings 2019
(Mercer international basket, including rental accommodation costs)
Rank as of March

CityCountry/Region
20182019
11HONG KONGHong Kong (SAR)
22TOKYOJapan
43SINGAPORESingapore
54SEOULSouth Korea
35ZURICHSwitzerland
76SHANGHAIChina
437ASHGABATTurkmenistan
98BEIJINGChina
139NEW YORK CITYUnited States
1210SHENZHENChina
811NDJAMENAChad
1012BERNSwitzerland
1113GENEVASwitzerland
2114VICTORIASeychelles
1615TEL AVIVIsrael
2816SAN FRANCISCOUnited States
1517GUANGZHOUChina
3518LOS ANGELESUnited States
2319OSAKAJapan
1420COPENHAGENDenmark
2621DUBAIUnited Arab Emirates
3722KINSHASADem. Rep. of the Congo
1923LONDONUnited Kingdom
1824LIBREVILLEGabon
4225LAGOSNigeria
626LUANDAAngola
1727MOSCOWRussia
2527NANJINGChina
2229NOUMEANew Caledonia
2430ABIDJANCôte d’Ivoire
3130CHENGDUChina
2932TIANJINChina
4033ABU DHABIUnited Arab Emirates
4133NAGOYAJapan
2735TAIPEITaiwan
4535RIYADHSaudi Arabia
5137CHICAGOUnited States
5438HONOLULUUnited States
1939BRAZZAVILLECongo
5240BANGKOKThailand
3641QINGDAOChina
5642WASHINGTONUnited States
3243DUBLINIreland
6044MIAMIUnited States
3345MILANItaly
3845SHENYANGChina
3447PARISFrance
6647DHAKABangladesh
7049BOSTONUnited States
2950SYDNEYAustralia
3951VIENNAAustria
4352YAOUNDECameroon
6553BEIRUTLebanon
4854BANGUICentral African Republic
4655ROMEItaly
7956WHITE PLAINSUnited States
7757MANAMABahrain
5058AMSTERDAMNetherlands
7359DJIBOUTIDjibouti
8659HOUSTONUnited States
4761OSLONorway
8562DALLASUnited States
6363ACCRAGhana
9064SEATTLEUnited States
5365HELSINKIFinland
7366DOUALACameroon
5567MUMBAIIndia
5767MUNICHGermany
9569ATLANTAUnited States
7570MONTEVIDEOUruguay
9770MORRISTOWNUnited States
6272DAKARSenegal
9572SAN JUANPuerto Rico
6874FRANKFURTGermany
4975ST. PETERSBURGRussia
9475AMMANJordan
6777BRUSSELSBelgium
10278MINNEAPOLISUnited States
5879MELBOURNEAustralia
6979SANTIAGOChile
7181BERLINGermany
6482MADRIDSpain
9783PORT OF SPAINTrinidad & Tobago
7184LUXEMBOURGLuxembourg
9985ABUJANigeria
5886SAO PAULOBrazil
6187PERTHAustralia
10688CONAKRYGuinea
8189AUCKLANDNew Zealand
11690DETROITUnited States
7991BARCELONASpain
8292DUSSELDORFGermany
11493PANAMA CITYPanama
12294ST. LOUISUnited States
9395LISBONPortugal
7796CANBERRAAustralia
8397PRAGUECzech Republic
12397NAIROBIKenya
12597PITTSBURGHUnited States
88100HAMBURGGermany
117100JEDDAHSaudi Arabia
106102BANDAR SERI BEGAWANBrunei
84103BRISBANEAustralia
117103MUSCATOman
117105JAKARTAIndonesia
125106CLEVELANDUnited States
130107PORTLANDUnited States
142108PHNOM PENHCambodia
87109ADELAIDEAustralia
138109MANILAPhilippines
92111RIGALatvia
109112VANCOUVERCanada
137112HANOIVietnam
101114WELLINGTONNew Zealand
109115TORONTOCanada
115115DOHAQatar
91117YANGONMyanmar
103118NEW DELHIIndia
121119KUWAIT CITYKuwait
124120HO CHI MINH CITYVietnam
99121RIO DE JANEIROBrazil
132121LIMAPeru
105123LYONFrance
120124BAMAKOMali
104125POINTE A PITREGuadeloupe
108126STUTTGARTGermany
89127STOCKHOLMSweden
111128COTONOUBenin
112128ATHENSGreece
128128CASABLANCAMorocco
113131BRATISLAVASlovakia
141131SAN JOSECosta Rica
76133BUENOS AIRESArgentina
165133HAVANACuba
128135BIRMINGHAMUnited Kingdom
130136GUATEMALA CITYGuatemala
134137ABERDEENUnited Kingdom
161138WINSTON SALEMUnited States
147139MONTREALCanada
140140TALLINNEstonia
145141KUALA LUMPURMalaysia
132142LJUBLJANASlovenia
138143ZAGREBCroatia
157144MEXICO CITYMexico
134145LOMETogo
134145OUAGADOUGOUBurkina Faso
148145GLASGOWUnited Kingdom
156148QUITOEcuador
143149NIAMEYNiger
173150KIEVUkraine
145151NUREMBERGGermany
148152VILNIUSLithuania
154153CALGARYCanada
144154CHENNAIIndia
163154ISTANBULTurkey
150156LEIPZIGGermany
164157KINGSTONJamaica
152158BELFASTUnited Kingdom
179159MAPUTOMozambique
165160RABATMorocco
153161LIMASSOLCyprus
160161OTTAWACanada
161161PORT LOUISMauritius
151164BUDAPESTHungary
125165PORT AU PRINCEHaiti
172166TIRANAAlbania
174166SAN SALVADOREl Salvador
188166CAIROEgypt
178169SANTO DOMINGODominican Republic
168170BOGOTAColombia
180171DAR ES SALAAMTanzania
183171ADDIS ABABAEthiopia
154173WARSAWPoland
158174BRASILIABrazil
169175KIGALIRwanda
176176BUCHARESTRomania
175177SOFIABulgaria
186178BAKUAzerbaijan
170179BENGALURUIndia
170180CAPE TOWNSouth Africa
181181BELGRADESerbia
158182COLOMBOSri Lanka
192183KAMPALAUganda
195184ALGIERSAlgeria
177185JOHANNESBURGSouth Africa
183186ASUNCIONParaguay
193187MONTERREYMexico
165188HARAREZimbabwe
182189KOLKATAIndia
189189GABORONEBotswana
187191ALMATYKazakhstan
194192NOUAKCHOTTMauritania
204193BLANTYREMalawi
191194SARAJEVOBosnia and Herzegovina
199195LA PAZBolivia
185196LUSAKAZambia
198197YEREVANArmenia
202198MINSKBelarus
201199TEGUCIGALPAHonduras
200200MANAGUANicaragua
197201SKOPJEMacedonia
203202TBILISIGeorgia
190203ISLAMABADPakistan
196204WINDHOEKNamibia
206204BANJULGambia
207206BISHKEKKyrgyzstan
205207KARACHIPakistan
209208TASHKENTUzbekistan
208209TUNISTunisia

Source: Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey

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