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Cost of living and quality of life in international financial centres

03 August 2012

​Special interest paper

Download Cost of living and quality of life in international financial centres (1.44mb)

In an age of increased globalisation, highly skilled people are more mobile than ever before.

This report, produced for the City of London by Mercer, provides a snapshot of what life is like for an expatriate choosing to locate in different leading financial centres around the world. Mercer has drawn on its range of extensive survey data to give an overview of some of these influencing factors, looking at aspects such as cost of living for major expenditure items, including housing, groceries, goods and services. The report notes the visa regulations governing working in different locations and has provided brief commentaries around quality of life issues such as residential locations, schooling and health.

Each city chapter also provides a calculation of take home pay after tax for a nominal salary of £100,000, which allows for ready percentage comparisons, for those with and without dependents. This combination of financial and cost of living data highlights the importance of not just considering headline tax figures in isolation, but within a wider picture of the services and facilities provided and available in different locations.

The purpose of this report is to provide a better understanding of life in different financial centres around the world, recognising the importance of a whole range of factors. No comparisons are made between centres – each city has a different offer and many strengths, as would be expected from the world’s major cities.

03 August 2012
Last Modified:
09 August 2018