You Should Be Glad You Are an Expat in Mexico


Mercer, the world’s largest human resources consulting firm, just came out with its annual cost-of-living survey and the results should make an expat in Mexico feel pretty darn good.

The company is one of the largest providers of cost-of-living data on the planet, annually researching the top 200 most expensive places in the world for expats to live. Although the study is geared toward corporate expats and is used as a basis for determining compensation, its results are always interesting, just in case you get an itch to move to another country.

The 10 most expensive cities for expats in the world are:

1. Hong Kong

2. Tokyo

3. Zurich

4. Singapore

5. Seoul

6. Luanda, Angola

7. Shanghai

8. Ndjamena, Chad (who knew?)

9. Beijing

10. Bern, Switzerland

Two American cities, New York and San Francisco, came in at 13th and 28th, respectively.

But here’s the good news: Out of 200 cities studied, Mexico City ranked 157th and Monterrey, another corporate expat magnet, was way down the list at 193.

The cheapest place to live was Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which was last out of 200 cities. Other less expensive hot spots were Tunis, Tunisia; Bishkek, Kyrgystan; Banjul, Gambia; Karachi, Pakistan; Blantyre, Malawi; Tbilisi, Georgia; Minsk, Belarus; Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and, Managua, Nicaragua, although I’m betting few of you are pining to move to those places.

Mercer also shared a few consumer spending tidbits in their study.

If you and your date want to take in a movie in London, be prepared to spend almost US$50 for tickets. That pair of blue jeans you buy each year? Over US$150 in Moscow. A cup of coffee will set you back over US$10 a cup in Seoul. How about taking the kids out for a hamburger at the local fast food joint? In Zurich, it will cost nearly US$60 for a family of four. And, although gas prices in Mexico have jumped considerably, try filling up in Hong Kong where a gallon of gas runs around US$8.

It’s good now and then to see how expats live in other cities of the world. Aren’t you glad you chose Mexico?

For all of you Americans, Happy 4th of July!

Founder and co-owner of Expats In Mexico with his wife Felice, Bob blogs, edits and writes content that covers a wide variety of topics of interest to expats living in Mexico and aspiring expats who are planning a move to the country. Email: