What living abroad will cost you in these 13 cities

Moving to another city is an exciting step. A new culture, new cuisine, new language and a whole new world of opportunities greet you. But how do different cities around the globe compare to one another in terms of cost?

To calculate how much a family with kids would spend during one month abroad, we chose 13 global cities and rounded up local "basic expenses"(food, household goods and clothing) and local "expat extras" such as rent in a two-bedroom furnished apartment, tuition for international school for the children, household help twice a month and a language course.

The result? If you can't afford the hefty price tags of Dubai or Geneva (USD 6,000 cost per month) and are surprised by the high cost of Frankfurt (USD 5,315.26), pack your bags for Bangkok or Buenos Aires!

Read our ranking, from the most expensive city to the most affordable (all figures in US dollars).

1. Geneva

2,099.30Basic expenses
4,227.43Expat extras

Basic costs are the highest of any city on our list, and accommodation is especially expensive (2397.80 per month).

2. Brussels

1,431.18Basic expenses
4,728.04Expat extras

Accommodation is significantly cheaper in the Belgian capital than in Geneva, but school fees (2,356.76 per month) and the cost of language courses (678.43 per month) can add up.

3. Dubai

1,311.10Basic expenses
4,545.89Expat extras

As in Geneva, the biggest expenditure here is for accommodation (2,745.60 per month).

4. Frankfurt

1,172.95Basic expenses
4,142.30Expat extras

Accommodation is more affordable than in all previous cities, but international school fees can reach 1,756.71 a month.

5. Hong Kong

1,451.46Basic expenses
3,854.66Expat extras

Accommodation expenses here exceed those of all other cities on our list (2,867.54).

6. Amsterdam

1,302.73Basic expenses
3,882.89Expat extras

High accommodation costs (1,751.57) and international school fees (1,339.72).

7. Toronto

1,443.17Basic expenses
3,634.12Expat extras

Pricy international school fees (2,036.99).

8. Sydney

1,792.15Basic expenses
2,986.97Expat extras

High basic expenditures (behind only Geneva) and significant accommodation cost (1,957.64).

9. Santiago de Chile

1,232.55Basic expenses
2,728.01Expat extras

Very low accommodation cost (685.78).

10. Bangkok

1,480.25Basic expenses
1,963.26Expat extras

Low accommodation costs (842.41).

11. Buenos Aires

1,125.16Basic expenses
2,105.74Expat extras

Low accommodation (674.10) and basic costs.

12. Jakarta

1,121.16Basic expenses
1,864.62Expat extras

The accommodation carries a 1,167.37 price tag but the international school is very affordable.

13. Mumbai

1,098.38Basic expenses
1,240.07Expat extras

As in Santiago de Chile, accommodation here is very cheap at USD 658.71 and basic costs are even cheaper.

Cost of living as an expat


Note: The cost of a basket is based on the average consumption of a family with 1-2 children.

Next Story
Bucks for beans: coffee prices from São Paulo to Shanghai
Read the story