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10. Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo, in southeastern Brazil, leapt 11 spots from 2010, finding itself in the top 10 for the first time. Rio de Janeiro was another Brazilian city to shoot up in the rankings this year, climbing 17 spots to number 12.

“Overall, exchange rates in South America remain relatively stable, with the exception of local currencies in Brazil, Chile, and Costa Rica, which have all strengthened significantly against the U.S. dollar, causing the region’s cities to rise in the ranking,” according to Ed Hannibal, Partner and Leader of Mercer's Global Mobility business for North America.

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $2,397
Cup of Coffee: $1.92
One Gallon Gasoline: $6.32
Daily International Newspaper: $9.59
Fast Food Meal: $8.99

Photo: Ary Diesendruck | Stone | Getty Images