These are the 25 most expensive cities for expats, according to HR firm Mercer

Key Points
  • Rankings from Mercer survey
  • Looks at costs for expatriates in cities across the world
An interior view of a model condominium in New York
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Ever wondered how much bang you would get for your buck if you upped sticks and moved to the other side of the world?

An annual cost of living survey from human resources firm Mercer takes a look at which cities are the most expensive for the expat community and just how far your money will get you.

25. Sydney, Australia

Qantas wants non-stop long haul flights to Sydney, Australia.
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Sydney often ranks among the most expensive cities in the world, coming in at 25th out of a total of 209. Beating both Melbourne and Brisbane, you can expect to pay $100.68 for a pair of jeans.

24. Los Angeles, US 

Downtown Los Angeles
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The third most expensive U.S. city to appear in this year's list, life in L.A. requires a pay packet of almost celebrity proportions. Rental of a two bedroom unfurnished flat could set you back $4,040.

23. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

View of Abu Dhabi skyscrapers, United Arab Emirates.
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The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi has undergone serious growth and investment over recent years and, as such, there is a price tag to match as expats look to enjoy its glamorous attractions.

22. San Francisco, US 

San Francisco, California
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Life in San Francisco is expensive. With its proximity to the coast and California's wine regions, it unsurprisingly ranks among the top 10 percent of the 200+ countries studied in Mercer's annual list.

21. Osaka, Japan

Osaka, Japan at night
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Osaka is one of Japan's thriving commercial centers and continues to offer an appealing - if expensive - home for expats.

20. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Dubai, renowned for its modern architecture and brilliant beaches, is a top destination for expats looking to combine business opportunities with varied attractions.

19. Guangzhou, China

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Guangzhou, a port city in the northwest of Hong Kong is the cheapest of five major cities in China - though it remains within the world's 20 most expensive.

18. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Aerial view of Kinshasa western part of the city
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Life in the politically troubled Democratic Republic of the Congo is hard. For expats wanting to move there, it is costly too, with security a considerable expense.

17. Tel Aviv, Israel

Surfers ride the waves on a beach in Tel Aviv, Israel
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Israel's Tel Aviv is the Middle East's most expensive country for expats, having jumped two spots since last year.

16. N'Djamena, Chad

This aerial picture taken on July 16, 2016 shows a general view of Chad capital city N'Djamena
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Life in N'Dhjamena, Chad, is expensive for expats, where average incomes are low and access to Western goods are limited and expensive.

15. Victoria, Seychelles

Buildings and boats are seen near Victoria, the capital city, on the island of Mahe in the Seychelles islands
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Victoria, the Seychelles' capital, has remained consistently expensive over recent years, rising just two places since 2016.

14. Moscow, Russia

A general view is seen of St Basil's Cathedral in Red Square ahead of the IAAF World Championships on August 6, 2013 in Moscow, Russia
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Moscow, renowned for its elaborate architecture, is Russia's most expensive city. Here, a two bedroom unfurnished apartment will cost you $4,4249, though 1 kilogram of white sliced toast is among the cheapest in the ranking, at $3.38.

13. Shenzhen, China

The Shenzhen skyline, inclu
Daniel Berehulak | Getty Images

Shenzen, situated next to the border of Hong Kong, has held fairly steady as one of China's priciest cities, though it dropped down one space this year to be replaced by Tianjin.

12. Tianjin, China

Tianjin, China
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Tianjin, a major port city in northeastern China, has grown significantly over the past year and so too have living costs. In 2016, it ranked in 30th place.

11. Beijing, China

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China's capital Beijing slipped from 10th place this year, though you can still expect to pay $6.62 for a coffee.

10. Bern, Switzerland

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Emerging as one of the world's 10 most expensive cities this year is Switzerland's Bern.

9. New York City, U.S.

One57 building in the skyline of New York City as seen from the Rockefeller Center Observation Deck.
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New York is the U.S.'s most expensive city and, this year, one of the 10 most expensive in the world. Expect to pay $5,058 per month to rent an unfurnished two bedroom flat.

8. Shanghai, China

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Shanghai, along with other Chinese cities, slipped in the rankings this year as the yuan weakened against the U.S. dollar.

7. Geneva, Switzerland

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Geneva is the second most expensive Swiss city and one of the world's 10 most expensive.

6. Seoul, South Korea

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Seoul, South Korea's capital, has raced through the ranks this year to become the sixth most expensive city for expats. In 2016, it was in just 15th place.

5. Singapore

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Prices in Singapore appear to have fallen slightly this year relative to other countries. It drops down from fourth place in 2016 to fifth in 2017.

4. Zurich, Switzerland

Old Town Zurich view of city with St. Peter's Church clock tower and the Limmat River.
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Zurich, a global center for banking and finance, is the most-costly city in Europe and fourth most pricey in the world.

3. Tokyo, Japan

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Japan's capital rose from fifth to third place this year as the value of the yen has continued to appreciate.

2. Hong Kong

Hong Kong
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Hong Kong regularly emerges as the most expensive city in Asia - and indeed the world - though it was pipped to the top spot this year.

Its currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar, which continues to drive up the cost of housing and amenities. Expect to pay around $7.88 for a cup of coffee.

1. Luanda, Angola

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Luanda, Angola's port capital situated on the west coast of southern Africa, usurped Hong Kong's leading position this year to become the world's most expensive city. But it is often cited as one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Having battled through a long civil war, which destroyed much of the country's infrastructure, Angola only gained independence relatively recently, in 2002, and has since struggled to reestablish its position as a major exporter.

As a result, around half the country live in poverty while the more affluent citizens pay inflated prices for imported goods and security. Expats can expect to be set back $6,065.67 per month to rent a two bedroom unfurnished apartment of international standards.