The World's Most Expensive Places To Live 2011


1. Luanda, Angola
The most expensive city in the world this year is Luanda, the capital and largest city of Angola. Mercer’s Constantin-Métral noted, “Finding good and secure accommodation for expatriate employees is a real challenge in most of the African cities, and costs can be significant compared to other regions. Accommodation prices are currently at record levels in cities like Luanda, and this is generally the main reason why we find so many African cities high up in the ranking.”

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $7,000
Cup of Coffee: $3.99
One Gallon Gasoline: $2.23
Daily International Newspaper: $4.78
Fast Food Meal: $20.38

The World's Most Expensive Places To Live 2011


2. Tokyo, Japan
The most expensive city in Asia is Tokyo, which maintained its second-place position from 2010. As the capital of the country and its most important economic center, Tokyo is a highly desirable and highly priced center for expatriates.

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $4,842
Cup of Coffee: $7.63
One Gallon Gasoline: $6.39
Daily International Newspaper: $6.05
Fast Food Meal: $7.87

The World's Most Expensive Places To Live 2011


3. N’Djamena, Chad
Ranking third this year is the capital and largest city of Chad, N’Djamena. The city has been mired in unrest and violent conflict, but remains the economic center of the country. Ed Hannbial points out that the cost of living list is based upon taste preferences of expatriates, including the types of brands purchased and satisfactory housing required. In a place like N’Djamena, not only is the availability of these products limited, but appropriate accommodations are also scarce.

Companies must take into account the personal security of their employees when choosing accommodations, which contributes significantly to costs by limiting the available areas in which they can live. N’Djamena is a city where this concern is particularly relevant.

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: N/A
Cup of Coffee: $3.12
One Gallon Gasoline: $5.60
Daily International Newspaper: $7.07
Fast Food Meal: $26.00

The World's Most Expensive Places To Live 2011


4. Moscow, Russia
Coming in as the most expensive European city on the list, Moscow has maintained its fourth-place ranking this year. Mercer’s Ed Hannibal points out that Moscow still remains a destination for international business, which is a major factor in the demand for luxury housing.

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $4,000
Cup of Coffee: $8.54
One Gallon Gasoline: $3.56
Daily International Newspaper: $9.97
Fast Food Meal: $5.94

Merry Xmas!!!


The World's Most Expensive Places To Live 2011


5. Geneva, Switzerland
Although it is only the second-most populous city in Switzerland, Geneva is the most expensive metropolitan area in the country and the second most expensive city in Europe. Like Zurich, Geneva has also experienced a heightened cost of living as a result of the Swiss franc’s appreciation in value.

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom:: $4,523
Cup of Coffee: $6.31
One Gallon Gasoline: $6.96
Daily International Newspaper: $4.21
Fast Food Meal: $11.89

The World's Most Expensive Places To Live 2011


6. Osaka, Japan
Osaka has historically been an important center of commerce for Japan. During the daytime hours an estimated 1.1 million people enter the city for work, significantly increasing the number of consumers within the city limits, according to the Japanese Statistics Bureau. As a highly populated economic center in a densely populated country, Osaka has followed the trend of many Asian cities with limited accommodations and high expatriate demand, says Mercer.

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $2,905
Cup of Coffee: $6.66
One Gallon Gasoline: $6.40
Daily International Newspaper: $6.05
Fast Food Meal: $7.87

The World's Most Expensive Places To Live 2011


7. Zurich, Switzerland
Although by international standards, Zurich is one of the most expensive cities in the world, it is only the second most expensive city in the country, although it rose one spot in the rankings from 2010. In the past year, the Swiss franc has increased in value compared to the U.S. dollar from around 94 cents in 2010 to almost $1.20 today, making it considerably more expensive for expatriates to relocate.

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $3,471
Cup of Coffee: $5.79
One Gallon Gasoline: $6.85
Daily International Newspaper: $4.21
Fast Food Meal: $11.89

The World's Most Expensive Places To Live 2011


8. Singapore
Internationally known as both a major financial center and an extremely expensive place to live, Singapore ranks eighth in 2011, up from 11th in 2010. As in most Asian financial centers, Singapore remains in high demand for expatriates, pushing up housing costs and overall cost of living in the city.

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $3,289
Cup of Coffee: $5.37
One Gallon Gasoline: $5.94
Daily International Newspaper: $3.13
Fast Food Meal: $5.37

The World's Most Expensive Places To Live 2011


9. Hong Kong
One of the most densely populated areas in the world, Hong Kong is also one of the most expensive. “Large numbers of expatriates are going to work there,” says Mercer’s Ed Hannibal, who notes that significant demand for housing in Asian cities such as Hong Kong is a major contributing factor to the high cost of living.

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: $5,776
Cup of Coffee: $6.80
One Gallon Gasoline: $7.57
Daily International Newspaper: $3.59
Fast Food Meal: $3.52

The World's Most Expensive Places To Live 2011


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

Cool Sports!


Heli-Skiing
For some skiers, tearing up the expert slopes in Aspen simply doesn’t offer the kind of high-stakes thrills they crave. For them, the only type of skiing that satisfies is heli-skiing, which involves being flown by helicopter to high mountain summits and negotiating untouched, virgin snow at top speed.

Whistler Heli-Skiing , a company based in British Columbia, offers helicopter access to mountaintops for prices ranging from $815 to $1,150 per person. Skiers should be advised, however, that it’s not just the skiing that’s dangerous. Frank Wells, the one-time Walt Disney CEO, died during a 1994 heli-skiing trip when his helicopter crashed.

Cool Sports!


BASE Jumping
BASE jumping isn’t just dangerous, in some parts of the world it’s illegal. BASE is short for Buildings, Antennas, Spans and Earth, all of which serve as platforms for jumpers and all of which have an altitude of 2,000 feet or less.

Someone jumping from 2,000 feet has mere seconds before a fatal collision with the ground, barely enough time to deploy a parachute — and therein lies the thrill.

The parachute that’s designed specifically for BASE jumping has a larger pilot chute than the one used in traditional skydiving. It costs between $1,200 and $1,500 .

Cool Sports!


High-Altitude Climbing
High-altitude climbing is a very expensive pursuit, thanks almost entirely to the cost of the equipment and services needed to keep a climber alive. These costs increase along with the altitude, so climbers attempting to ascend Mount Everest can potentially spend six digit figures to reach its summit, according to WhatItCosts.com . Fees include $30,000 for oxygen canisters, $25,000 for a lead guide, $10,000 to $15,000 each for two assistant guides, and $7,500 for the gear-hauling services of yaks. There is also such equipment as glacier glasses and sleeping bags rated to at least minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, all of which can cost between $8,000 and $15,000.

These are only a few of the charges and while they’re steep, you simply can’t skimp on them. Those who have chosen to climb on the cheap and forego some of these expenses have paid with their lives. Indeed, mountaineer Jon Krakauer, who was part of a failed 1996 expedition that killed five of his fellow climbers, said in his 1997 book “Into Thin Air” that climbing Everest is a decision frequently made by people who may not have thought it through. “Attempting to climb Everest is an intrinsically irrational act — a triumph of desire over sensibility,” wrote Krakauer. “Any person who would seriously consider it is almost by definition beyond the sway of reasoned argument.”

Cool Sports!


High-Altitude Climbing
High-altitude climbing is a very expensive pursuit, thanks almost entirely to the cost of the equipment and services needed to keep a climber alive. These costs increase along with the altitude, so climbers attempting to ascend Mount Everest can potentially spend six digit figures to reach its summit, according to WhatItCosts.com . Fees include $30,000 for oxygen canisters, $25,000 for a lead guide, $10,000 to $15,000 each for two assistant guides, and $7,500 for the gear-hauling services of yaks. There is also such equipment as glacier glasses and sleeping bags rated to at least minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, all of which can cost between $8,000 and $15,000.

These are only a few of the charges and while they’re steep, you simply can’t skimp on them. Those who have chosen to climb on the cheap and forego some of these expenses have paid with their lives. Indeed, mountaineer Jon Krakauer, who was part of a failed 1996 expedition that killed five of his fellow climbers, said in his 1997 book “Into Thin Air” that climbing Everest is a decision frequently made by people who may not have thought it through. “Attempting to climb Everest is an intrinsically irrational act — a triumph of desire over sensibility,” wrote Krakauer. “Any person who would seriously consider it is almost by definition beyond the sway of reasoned argument.”