Top Ten Most Expensive Expat Countries Revealed
New research from an online visa application help website has revealed the top ten most expensive places for expats to live, when compared against the costs of living in the UK. According to the results, expats in Japan claimed to find the cost of living the highest; followed by those in Switzerland.
Japan, Switzerland and Norway have topped the list of countries where expats find living costs much higher than costs in the UK; after a poll established feedback from expats currently living abroad.
The study, conducted by www.IXPVisas.com
, polled 2,112 UK expats living in countries all over the world as part of ongoing research into expatriate lifestyles.
The study initially asked respondents, ‘Do you find yourself financially comfortable in your life abroad?’ to which 31% said that ‘yes’ they did. 46% said that they were ‘reasonably comfortable’, whilst 23% said that they ‘struggled financially’.
Respondents were then asked, ‘Do you think that living costs in your current country of residence compare favourably to the UK?’ to which 37% of all respondents said that ‘yes’ they did. 42% said that it was ‘relative to income’ and so ‘couldn’t compare directly’; whilst 27% believed that ‘no’ it didn’t.
The study then looked deeper at this as respondents were asked more specific questions surrounding their living costs and whether or not they were more costly than those in the UK. The study asked respondents about whether certain expenses such as rent, food, utilities, fuel and grocery bills, when compared to living costs in the UK, were ‘much higher,’ ‘higher’, ‘the same’, ‘lower’ or ‘much lower’. Based on the collective feedback of respondents, a top ten of countries emerged where the majority of costs were higher than that of the UK.
The top ten most expensive countries, according to expats, were as follows:
1. Japan (72% of expats in Japan claimed living costs were ‘much higher’ or ‘higher’ than in the UK)
2. Switzerland- 67%
3. Norway- 65%
4. Singapore- 63%
5. Hong Kong (China)- 62%
6. Australia- 60%
7. France- 58%
8. Angola- 58%
9. Russia- 55%
10. Brazil- 50%
The study then asked respondents who claimed to ‘struggle financially’ living abroad, ‘Despite financial difficulty, do you still enjoy living abroad?’ to which the majority, 69% said that ‘yes’ they did. When asked why, 48% said it was because living in a different culture was ‘so rewarding’. 33% appreciated the ‘opportunity to see a different part of the world’. A further 29% felt that ‘living was expensive everywhere’ and relative to circumstance.
Liam Clifford of IXPVisas.com made the following comment:
“Living costs vary tremendously from country to country. What may seem like a large wage in one country, goes nowhere near as far in another. Demand effects prices. Expat communities often see the costs of certain items go through the roof. Luanda, the capital of Angola, is a prime example of this. The cost of a cheese burger, something that would be considered relatively cheap here, is eye wateringly high for the expat community. The term relative is important though, as living costs are relative to circumstance. Expats are generally on a much higher wage than locals, hence the discrepancy. Goods are at the price they are because that’s what consumers are willing or able to pay.”