The fine folks at Mercer, a human resources consulting firm, make it an annual habit of ranking the most expensive cities on Earth to live in. The survey for 2012 has finally been completed, and it's a pretty interesting read. The global economy continues to go through some visible changes, as almost none of the cities on the top 10 are in the same position they were in last year.
Americans may be mildly surprised to note that not a single city in the United States appears in the top 10 most expensive cities. In fact, it isn't until slot number 33 that you see New York City, which has dropped one space from its position on the list last year. However, this isn't as bad as it might look at first glance for the United States – as analysis shows that most of the United States cities included in the survey have gone up since this time last year.
The most represented country on the top 10 is Japan, with three cities ranking as one of the ten most expensive in the world. While this means it probably isn't the best time to move to Japan, it also serves as a reminder of shifting economic conditions all over the world. The only other nation with more than one spot on the list is Switzerland, with two.
The annual Mercer Cost of Living survey is based on myriad different economic indicators, such as the cost of housing, transportation, food, clothing, household items, and even entertainment. The survey is designed to help companies determine the level of compensation for expatriate employees, so it's tailored towards the cost of living for people who live in the city from somewhere else, often from overseas.
In any case, it's very interesting to see the top 10 most expensive cities on Earth, so click the gallery below and let your travels begin! Just don't forget to bring plenty of travelers' checks.