Survey results for Amsterdam

To compile the list for 2014, Mercer looked at the costs for accommodation, transport, food, clothes, household supplies and entertainment in 211 cities. New York City is used as the base city for the index and currency movements are measured against the dollar. The annual list is used to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowance for their expatriate employees.

African cities top the ranking

Luanda in Angola is the world’s most expensive city for the second year in a row, followed by N’Djamena, Chad. Four European cities remain in the top 10 list of most expensive cities. Zurich (5) is the most costly European city on the list, followed by Geneva (6) and Bern (8). Amsterdam moved up 13 spots and now ranks 39th, meaning it is still significantly cheaper to live here than in Paris (27), London (12) or Rome (31).

Quality of life

Naturally, Amsterdam has more to offer than just a low cost of living. It is also regarded as one of the most pleasant cities to live in, combining the advantages of being a cosmopolitan capital with a compact, easy-to-navigate size. With its blend of historical beauty, upbeat new districts, cultural attractions and first-class modern business facilities, it is no surprise that once they’ve come here for work, many expats find it hard to leave.