Oslo tops the list of Europe's most expensive locations for expats, followed by Stavanger and Zurich, the latest cost of living survey shows.

But in Sweden, where the Krona currency has weakened, there are no longer any locations in the top 30 of the list compiled by ECA International, a provider of knowledge, information and technology for the management and assignment of employees around the world.


Kiev in the Ukraine is the region's cheapest location at 257th globally, falling more than 60 spots in the ranking. Despite prices having risen significantly over the 12 months between surveys the country’s currency continues to depreciate and the civil war has not helped.

ECA carries out two main cost of living surveys per year to help companies calculate cost of living allowances so that their employees' spending power is not compromised while on international assignment.

The surveys compare a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by assignees in over 440 locations worldwide. Living costs are affected by inflation, availability of goods and exchange rates, all of which can have a significant impact on assignee remuneration packages.

Indeed, certain living costs, such as accommodation rental, utilities, car purchases and school fees are usually covered by separate allowances. Data for these costs are collected separately and are not included in ECA’s cost of living basket.

Elsewhere in the region, despite Russia banning food imports, Moscow has fallen in the global ranking from 12th to 17th place. The Rouble’s ongoing significant depreciation is likely to result in the cost of living for expats in the city falling even further.

However, depending on political and economic policies adopted, it could well prompt further price increases that partially counterbalance the impact of these currency fluctuations.

Conversely, UK locations have become more expensive for many expats over the past year. Although prices for items in ECA’s basket have increased more slowly over the past 12 months, the Pound has remained strong gaining particularly against the Euro and the US Dollar. Central London now ranks 52nd globally, up from 68th position a year ago.

In many parts of the Eurozone, inflation has fallen over the year and deflation has become an ongoing cause of concern. This, coupled with the relative weakness of the Euro, has contributed to nearly all locations surveyed in the region to fall in the rankings.