"Mercer's Cost of Living rankings are released annually and measure the comparative cost of living for expatriates in 214 major cities. We compare the cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. We use New York City as the base city for the rankings and the US dollar as the base currency.
Two main factors determine a city's position in Mercer's Cost of Living rankings:
The below infographic is not in order but is a sampling of the different cities. The top 50 most expensive cities can be seen here.1. the relative strength of the relevant currency against the US dollar in the 12 months between ranking (March 2011 to March 2012 in this case); and
2. price movements over the 12 month-period compared to those in New York City as the base."
(hover over and click enlarge to make bigger. Or click here if does not work)