Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires Most Expensive Cities in Latin America

The Brazilian city -- ranked the 27th most expensive in the world -- is followed by Argentinean capital Buenos Aires, ranked 40th on the report.

Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is the most expensive city to live in South America and ranked 27 in the world, according to HR consultancy firm Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey.

The Brazilian city — ranked the 27th most expensive in the world — is followed by Argentinean capital Buenos Aires, ranked 40th on the report.

“Inflationary concerns continued to cause some South American cities to rise in the ranking, whereas the weakening of the local currencies in some of the region’s cities caused them to drop,” says Nathalie Constantin-Métral, Principal at Mercer.

The index is designed to help employers estimate the cost of living in a foreign city before deploying their employees there.

In each city it surveyed, Mercer measured the comparative cost of more than 200 items, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

The consultancy firm says it used New York City as the base city and held it in contrast with all other cities. In addition, it measured all other currencies against the US dollar.

Other cities in South America that rose on the list of costliest cities for expatriates include Santiago, Chile (67) and Montevideo, Uruguay (65), Lima, Peru (104), and Havana, Cuba (151).

Considering the report, living costs in Costa Rica are sliding by the year. Its capital, San Jose, is the least expensive when compared to New York City, ranked 9th on the index. Another American city with high housing costs is San Francisco, ranked 22nd.

Meanwhile, Vancouver (107) has overtaken Toronto (119) to become the most expensive Canadian city in the ranking, followed by Montreal (129) and Calgary (143).

“The Canadian dollar has appreciated in value, triggering the major jumps in this year’s ranking,” explained Constantin-Métral.

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