Dublin improves position in cost of living ranking for visitors

Zurich was named Europe’s most expensive city for expatriates on international assignments this year

Dublin’s place in a global cost of living table for visitors has improved slightly since last year as it benefited from positive currency fluctuations.

The ranking from Mercer is aimed at costs for expatriates and is compiled to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation strategies for their international assignees.

This year’s ranking includes 227 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Zurich was named Europe’s most expensive city for expatriates on international assignments this year, dropping one place to third.


Singapore moved up six places in the rankings, displacing Zurich from the number two spot. Hong Kong retained its top spot from the 2022 Mercer index.

Dublin was ranked 51st, two places lower than last year when it was 49th.

Mercer Ireland senior consultant Noel O’Connor said the weakened euro against the dollar “again influenced Dublin’s ranking in 2023″.

“High demand in the private rental market, often the biggest cost for companies placing employees on assignment, along with utility costs, present challenges for employers of international assignees,” he said.

“Overall, however, Dublin continues to remain an attractive location for expatriates when they elect to go on assignment.”

The Irish capital is less expensive than many European counterparts such as Copenhagen (9), London (17), Amsterdam (28) and Paris (35), but more expensive than other European cities including Luxembourg (58), Rome (59), Oslo (60) and Hamburg (62).

The report noted that key factors that shaped the world’s economy in 2022 continued to exert an influence.

More than a year after the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the emergence of more Covid-19 variants, many economies are still reeling from the effects of these events.

Aggressive monetary policies and tightening financial conditions are likely to slow income growth and raise unemployment in many economies this year. Debt levels remain high in many countries and core inflation is yet to peak in many markets.

Inflation and exchange rate fluctuations are also directly affecting the pay and savings of internationally mobile employees.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter