Expat life in Stockholm getting cheaper

The cost of living in Stockholm for expatriates has fallen dramatically, according to an international study.

The survey, by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, showed that Stockholm was now the 36th most expensive city in the world for expatriates to live in. Last year’s survey put the Swedish capital in 18th place.

Much of the change was due to the strengthening of the dollar, which made European cities cheaper for American expats.

Stockholm’s Scandinavian neighbours proved to be much more expensive, and had not moved significantly since last year’s survey. Copenhagen was eighth in the table, Oslo tenth, and Helsinki 25th.

The study looked at 144 cities on six continents and measured the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

“The survey shows that it is cheaper for expatriates, particularly from US-based companies, to come to Sweden,” said Anna Krotova, spokeswoman for Mercer.

The most expensive city in the world was Moscow, with London the most expensive city in the European Union.

The survey looked among other things at the typical cost of an expatriate’s basket of groceries.

“There can be a big difference in some countries between the cost of an expatriate’s grocery basket and that of most other people living in the same country,” explained Anna Krotova at Mercer.

“This is particularly true in places such as Moscow, which was found to be the most expensive place to live,” she added.

Stockholm also did well in the report in terms of quality of life, coming 20th.

The Mercer report is used by major companies set pay and conditions for staff working abroad.

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Photo: Louise Bilgert/ imagebank.sweden.se