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Sources for cost of livings reports and comparisons

On this page you can find information about sources of information on cost of living reports, which you can use to help make decisions on salary levels when recruiting from overseas, evaluate overseas job opportunities or produce estimates for the cost of overseas relocation.

Sources available from the ICAEW Library & Information Service

The Library & Information Service can provide a range of information that can help you assess the cost of living in specific countries or to enable you compare costs between countries.

Cost of living reports

The Library & Information Service Cost of Living Reports allow you to compare the cost of living in two cities using a basic package of 24 items, ranging from the cost of residential apartments to salary levels, or a bespoke package of over 300 items. To find out more about this service, see our Cost of living reports page.

Knowledge guide

The Library & Information Service produces the Knowledge guide to the Consumer Price Index which covers the Retail Price Index (RPI), the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and selected international equivalents (which lists sources for European figures to contrast with those released in the UK).

Other sources of information

There are a number of surveys from organisations which provide comparative information on cost-of-living. The CityMayors website provides useful summaries of the latest surveys from a range of organisations.

Prices and Earnings (UBS)

UBS Wealth Management produce an annual report called 'Prices and Earnings' which aims to provide a comparison of purchasing power around the globe. The research behind the report uses a standardised basket of 122 goods and services to compare living costs across the globe. The report is arranged into two key sections, price comparison and wage comparison, with additional analysis.

The latest report is available to download from the Research section of the UBS Wealth Management website.

Worldwide Cost of Living Survey (Mercer)

Mercer's Cost of Living Survey is published twice a year and is available to purchase through their website. The Global cost of living reports homepage includes the press release for the latest survey and the option to download a free copy of the top 50 rankings.

Mercer also produce a Quality of living survey and a range of global mobility topics.

Worldwide Cost of Living (EIU)

The Economist Intelligence Unit produces the EIU worldwide cost of living index which is available to subscribers and pay-per-view customers.


Numbeo is a collaborative online database which enables users to share and compare information about the cost of living between countries and cities. As a user edited environment you should be aware that the accuracy and comparability will be dependent on the data individual users enter and may be subject to greater variation than commercial products where one individual or team collects all the data. You should treat such information with caution. However, as a user edited environment this service does have the flexibility of being able to cover a greater range of cities and has the potential to be updated more frequently than commercial equivalents.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by fax on +44 (0)20 7920 8621 or by email at library@icaew.com.

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