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International cost-of-living reports

The Library & Information Service's reports offer up-to-date information on the cost of living around the world, using data from 140 cities. We can help you make decisions on relocation, recruitment of overseas personnel and international job opportunities.

Reports are available to members, ACA students and other entitled users.

What does the service offer?

We provide a basic package with a selection of key indicators (including living costs, salary levels and property prices). You can also request bespoke reports using any of the 300+ criteria included in the database. For a selection of alternative surveys, see our list of sources for cost of living reports.

Where is the information obtained from?

Our data comes from statistical databases supplied by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The EIU collects data on each locality from authoritative sources and standardises it for international comparability. Additionally, the EIU states: "For certain items there are many subjective factors, such as personal preference, at play, as well as a variety of choice. Therefore the price data given for certain items should be considered as an indication of the general level of prices in these categories, although all data are based on actual prices noted by our researchers."

Which cities can I choose from?

The report covers most major cities around the world. Please select from the following list:

Abidjan, Abu Dhabi, Adelaide, Al Khobar, Algiers, Almaty, Amman, Amsterdam, Asuncion, Athens, Atlanta, Auckland, Bahrain, Baku, Bandar, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Belgrade, Berlin, Bogota, Boston, Bratislava, Brisbane, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Calgary, Caracas, Casablanca, Chicago, Cleveland, Colombo, Copenhagen, Dakar, Dalian, Damascus, Detroit, Dhaka, Doha, Douala, Dubai, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Guangzhou, Guatemala City, Hamburg, Hanoi, Harare, Helsinki, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston, Istanbul, Jakarta, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kiev, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lagos, Lexington, Lima, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Lusaka, Luxembourg, Lyon, Madrid, Manchester, Manila, Melbourne, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Minneapolis, Montevideo, Montreal, Moscow, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nairobi, New Delhi, New York, Noumea, Osaka and Kobe, Oslo, Panama City, Paris, Perth, Phnom Pen, Pittsburgh, Port Moresby, Prague, Pretoria, Qingdao, Quito, Reykjavik, Rio de Janeiro, Riyadh, Rome, San Francisco, San Jose, San Juan, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Sofia, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Suzhou, Sydney, Taipei, Tashkent, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Tianjin, Tokyo, Toronto, Tripoli, Tunis, Vancouver, Vienna, Warsaw, Washington DC, Wellington, Zurich.

What information is available in the basic package?

The basic package of information provides a selection of key data (as outlined below) for two cities of your choice. Reports are produced in Excel format and supplied by email.

Basic package

National economic indicators

  • Consumer price index (1996=100; average)
  • Consumer prices (% change per annum; average)
  • Exchange rate Local Currency Unit:USD (date of survey)

Food Costs

  • Beer, top quality (330 ml) (supermarket)
  • Milk, pasteurised (1 litre) (supermarket)
  • Three course dinner for four people (average)

Utility costs

  • Telephone and line, monthly rental (average)
  • Electricity, monthly bill (average)
  • Gas, monthly bill (average)
  • Water, monthly bill (average)

Property costs

  • Furnished residential apartment: 1 bedroom (moderate)
  • Furnished residential apartment: 2 bedrooms (high)
  • Furnished residential house: 3 bedrooms (moderate)
  • Furnished residential house: 3 bedrooms (high)

School/Childcare costs

  • Babysitter's rate per hour (average)
  • American/English school: annual tuition, ages 5-12 (average)
  • American/English school: annual tuition, ages 13-17 (average)

Health costs

  • Routine checkup at family doctor (average)
  • Visit to dentist (one X-ray and one filling) (average)

Salary Levels

  • Labour costs per hour (pay and non-pay costs)
  • Disposable income (%) on a salary equivalent to $60,000 (single person)
  • Disposable income (%) on a salary equivalent to $60,000 (married person, 2 children)
  • Disposable income (%) on a salary equivalent to $150,000 (single person)
  • Disposable income (%) on a salary equivalent to $150,000 (married person, 2 children)

Bespoke and historical reports

If you require a different set of indicators or you wish to compare more than two cities you can use our bespoke reports service (subject to the data being available). Please contact the enquiry team to discuss your requirements and obtain a quote for the report you need. The minimum charge for reports is £25 + VAT.

Is this service available through self-service?

There are no self-service facilities but members visiting the Library can order reports at the enquiry desk.

Order form

The cost of a report using the basic package varies according to the data available, but typical varies between £25 and £48 plus VAT. The enquiry team will provide a quote on completion of our order form before producing the final report. 

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Using your personal information

The protection of personal privacy is an important concern to ICAEW. Any personal data collected will be treated in accordance with current data protection legislation.

We will use your personal data to deliver and administer the services that you have requested.

For more information about our data protection policy please go to icaew.com/dataprotection