Vancouver skyline panorama at sunset
© jakobradlgruber / 123RF Stock Photo

Vancouver has Canada’s highest cost of living, according to Mercer’s 25th annual Cost of Living survey, released on Wednesday.

Mercer surveyed 500 cities around the world on costs including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. New York was used as a base city for comparison, and all currency fluctuations were measured against the U.S. dollar.

This year’s global ranking included 209 cities. Vancouver was the costliest Canadian city, ranked 112 on the list — but three spots lower than its previous ranking in 2018. Toronto, which was Canada’s costliest city in 2018, fell six spots to 115.

“From a global perspective, Canada remains a relatively affordable place to live and an attractive destination for expatriates placed by organizations outside the country,” Gordon Frost, partner and career business leader for Mercer Canada, said in a statement.

“Cost of living and quality of living are key components of a competitive total rewards program and compelling employee value proposition — both of which are essential for companies to attract and retain the best talent as they prepare for the workforce for the future,” he added.

Calgary, at 153, and Ottawa, at 161, were stable in this year’s ranking, with Ottawa remaining Canada’s most affordable city on the list. Montreal climbed eight spots from its previous ranking, landing at 139 this year.

The costliest city in the world was Hong Kong, followed by Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul and Zurich.

New York was the costliest city in the U.S. at number nine on the global list, up four spots from 2018, followed by San Francisco at 16 (up 12 spots from 2018) and Los Angeles at 18 (up 17 spots from 2018).

The least costly city in the ranking was Tunis, Tunisia.

“Cost of living is an important component of a city’s attractiveness for businesses,” said Yvonne Traber, Mercer’s global mobility product solutions leader. “Decision makers increasingly acknowledge that globalization is challenging cities to inform, innovate, and compete to foster the kind of satisfaction that attracts both people and investment — the keys to a city’s future.”

Read the full survey results.