Lonely Planet Writer

These are the cheapest cities to live and work in

With digital nomadism on the rise, remote workers are always looking for new places to go and the cheaper the better. The annual cost of living survey from Mercer has been released for 2018 with plenty of options to decide where next to go, laptop in hand.

Tbilisi is one of the cheapest cities in the world to live and work. Photo by Frans Sellies/Getty Images

The survey looks at 375 cities all over the world and then ranks 209 in total. They determine the cost of living by comparing the expenses of more than 200 items, including rent costs, transportation, food and clothing.

The cheapest cities to live and work in are as follows:

1. Tashkent, Uzbekistan
2. Tunis, Tunisia
3. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
4. Banjul, Gambia
5. Karachi, Pakistan
6. Blantyre, Malawi
7. Tbilisi, Georgia
8. Minsk, Belarus
9. Tegucigalpa, Honduras
10. Managua, Nicaragua

In general, US and Australian cities dropped in the rankings, partially due to the decline of the US dollar against other currencies. Most Canadian cities also dropped, with the exception of Toronto where the rent increases prompted a jump of ten places up the list.

Managua, Nicaragua came in at the tenth cheapest city. Photo by mtcurado/Getty Images

Meanwhile, at the opposite side of the table, Asia dominates the most expensive cities in the world, taking four out of the top five spots. Hong Kong moved to the top of the list from second place in 2017.

Hong Kong rose to the most expensive city this year. Photo by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

While most western European cities did rise in the rankings, Switzerland still comes out most expensive with two top ten entries, and Geneva creeping in at number 11. The most expensive cities for expats are:

1. Hong Kong
2. Tokyo, Japan
3. Zurich, Switzerland
4. Singapore
5. Seoul, South Korea
6. Luanda, Angola
7. Shanghai, China
8. Ndjamena, Chad
9. Beijing, China
10. Bern, Switzerland

You can explore the full rankings online here.