I’ve written several pieces in print and on this blog about how expensive Brazil has become.

There’s more empirical evidence to back that up today with the release of Mercer’s annual cost of living survey.

The study says São Paulo is the 10th most expensive city in the world, up from 21st a year ago. Rio de Janeiro jumped 17 places to 12th place.

That makes the two Brazilian cities more expensive places to live in than New York.

Luanda, Angola is the most expensive city in the world to live in, followed by Tokyo, Japan. N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, was third and Moscow was the highest placed European city in fourth.

The African cities are expensive because so much is imported.

Brazilians, meanwhile, and especially ex-pats living here, have suffered because the real has strengthened against the dollar, making imported goods costly. High taxes and absurd profit margins have made even the most ordinary goods and services prohibitively expensive.

A Bloomberg story says:

The rise in the Brazilian Real against the dollar caused the country’s “cities to rise in the ranking,” Nathalie Constantin-Metral, a senior researcher at Mercer, said in the report. “In most European cities the cost of living for expatriates has remained relatively stable.”

Mercer surveyed 214 cities across five continents, measuring the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment, according to this piece on Marketwatch.

New York is used as the base city for the index, and all cities are compared against this location. Currency movements are measured against the U.S. dollar.

The cost of housing — often the biggest expense for expats — figures prominently in determining where cities are ranked, Mercer said.