Luanda named as most expensive place in the world for expats to live and work

by Ray Clancy on June 29, 2010

Luanda in Angola is the most expensive place in the world for expats to live, the first time an African city has topped the list.

It was followed by Tokyo and N’djamena in Chad, with Moscow coming in fourth place and Geneva coming in fifth.  Libreville in Gabon also made it into the top 10 compiled by consultancy group Mercer.

Mercer said that the presence of three African cities in its list reflects the growing economic importance of the region to global businesses. It added that the living costs in some African cities could be extraordinarily high because of the cost involved in finding good and secure accommodation.

The survey, which looks at 214 cities across the world and measures the cost of living in each place based on 200 items, including housing, transport, food, clothing and household goods, found Karachi in Pakistan was the cheapest place to live for expats, followed by Managua in Nicaragua and Islamabad, also in Pakistan.

The Mercer Annual Cost of Living survey also placed London as the 17th most expensive place for expats but Belfast is one of the cheapest. Aberdeen was the UK’s second most expensive city coming in 149th place, followed by Glasgow at 155th and Birmingham at 158th.

Australian cities proves to be good value with Sydney ranked 24th in the survey, Melbourne 33rd, Brisbane 55th, Perth 60th and Canberra 74th.

‘African cities now figure prominently, reflecting the growing economic importance of the region to global companies across all business sectors. We’ve seen an increase in demand for information on African cities from across the business spectrum,’ said Nathalie Constantin-Métral, a senior researcher at Mercer responsible for compiling the yearly ranking.

’To entice talented staff to these cities, multinationals need to provide the same standard of living and benefits that these employees and their families would experience at home. In some African cities, the cost of this can be extraordinarily high particularly the cost of good, secure accommodation,’ she added.

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

A separate Mercer survey last month ranked Vienna as having the best overall quality of living.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: