Africa Is The Most Expensive Place For Expats To Live


Africa is the surprise most expensive place to live for expats, taking the top two rankings out of almost 500 cities surveyed.

Then four Swiss cities grabbed four of the top six places in a survey of the priciest places for expats to live by consultancy specialist ECA International.

The Angolan capital Luanda took the top place, followed by Khartoum, Sudan.

African cities tend to come out as more expensive for expats due to higher prices for goods, more expensive transport costs and security issues.

“The cost of goods typically purchased by international assignees in Luanda, which was already high due to poor infrastructure and high oil-fuelled demand, continues to be pushed even higher. The Angolan kwanza is increasingly overvalued, which pushes up relative costs; while the ongoing weakness of the black-market exchange rate has also inflated the price of imported goods,” said the report.

London slips down the rankings

Tokyo, Japan, was the most expensive Asia Pacific city for expats, followed by Hong Kong and South Korean capital Seoul.

Three other Japanese cities were in the top 20 – Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka.

No US or Canadian cities showed in the top 20, and traditional expensive locations such as London and Paris, France failed to make the cut.

Central London has slipped down the rankings to 139th, down 36 places on the 2016 survey and falling 78 places in five years. Other UK cities have shown the same trend, with the next most expensive cities, Edinburgh and Manchester, dropping to 163rd and 173rd places.

The ratings were calculated from price data on a range of similar goods and services expats buy in each city.

Top 20 most expensive cities for expats 2017

City Country Ranking
    2017 2016
Luanda Angola 1 2
Khartoum Sudan 2 21
Zurich Switzerland 3 3
Geneva Switzerland 4 4
Basel Switzerland 5 6
Bern Switzerland 6 8
Oslo Norway 7 14
Tokyo Japan 8 1
Hong Kong China 9 11
Stavanger Norway 10 20
Seoul South Korea 11 12
Shanghai China 12 13
Tel Aviv Israel 13 19
Copenhagen Denmark 14 23
Jerusalem Israel 15 22
Beijing China 16 15
Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo 17       10
Yokohama Japan 18 5
Nagoya Japan 19 7
Osaka Japan 20 9


Source: ECA International

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