Caracas Is Cheapest And Most Expensive Expat City!

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Caracas is the cheapest and most expensive city for expats at the same time due to a quirk in foreign currency exchange rates.

The Venezuelan capital has a fixed exchange rate for locals and a second exchange rate for importers aimed at encouraging an inflow of foreign currency – especially US dollars.

According to a worldwide survey of expats, when the official exchange rate is applied, the bolivar is hugely overvalued and the cost of living soars, but when the second rate is applied, prices plunge and Caracas is then the cheapest city for expats.

“Companies with expat staff  in Caracas need to consider which rate to use,” said a spokesman for ECA International, the expat benefits firm producing the report.

“The decision rests on the company and the individual, but the second rate offers much better value.”

Booking.com

Pay for international workers

The study is published twice a year to help companies calculate living allowances for their international workers in 440 global cities.

The final figure is based on a basket of goods and services, such as food, utilities and other day-to-day living costs. Rents, schooling and the cost of buying a car are not included as other allowances are generally paid to cover them.

Manhattan, New York, is the second most expensive place for expats in the Americas, says the report.

Elsewhere, Oslo tops the league in Europe and Seoul, South Korea, is the most expensive place for expats in the Asia Pacific.

In the Middle East, Tel Aviv, Israel, leads the way. Luanda, Angola, is the second most expensive location in the world – and the most expensive in Africa.

Top 50 most expensive cities for expats
RankCityCountry
1CaracasVenezuela
2LuandaAngola
3OsloNorway
4StavangerNorway
5ZurichSwitzerland
6GenevaSwitzerland
7BernSwitzerland
8BaselSwitzerland
9JubaSouth Sudan
10SeoulSouth Korea
11CopenhagenDenmark
12TokyoJapan
13KinshasaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
14ShanghaiChina
15BeijingChina
16LibrevilleGabon
17MoscowRussia
18BrazzavilleCongo
19HelsinkiFinland
20YokohamaJapan
21Pointe NoireCongo
22NagoyaJapan
23BusanSouth Korea
24Tel AvivIsrael
25OsakaJapan
26SingaporeSingapore
27JerusalemIsrael
28Hong KongHong Kong
29SydneyAustralia
30Port MoresbyPapua New Guinea
31StockholmSweden
32GuangzhouChina
33UlsanSouth Korea
34CanberraAustralia
35AbujaNigeria
36AucklandNew Zealand
37LagosNigeria
38ConakryGuinea
39MelbourneAustralia
40Manhattan (New York)United States of America
41GothenburgSweden
42PerthAustralia
43WellingtonNew Zealand
44BakuAzerbaijan
45AdelaideAustralia
46DarwinAustralia
47ShenzhenChina
48BrisbaneAustralia
49ParisFrance
50AbidjanCote d'Ivoire
Source: ECA International

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