Fancy a $50 Burger? The World’s most Expensive City for Expat Living
Although Tokyo (pictured above) has often topped surveys listing the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates, the Japanese capital has been knocked off the top spot by Luanda.
According to data compiled by Mercer, a review of over 200 cities showed that Luanda in Angola was the most expensive city for expats. Moscow came second, with Tokyo coming third.
The other spots in the 10 most expensive cities for expats were taken up by Ndjamena in Chad, Singapore, Hong Kong, Geneva, Zurich, Bern and Sydney.
The result might seem surprising, given that Angola is a comparatively poor nation in spite of being a major oil producer. But in Angola the rich/poor divide is stark.
There might be yachts moored in Luanda’s harbour but there are also abandoned car parts, discarded rubbish and other signs of poverty.
With expats flocking to Angola for work as a result of the nation’s billion Dollar international oil reserves, office and accommodation space is in short supply, which is pushing prices to a premium.
The prices of goods desired by expats are also shockingly high. For example, annual gym membership can cost an unbelievable $7,500, while a takeaway burger can set you back a whopping $50.
The results also showed that a luxury two-bed apartment in Luanda would cost about $6,500 a month, while the same apartment in Moscow would be $4,600.
As a statement issued with Mercer’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey points out, Angola can prove pricey for expats as ‘imported goods can be costly. In addition, finding secure living accommodations that meet the standards of expatriates can be challenging and quite costly.’
In order to produce the data, Mercer’s analysts used New York as a base city from which to compare prices.
An analyst responsible for coming up with the final result asserted: ‘Overall, the cost of living in cities across parts of Europe has gone up in the ranking as a result of the slight strengthening of local currencies against the US Dollar, whereas in Asia about half the cities went down in the ranking due to local currencies’ weakening.’