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Luanda, Angolan capital is world's most expensive city for expats


Angolan capital Luanda has been ranked the world’s most expensive city for expatriates reclaiming the title it lost to Hong Kong last year. Angola was the only African country in a top pool dominated by Europe and Asian counterparts.

The feat was contained in a survey published on Wednesday by consultancy firm, Mercer. This was the 23rd edition of the annual cost-of-living survey.

Luanda, which had consistently topped the list in recent years, fell behind Hong Kong last year owing to the weakening of its local currency and the drop in oil prices.

The top oil-producer is believed to have reclaimed top spot in the survey largely due to rebound in the global oil economy, a limited supply of luxurious housing and a high demand among expatriates.

“Quite a few African cities continue to rank high in this year’s survey, reflecting high living costs and prices of goods for expatriate employees. Luanda (1) takes the top spot as the most expensive city for expatriates across Africa and globally despite its currency weakening against the US dollar.

“Luanda is followed by Victoria (14), Ndjamena (16), and Kinshasa (18). Tunis falls six spots to rank 209 as the least expensive city in the region and overall,” the report read in parts.

The third to fifth spots remained unchanged from last year with Zurich, Tokyo and Singapore sharing the slots.

The top 10 most expensive cities for expats are as follows:

1. Luanda, Angola
2. Hong Kong, China,
3. Tokyo, Japan
4. Zurich, Switzerland
5. Singapore, Singapore
6. Seoul, South Korea
7.Geneva, Switzerland
8. Shanghai, China
9. New York City, United States
10. Bern, Germany

The survey is designed for companies to calculate expatriate workers’ allowances.

It weighs up the cost of living in over 200 cities across the world, comparing the cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing and entertainment.

As at last year, average monthly rent of an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment of “international standards in an appropriate neighborhood” in Luanda costs $6,700 way above cities such as London or New York, where rent for the same apartment costs between $4,500 and $5,000, respectively.

Africa also maintained the least expensive city tag with Tunis, followed by Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek and Skopje in Macedonia. Last year, Namibian capital Windhoek, and South Africa’s Cape Town were ranked as the world’s least expensive cities for expatriates.

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