Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Most Expensive Place in the World for Expats...Luanda, Angola

ECA International, a HR firm located in Hong Kong, releases a cost-of-living report every year on the most expensive places for expats, and this year Angola again tops the list. Cities in Japan increased greatly during the past year, mainly because of the strength of its currency:

1 Luanda, Angola
2 Tokyo, Japan
3 Nagoya, Japan
4 Yokohama, Japan
5 Kobe, Japan
6 Copenhagen, Denmark
7 Oslo, Norway
8 Geneva, Switzerland
9 Zurich, Switzerland
10 Basel, Switzerland
11 Libreville, Gabon
12 Bern, Switzerland
13 Stavanger, Norway
14 Helsinki, Finland
15 Paris, France
16 Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
17 Manhattan NY, United States of America
18 Abuja, Nigeria
19 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
20 Baku, Azerbaijan

See more of the report here.

The Most Expensive Cities in Asia were:
1 Tokyo
2 Nagoya
3 Yokohama
4 Kobe
5 Beijing
6 Shanghai
7 Hong Kong
8 Shenzhen
9 Guangzhou
10 Singapore

At the bottom of their list were the large cities in India, with Kolkata placing 49th.
41 New Delhi
42 George Town
43 Mumbai
44 Chennai
45 Bangalore
46 Hyderabad
47 Pune
48 Karachi
49 Kolkata
50 Islamabad
51 Ulaanbaatar

Another facet to consider when bidding and planning.

More about ECA and the methodology for the report can be found in the article.

Update: Also read the post on the Worldwide Quality of Living report by Mercer and The Economist's 2010 World's Most Livable Cities.

Image from


Unknown said...
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TulipGirl said...

Hunh. I remember reading not too many years ago Moscow was #1 or 2. . . I guess that has changed.

Natalie Buda Smith said...

Mercer also does international cost of living survey and has a different listing. It's top five include:

1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Osaka, Japan
3. Moscow, Russia
4. Geneva, Switzerland
5. Hong Kong, Hong Kong

So basically, Tokyo is expensive!


Cheap Flights to Luanda said...
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Stefany said...

My understanding was that COLA would make up for being at one of these posts. Is that not really the case?

Natalie Buda Smith said...


Yes, you do get COLA in expensive countries, which is helpful:

It depends on salary and your lifestyle. It may keep you at the same lifestyle or you may have to cut back because of the higher prices. Luckily, they account for family size.

I would ask your sponsor, or others at post when bidding to find out if that particular post is still expensive relative to the COLA.

There is always amazon and the pouch!