Nairobi Ranked Among The Most Expensive Cities For Expatriates

By  |  March 30, 2019

A survey dubbed ‘Worldwide Cost of Living’ by the Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked Nairobi as one of the most expensive city for expats to live in.

The report findings reveal that the cost of living in Kenya’s capital has risen 13 places in comparison to last year’s. The survey has ranked Nairobi placed Nairobi at position 69 globally.

This report comes at a time when Kenyans are facing harsh economic times with many struggling to put food on the table following the signing into law of 8 percent fuel levy that saw the prices of commodities skyrocket. According to World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2018 report, it is estimated that Kenyans pay an average of 37.4 percent in taxes as a percentage of profits.

Unlike Nairobi, Lagos is one of the most favorable cities for expats as it was ranked among top 10 cheapest cities in the world.

The findings are based on a comparison of more than 50,000 individual prices of 160 products and services. The survey looked at the prices of basic commodities such as food, drinks, clothing, household supplies and personal care items alongside private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

The survey helps companies calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travellers.

Kenya’s inflation dropped to 4.69 per cent last year compared to 6.3 per cent in 2017. Kenyan shilling gained one per cent against the dollar in 2018. Appreciation of Kenyan shilling against the dollar translates to less money for expatriates.

“Last year inflation and devaluations were prominent factors in determining the cost of living, with many cities tumbling down the ranking owing to economic turmoil, currency weakness or falling local prices,” the report says.

Caracas replaced Damascus as the cheapest city on the planet.

“For the first time three cities share the title of the world’s most expensive city – Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris. This year’s top ten is largely split between Asia and Europe, with Singapore representing the only city that has maintained its ranking from the previous year,” read a part of the report.

The French capital ranked second most expensive last year. Report author Roxana Slavcheva said Paris had been among the top 10 most expensive cities since 2003 and was “extremely expensive” to live in.

Expatistan, an online cost of living calculator, ranks Nairobi 5th most expensive city in Africa. With Harare, Port Louis, Pretoria and Johannesburg coming in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions respectively. Cape Town and Durban comes in position 8th and 9th respectively totaling the number of South African cities to four in the top 10.

Featured Image Courtesy: TAP Magazine

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