The top ten most expensive countries in the world as at July 2017 comprise two from Africa (Angola) (1); Ghana (10), three from Europe (Norway (2); Switzerland (3)); Denmark (9)), four from America (Bermuda (4); Cayman Islands (5); Barbados (6); Bahamas (7), and one from Asia Pacific (Japan) (8).
Angola is the most expensive country in the world for expatriate professional migrants mainly because almost all international standard goods and services have to be imported, as a result there are price premiums due to demand constantly exceeding supply.
Are you thinking that the next step in your career should be abroad? Are you ready to become an expat? If so, then where?
The question of where depends on your individual preferences, the stage of your career, and where the opportunities are.
A growing trend has been to bailout of trying to launch a formal traditional career in places like Britain and the USA to go do something completely different like teaching English in places like China, Vietnam and Taiwan. After a year or two, or sometimes longer, the excitement of new experiences leads to the desire to explore other expat cities.
While there is more intense competition for promotion and career advancement in cities like London and New York, there is often more opportunity and less competition in places like Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore, more so in places that are less established.
If you want to advance your career, or if you simply want to open yourself to new opportunities, you will have an advantage if you…
The latest available inflation rate for all countries world wide (as available in May 2017):
Cyprus 1.7% (Feb 2017).
Czech Republic 2.5% (Feb 2017).
Denmark 1% (Feb 2017).
Djibouti 2.4% (Dec 2016).
Dominica -0.8% (2015 est).
Dominican Republic 3.34% (Feb 2017).
Ecuador 0.96% (Feb 2017).
Egypt 30.2% (Feb 2017).
El Salvador 0.29% (Feb 2017).
Equatorial Guinea 3.9% (Dec 2015).
Eritrea 12.5% (Dec 2015).
Estonia 3.4% (Feb 2017).
Ethiopia 7% (Feb 2017).
Falkland Islands 1.2% (Nov 2016).
Fiji 5.5% (Feb 2017).
Finland 1.2% (Feb 2017).
France 1.2% (Feb 2017).
French Guiana 0.8% (Sept 2016).
French Polynesia 1.1% (2013 est).
Gabon 2.09% (Feb 2016).
Gambia 7.43% (Sep 2016).
Republic of Georgia 5.5% (Feb 2017).
Germany 2.2% (Feb 2017).
Ghana 13.2% (Feb 2017).
Greece 1.3% (Feb 2017).
Greenland 1.8% (2012 est).
Grenada -1.4% (2015 est).
Guadeloupe 0.6% (2016 est).
Guam 1.1% (2014 est).
Guatemala 3.96% (Feb 2017).
Guernsey 1.2% (2016 est).
Guinea 8.7% (Dec 2016).
Zurich and Geneva are ranked as the first and second most expensive expat cities in Europe and the 4th and 5th most expensive cities in the world for expatriates. This is due primarily to the strong Swiss Franc as well as due to high rentals and institutionalized high wages.
Despite the fact that there have been moderate price increases in most of Europe, the Euro has weakened against the US Dollar which has resulted in lower USD prices, pushing Euro cities down in the global ranking.
An interesting observation is that the top ten most expensive cities in Europe are dominated by Non-Euro countries.
Oslo is the world’s 7th and Europe’s third most expensive city. Oslo was the most expensive location in Europe in 2014, however lower global oil prices and subsequent weaker oil sector has contributed to Oslo becoming relatively cheaper in global terms. Non-Euro countries continue to be the most expensive expatriate locations in Europe.
Hong Kong is the overall most expensive ciy in Asia-Pacific and is the second most expensive city in the world (after Luanda), mainly due to the extremely high housing costs, as well as high cost of schooling and limited space available making rentals high. However, when you exclude costs related to housing, education, medical and transport, Hong Kong falls out of the top ten city rankings for this region.
Singapore remains the second most expensive city in the Asia-Pacific region for expatriates (3rd most expensive in the world) and tops the region rankings when costs related to housing, education, medical and transport are excluded.
Tokyo is the third most expensive city in Asia-Pacific, and 8th globally. Japanese locations have moved up in the rankings with 6 cities in the Asia-Pacfic top 10 most expensive places.
Shanghai is the fourth most expensive place for expatriates in the Asia-Pacific region, and 12th globally.
Luanda is the most expensive city to live in the African region, and world-wide. The extremely costly safe expatriate accommodation, imported produce and costly international private schooling are among the main factors that have kept Launda at the top of the rankings in Africa.
Overall African countries are some of the poorest and least developed in the world, with relatively low local cost of living expenses; however the cost of importing and transporting the international standard of goods that expatriates expect to purchase in the cities in this region makes it extremely expensive to maintain the lifestyle that they are used to.
Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the second most expensive city in Africa (and 10th most expensive in the world).
The latest available inflation rate for all countries world wide (as available in April 2017):
Afghanistan 4.1% (Feb 2017).
Albania 2.2% (Feb 2017).
Algeria 8.21% (Jan 2017).
Angola 39.45% (Feb 2017).
Anguilla 3.1% (2014 est).
Antigua and Barbuda 1.4% (2012 est).
Argentina 40.5% (Apr 2016).
Armenia -0.2% (Feb 2017).
Aruba -0.4% (Jan 2017).
Australia 1.5% (Dec 2016).
Austria 2.2% (Feb 2017).
Azerbaijan 12.5% (Feb 2017).
Bahamas 0.8% (Dec 2016).
Bahrain 0.4% (Feb 2017).
Bangladesh 5.3% (Feb 2017).
Barbados 0% (Sep 2016).
Belarus 7% (Feb 2017).
Belgium 2.97% (Feb 2017).
Belize 0.9% (Jan 2017).
Benin -0.9% (Jan 2017).
Bermuda 1.8% (Dec 2016).
Bhutan 3.71% (Dec 2016).
Bolivia 3.46% (Feb 2017).
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.7% (Jan 2017).
Botswana 3.4% (Feb 2017).
Brazil 4.76% (Feb 2017).
British Virgin Islands 2% (Nov 2016).
Brunei -0.2% (Feb 2017).
Bulgaria 1.7% (Feb 2017).
Burkina Faso -1.7% (Dec 2016).
Burundi 12.9% (Jan 2017).
Cambodia 3.87% (Dec 2016).