October 2009 International Cost of Living Ranking

The October 2009 International Cost of Living Ranking, one of the most comprehensive in the world, covers 276 cities in 209 countries across 13 basket groups. Below we have listed the Top 10 most expensive countries to live in, the biggest movers up and down in country ranking and the 5 most expensive countries per basket item.

There is no change to the first and last places. Japan remains the most expensive place for an expatriate to live with the highest overall cost of living index and Zimbabwe with the lowest cost of living index.

The Top 10 most expensive ranked international cost of living locations as at October 2009, together with the previous year’s rank as at October 2008, is as follows:

October 2009 Rank Country, City (October 2008 Rank)[Change in Rank]
1. Japan, Tokyo (1) [0]
2. China, Hong Kong (33) [-31]
3. Switzerland, Geneva (4) [-1]
4. Central African Republic, Bangui (46) [-42]
5. Switzerland, Zurich (8) [-3]
6. Denmark, Copenhagen (3) [3]
7. Venezuela, Caracas (32) [-25]
8. United Arab Emirates, Dubai (34) [-26]
9. Chad, N’Djamena (15) [-6]
10. Norway, Oslo (2) [8]

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Biggest Movers Up
The biggest movers up in the rankings as a result of an increase in relative cost of living are:
1. Solomon Islands, Honiara by 152 places
2. Canada, Calgary by 134 places
3. Kiribati, South Tarawa by 109 places
4. Timor-Leste, Dili by 106 places
5. Montenegro, Podgorica by 93 places
6. Vanuatu, Port Vila by 91 places
7. Saudi Arabia, Riyadh by 83 places
8. Rwanda, Kigali by 83 places
9. Cape Verde, Praia by 75 places
10. Congo Democratic Rep, Kinshasa by 61 places

Biggest Movers Down
The biggest movers down in the rankings as a result of a decrease in relative cost of living are:
1. Tonga, Nuku’Alofa by 172 places
2. Poland, Warsaw by 158 places
3. Vietnam, Hanoi by 126 places
4. Fiji, Suva by 99 places
5. Paraguay, Asuncion by 91 places
6. Hungary, Budapest by 85 places
7. Equatorial Guinea, Malabo by 82 places
8. Albania, Tirana by 77 places
9. Kenya, Nairobi by 73 places
10. Gambia, Banjul by 66 places

Top 5 most expensive international locations for each basket group
Our 13 basket groups are the result of extensive research of actual spending habits, this allows our cost of living indices to reflect a reality-based international expenditure pattern. When comparing the cost of living between 2 locations, the difference in the aggregate cost of all the items in each of the 13 basket groups are examined in each location, this is done by using the average reported price in each location for the same quantity of each item. Cost of living is the relative differential of the local cost of the basket groups and the ruling exchange rate between the 2 selected locations. The 13 basket groups are weighted according to Expatriate expenditure norms.

Alcohol & Tobacco costs for alcoholic beverages such as alcohol at bar, beer, locally produced spirit, whiskey, and wine as well as tobacco products such as cigarettes is most expensive in:
1. Kiribati, South Tarawa
2. Qatar, Doha
3. Korea Republic of, Seoul
4. Comores, Moroni
5. Norway, Oslo

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Clothing costs for clothing and footwear products such as business suits, casual clothing, children’s clothing and footwear, coats and hats, evening wear, shoe repairs, and underwear is most expensive in:
1. Croatia, Zagreb
2. Russia, Moscow
3. China, Beijing
4. United Arab Emirates, Dubai
5. Qatar, Doha

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Communications costs for various communication costs such as home telephone rental and call charges, internet connection and service provider fees, mobile / cellular phone contract and calls is most expensive in:
1. Guinea-Bissau, Bissau
2. New Caledonia, Noumea
3. Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou
4. Latvia, Riga
5. Cameroon, Douala

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Education costs such as creche / pre-school fees, high school / college fees, primary school fees, and tertiary study fees is most expensive in:
1. Venezuela, Caracas
2. Angola, Luanda
3. Brazil, Brasilia
4. Bermuda, Hamilton
5. Central African Republic, Bangui

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Furniture & Appliance costs for furniture, household equipment and household appliances such as dvd player, fridge freezer, iron, kettle, toaster, microwave, light bulbs, television, vacuum cleaner, and washing machine is most expensive in:
1. Central African Republic, Bangui
2. Mali, Bamako
3. Cameroon, Douala
4. New Caledonia, Noumea
5. Chad, N’Djamena

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Grocery costs for food, non-alcoholic beverages and cleaning material items such as baby consumables, baked goods, baking, canned foods, cheese, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fruit juices, meat, oil & vinegars, pet food, pre-prepared meals, sauces, seafood, snacks, soft drinks, spices & herbs is most expensive in:
1. Central African Republic, Bangui
2. Japan, Tokyo
3. Denmark, Copenhagen
4. Solomon Islands, Honiara
5. Congo, Brazzaville

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Healthcare costs for general healthcare, medical and medical insurance such as general practitioner consultation rates, hospital private ward daily rate, non-prescription medicine, and private medical insurance / medical aid contributions is most expensive in:
1. Japan, Tokyo
2. China, Hong Kong
3. Kiribati, South Tarawa
4. Angola, Luanda
5. Bermuda, Hamilton

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Household costs for housing, water, electricity, household gas, household fuels, local rates and residential taxes such as house / flat mortgage, house / flat rental, household electricity consumption, household gas / fuel consumption, household water consumption, and local property rates / taxes / levies is most expensive in:
1. China, Hong Kong
2. Japan, Tokyo
3. Taiwan, Taipei
4. Venezuela, Caracas
5. United Arab Emirates, Dubai

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Miscellaneous costs related to stationary, linen and general goods and services such as domestic help, dry cleaning, linen, office supplies, newspapers and magazines, and postage stamps is most expensive in:
1. Central African Republic, Bangui
2. Norway, Oslo
3. Finland, Helsinki
4. New Caledonia, Noumea
5. Qatar, Doha

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Personal Care costs for personal care products and services such as cosmetics, hair care, moisturizer / sun block, nappies, pain relief tablets, toilet paper, toothpaste, and soap / shampoo / conditioner is most expensive in:
1. Kiribati, South Tarawa
2. Gambia, Banjul
3. Algeria, Algiers
4. Comores, Moroni
5. Slovakia, Bratislava

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Recreation and Culture costs such as books, camera film, cinema ticket, DVD and CDs, sports goods, and theatre tickets is most expensive in:
1. Central African Republic, Bangui
2. Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby
3. Mozambique, Maputo
4. Chad, N’Djamena
5. Vanuatu, Port Vila

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Restaurants, Meals Out and Hotel costs such as business dinner, dinner at a restaurant (non fast food), hotel rates, take away drinks and snacks (fast food) is most expensive in:
1. United Arab Emirates, Dubai
2. Greece, Athens
3. Qatar, Doha
4. Belgium, Brussels
5. Slovenia, Ljubljana

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Transport costs for public transport, vehicle costs, vehicle fuel, vehicle insurance and vehicle maintenance such as hire purchase / lease of vehicle, petrol / diesel, public transport service maintenance, tires, vehicle Insurance, and vehicle purchase is most expensive in:
1. Timor-Leste, Dili
2. Georgia Republic of, Tbilisi
3. Cameroon, Douala
4. Solomon Islands, Honiara
5. Norway, Oslo

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The definitions of each basket and the full cost of living rankings for all 276 locations are available at Xpatulator Articles

About Xpatulator

Xpatulator.com is a website that provides international cost of living information and calculators that can help you determine cost of living indexes, cost of living allowances, salary purchasing power and international assignment packages to compensate for cost of living, hardship, and exchange rate differences.
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