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The July cost of living rankings reflect a rapidly changing world. This year has seen political uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria; Ireland, Portugal and Greece are in financial crisis. At first glance the causes appear to be related to poor management of the economy, combined with other factors such as youth unemployment and political freedom. However it can also be argued that a common issue is the cost of living, particularly for the poorest sectors within each country.
The July 2011 survey covers the cost of living of 300 cities across the world, and measures the comparative costs of 13 basket groups including Alcohol & Tobacco; Clothing; Communication; Education; Furniture & Appliances; Groceries; Healthcare; Household; Miscellaneous (includes items such as stationary, linen and general goods and services); Personal Care; Recreation & Culture; Restaurants, Meals out & Hotels and Transport. Xpatulator.com is the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey as it covers every country on earth. The cost of living and hardship data is updated quarterly, while exchange rates are updated daily. Xpatulator.com’s calculators and survey are used by multinational companies and individuals alike to determine compensation for expatriate assignments around the world.
The cost of living has increased across the globe with people dipping into their savings to maintain their standard of living. Food prices have increased 30 – 35% since 2010, due primarily to increased demand and reduced / insufficient supply. Why? Food shortages have occurred due to natural disasters and bad weather damaging crops in traditional food producing places such as Australia, Russia and South America. The booming giant economies of India and Chnia have driven global demand to levels never experienced before. The cost for basic necessities has seen people spending more of their salaries on food than ever before. With natural disasters across the continents from earthquakes and floods in Australia, tornadoes in America, climate changes playing havoc with too much rain or too little and the greatest disaster of all the Tsunami in Japan, is our world experiencing a cost of living crisis? Is the cost of living becoming too high?
When the 8.9-magnitude earthquake triggered the deadly tsunami in March this year, the world watched in horror as this gentle nation was swept into crisis. This disaster has seen the cost of living sky rocket due to the loss of farmlands, factories, towns, communities with fires sweeping through and destroying whatever was left. The resulting Fukushima nuclear reactor crisis has left the nation with releases of radioactive materials and electricity outages, forcing factories to either shut down or work within the outage schedule, resulting in a slowing down of all manufacturing goods and exports. This disaster has significantly impeded the nation’s economic recovery, with it already having the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the world, it now has to take on more debt and it has to deal with its aging population. Will the economy of Japan survive this disaster?
Hardship is the relative difference an expatriate employee and their family will experience and the relative impact on their lifestyle when moving between different locations. Xpatulator’s hardship ranking system measures the relative quality of living conditions between locations, and assesses the level of difficulty that will be experienced in adapting to a new location. Level 1 is “minimal hardship”, level 2 is “some hardship”, level 3 is “high degree of hardship”, and level 4 is “extreme hardship”.
For the full cost of living report, click here