Nairobi ranked among most expensive cities for expatriates

Daniel Fowler
March 20, 2019

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has named Karachi as 6th cheapest city of the world, ARY News reported on Wednesday. Paris, which has been in the top 10 since 2003, moved up one place from a year ago.

This is in contrast to Lagos at position 127, putting it among the 10 cheapest cities in the world.

It compared 400 individual prices across 160 products and services, including food and drink, clothing, home rental, transport, schooling and recreation.

The goal of the survey, according to its authors, is to "help human resources and finance managers calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travelers". Appreciation of Kenyan shilling against the dollar leaves expatriates worse-off because it means less money for them after conversion to the local unit.

It is curious to note that Copenhagen is the only city in the top ten that has seen the price of a loaf of bread rise: from 3.87 dollars to 4.21.

The report also mentioned that currency fluctuations remained to be a major cause for changes in the ranking.

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Nairobi's ranking by the London-based Economist reinforces the findings of the 2018 survey conducted by UBS, a global bank headquartered in Switzerland.

Los Angeles was tied in tenth place with Tel Aviv, the sole Middle Eastern representative on the list. A June 2015 survey by Mercer's 21st Cost of Living also ranked Nairobi 104 out of 207, making it one of the most expensive cities.

The cost of living in Istanbul has fallen sharply over the previous year, taking the city to 120th place in a list of most expensive cities around the world, down from 44th, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) bi-annual survey of 133 cities released on March 19.

The report found that the highest ranking locations were largely split between Asia and Europe.

None of the European cities analysed fell in the top five cheapest cities of 2019, which included Caracas in Venezuela, Damascus in Syria, Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Almaty in Kazakhstan, and Bangalore in India.

Singapore continues to hold its number one spot for the fifth year running.

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