Yaounde And Douala Are 44th Most Expensive Cities in the World, Luanda Ranked 1st and NDjamena 2nd
Cameroon’s biggest cities, Yaounde and Douala have been ranked 44th most expensive cities for expatriates by Mercer’s 2014 Cost of Living Survey. Mercer’s authoritative survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive, and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.
Two African cities top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates. Although not typically recognized as wealthy cities compared to others, Luanda in Angola is the world’s most expensive city for the second year in a row followed by N’Djamena, Chad.
European and Asian cities also continue to dominate as the costliest cities with Hong Kong in third place, followed by Singapore. Zurich jumped three places to rank fifth, followed by Geneva in sixth. Tokyo dropped four spots to rank seventh.
New York is used as the base city, and all cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The survey covers 211 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.
“Rankings in many regions were affected by recent world events, including economic and political upheavals, which resulted in currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices,” said Ed Hannibal, Partner and Global Leader for Mercer’s Mobility practice.
“While Luanda and N’Djamena are relatively inexpensive cities, they are quite costly for expatriates since imported goods come at a premium. In addition, finding secure living accommodations that meet the standards of expatriates can be challenging and quite costly as well. This is generally why some African cities rank high in our survey,” he added.
Nathalie Constantin-Métral, Principal at Mercer with responsibility for compiling the survey ranking, said, “Interestingly, several cities jumped up the list this year following large increases in both accommodation cost and demand, coupled with strong local currencies. Dhaka and Nairobi (both 117) and Dubai (67) soared thirty seven, thirty and twenty-three spots, respectively.”
First Three Most Expensive Cities by Region
1. New York, USA
2. São Paulo, Brazil
3. Los Angeles, USA
1. Hong Kong
3. Tokyo, Japan
1. Zurich, Switzerland
2. Geneva, Switzerland
3. Bern, Switzerland
Middle East / Africa
1. Luanda, Angola
2. NDjamena, Chad
3. Victoria, Seychelles