The consulting firm ECA is out with its annual list of the world’s most expensive cities for expatriate staff, and the places at the top are an eclectic group.
The company looks at the cost of an “international lifestyle” including meals, clothing, groceries, and basic expenses, but not housing, which is presumably covered by your multinational employer.
This year’s winner, for the first time, is Caracas, Venezuela, which edged out the even more unlikely-seeming Luanda, Angola. The report states:
Prices for items in ECA's shopping basket [in Caracas] have gone up by over 60% on average since last year. However, this may be short-lived, as pressure is building on the currency, which could well be devalued in the near future.
Global Post rounds up some eye-popping Venezuelan prices including $100 for a box of cereal and $21 for a cheese pastry and a brownie. The country's inflation rate is nearing a two-decade high of 54 percent.
Tokyo is still the most expensive location in Asia, but Beijing is closing fast.
Here’s the top 25:
As you can see, the list features both highly developed places where the cost of living is high for everyone, and extremely poor places, where international businesspeople will find it expensive to live in the manner to which they are accustomed.
From the top five at least, it seems like there’s a correlation between oil and cost of living for foreigners.
Norway, Venezuela, and Switzerland are also currently atop the Economist’s famous “Big Mac Index.”
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter
The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge
The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems
Giving Up on Goodell
How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.