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Why Luanda is the world’s most expensive city

Angola’s capital Luanda was this year again ranked as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates in consulting firm Mercer’ 2011 Cost of Living Survey.

Luanda, Angola

Luanda, Angola

It appears that the main reasons why Luanda was ranked as the most expensive city are because of the high costs of goods and steep rental accommodation rates. “Goods are very expensive, generally speaking, in Luanda . . . In Luanda rental prices beat records, and over there a house may cost more than US$20,000 per month,” commented Mercer’s Marie-Laurence Sépède.

“Finding good and secure accommodation for expatriate employees is a real challenge in most of the African cities on the list and costs can be significant compared to other regions,” said Nathalie Constantin-Metral, a senior researcher at Mercer.

Every year the survey is conducted for companies and governments who send employees abroad.

The two elements that impact the position of a city in the rankings are currency fluctuations and price movements. New York is used as a base city to calculate the ranking, and currency fluctuations against the US dollar will affect a city’s position.

Mercer has developed a basket of goods and services that contain over 200 items. “The basket includes categories of items such as food, clothing, transportation . . . but of course a very important element of it is the accommodation. The accommodation rental prices are highly weighted in the survey . . . [and] contributes a lot to the ranking of the city,” said Sépède.

See Africa’s ten most expensive cities


  • likami

    Don’t blame Totori!!!! He/she is not open minded to realise English is not everyones first language and the fact that Arsene can manage to communicate indicates His willingnes to learn.

  • parari

    you all have sucking english!

  • totori

    Your english sucks Arsene. I didn’t get a thing of waht you said.

    • John

      If you really didn’t understand Arsene, then your English sucks Totori.

  • Monica

    I think as with most african markets that are rich in mineral resources, this will continue to remain a challenge, look at DRC for example… the wealth will remain within the upper echelon of maybe 1-2% of total population who unsurprisingly run the govt’s… thats Africa Sadly.

  • Arsène du Gabon

    I am sad by those who govern this country nevertheless so rich in raw material. Build guitars skies and residential batiments instead of an average Angolan cannot even allow it. I consider fermenent this city builds itself to welcome the employees of oil companies, and not for the Angolans. A country having on average income of about 50 billion dollars manages not to decrease no fusque half the insurportable poverty of his citizens, sad and really sad

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