The distinction of the most expensive city for foreigners doesn’t belong to Hong Kong, where billionaires pay over $10,000 per square foot for real estate, or Doha, the capital of Qatar, which has the highest per capita GDP.No, it belongs to Luanda, the capital of Angola, which was ravaged by a decades-long civil war and has some of the highest infant mortality and lowest life expectancy rates in the world.
Click here to see how expensive Luanda is for foreigners >
Luanda has the highest living costs of any city in the world for expatriates, according to Mercer’s 2011 cost of living survey.
The city of 4.8 million also ranked seventh on ECA International’s newest list of the world’s most expensive cities, which looks at a different set of living costs.
Despite its vast wealth—Angola is the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa and the seventh-largest supplier to the U.S.—68% of its citizens live below the poverty line, according to USAID.
Nonetheless, the country has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and Luanda is ripe for foreign investment opportunities in infrastructure and the oil and diamond industries.
But be forewarned: here’s how foreigners in Luanda can expect to live.
Note: We compared the cost of living in Luanda to the cost of living in New York, the most expensive city in the U.S. and 32nd most expensive city for foreigners, according to Mercer.
In Luanda, a two-bedroom apartment in a luxury building costs $7,000 per month. In New York City it would cost $4,300.
A fast food hamburger in Luanda costs a whopping $20.38, more than THREE TIMES what it costs in New York.
It costs an average of $63/month to join a sports club in New York. An equivalent membership in Luanda would cost $405.
Clothes are also expensive. A dress that would cost $40 at a chain store in the U.S. would cost $202 in Luanda.
But beer and cigarettes are relatively cheap in the Angolan capital. A pack of Marlboros costs $11.28 in New York; it's $2.72 in Luanda. And a $3.89 bottle of domestic beer in New York would cost $1.37 in Luanda.
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