Berlin is the capital city and one of 16 states of Germany. Berlin is a major centre of culture, politics, media, and science in Europe. Its economy is primarily based on the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, media corporations, congress and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail transport, and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the EU. Germany is in Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark. Temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain wind. Lowlands in north, uplands in centre, Bavarian Alps in south. The official language is German. There are many regional accents and dialects, standard German is understood everywhere. English and French are also spoken in the country's western states while Russian is spoken in eastern states. Locals will appreciate an effort to express basic courtesies in German. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Germany is the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth largest by nominal GDP in the world. The service sector contributes around 70% of the total GDP, industry 29.1%, and agriculture 0.9%. Most of the country's products are in engineering, especially in automobiles, machinery, metals, and chemical goods. Germany is the leading producer of wind turbines and solar power technology in the world. The security risk for expatriates in Germany is low. Risks include low levels of street crime, however violence is unusual, and expats are unlikely to be exposed to crime. There is risk of terrorism. The population in Berlin is 4.4 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 1.04% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Berlin as at 1 January 2015 is high in comparison to other places in the world. In Berlin, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Low 2) Clothing: High 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Very High 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: High 7) Healthcare: Very High 8) Household Accommodation: Low 9) Miscellaneous: High 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Very High Berlin is for example 12% more expensive than Montevideo for groceries, -10.1% cheaper for household costs than Durban, and 32% more expensive for transport costs than Athens. Berlin is ranked as a minimal hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Berlin for an expat from Zurich is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Berlin) premium of 10% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Berlin? Register subscribe to your home location and Berlin and run your personalised reports.