Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. Skopje is a modern city and a centre for metal-processing, chemical, timber, textile, leather, and printing industries. Industrial development of the city has been accompanied by development of the trade, logistics, and banking sectors, as well as an emphasis on the fields of culture and sport. Macedonia is in South Eastern Europe, north of Greece. Warm, dry summers and autumns; relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall. Mountainous territory covered with deep basins and valleys; three large lakes, each divided by a frontier line; country bisected by the Vardar River. The official language is Macedonian. It is part of a Slavic group of languages similar to Serbian and Bulgarian, and is written in the Cyrillic script. The majority speak Macedonian, many younger members of ethnic minorities, particularly Albanians, either do not speak it well or choose not to for political reasons. Many street signs are in both the Cyrillic and Latin scripts. In areas where Albanians constitute an ethnic majority, signs are in both Macedonian and Albanian. Visitors may find it useful to familiarise themselves with the Cyrillic alphabet. English is the most widely spoken foreign language, followed by German, French, Russian, Italian and Spanish. The main religions are Christianity, Islam. The economy of Macedonia has undergone considerable economic reform since independence. The country has developed an open economy with trade accounting for more than 90% of GDP in recent years. The security risk for expatriates in Macedonia is low. Risks include protest action, organised crime and ethnically-motivated tension and violence. The population in Skopje is 0.668 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is -1.1% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Skopje as at 1 October 2015 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. In Skopje, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Very Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Low 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Very Low 8) Household Accommodation: Low 9) Miscellaneous: Average 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Very Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very Low 13) Transport: Low Skopje is for example -43.6% cheaper than Montevideo for groceries, -14.6% cheaper for household costs than Durban, and -17.8% cheaper for transport costs than Athens. Skopje is ranked as a high degree of 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 Skopje for an expat from Zurich is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Skopje) premium of 30% 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 Skopje? Register subscribe to your home location and Skopje and run your personalised reports.