Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. Freetown is the economic, financial, and cultural centre of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia. The climate is tropical, hot and humid with a summer rainy season and a winter dry season. The official language is English. Krio (an English creole) is the lingua franca. Local tribal languages are also spoken. The main religions are Islam and Christianity. The economy of Sierra Leone is slowly emerging from a protracted civil war and is showing signs of a successful transition. The country is very rich in minerals and has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base. The country is among the top 10 diamond producing nations in the world, and mineral exports remain the main foreign currency earner. Expatriate business dress is mostly conservative, though ties are not always worn. The security risk for expatriates in Sierra Leone is high. Risks include theft and violence. Other risks include poor infrastructure, hazardous driving conditions, and unreliable electricity and water. The currency of Sierra Leone is the Sierra Leone Leone (SLL). Sierra Leone is largely a cash based economy. Credit cards are accepted at only a few hotels in Freetown. ATMs are available but limited in Freetown but there are high levels of fraud reported. Outside of Freetown credit cards are not accepted and ATMs are not be available. Medical facilities are well below international standards. Any medical treatment is required to be paid for up front. Rabies, lassa fever, water-borne diseases, malaria and other tropical diseases are common. Cholera is endemic. The population of Freetown is 951,000 (2016 est.), while the inflation rate is 8.85% (2016 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in In Freetown, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Freetown as at 1 April 2016 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very High 2) Clothing: Low 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: Very High 5) Furniture & Appliances: Very High 6) Groceries: Very High 7) Healthcare: Average 8) Household Accommodation: Average 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Very High Freetown is for example 146.5% more expensive than South Africa for groceries, 12.6% more expensive for household costs than Bloemfontein, and 54.8% more expensive for transport costs than Cape Town. The hardship premium for Freetown for an expat from Khartoum, is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Freetown) premium of 40% minus home (Khartoum) location premium of 40%. Freetown is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Freetown? Register subscribe to your home location and Freetown and run your personalised reports.