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. Tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April). Coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east. The official language is English. Krio (an English creole) is the lingua franca. Local tribal languages are also spoken. The main religions are Islam, 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. 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 population in Freetown is 0.773 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 6.39% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Freetown as at 1 January 2015 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. In Freetown, 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 High 2) Clothing: Low 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: Very High 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: Very High 7) Healthcare: High 8) Household Accommodation: Average 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: High 13) Transport: Very High Freetown is for example 79.2% more expensive than Montevideo for groceries, -4.6% cheaper for household costs than Durban, and 29.8% more expensive for transport costs than Athens. Freetown is ranked as a extreme 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 Freetown for an expat from Zurich is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Freetown) premium of 40% 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 Freetown? Register subscribe to your home location and Freetown and run your personalised reports.