Belfast is the capital of and the largest city in Northern Ireland. Belfast is Northern Ireland's educational and commercial hub. It is currently in the top five fastest growing regional economies in the UK. The United Kingdom is in Western Europe, and consists of islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France. The climate is temperate, moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current. More than one-half of the days are overcast. The official language is English. There are areas (such as north-western Wales and remote parts of Scotland) where it is the second language. French is the most commonly taught second language. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of the United Kingdom is that of a major developed capitalist economy. The United Kingdom is one of the world's most globalised countries. The British economy is made up of the economies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In 1973, the UK acceded to the European Economic Community which is now known as the European Union after the ratification of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993. The UK economy had been one of the strongest EU economies in terms of inflation, interest rates and unemployment, all of which remained relatively low until the 2008-09 recession, when unemployment rose dramatically, and interest rates fell to 0.5%. Expatriate business dress is generally formal, comprising suits and ties for men and suits for women, although this may differ by industry and geographic area. If in doubt, it is best to be more formal than informal. The security risk for expatriates in the United Kingdom is low. Risks include opportunistic street crime (such as pickpocketing, bag-snatching, mugging and vehicle theft), violent crime in some areas of larger cities, and terrorism. The currency of UK is the British Pound (GBP). Banking is on a par with the rest of Western Europe and North America. Medical facilities are good, however the cost of treatment for expatriates from outside the EU can be high. The population of Belfast is 579,000 (2016 est.), while the inflation rate is 0.5% (2016 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in In Belfast, 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): Belfast as at 1 April 2016 is high in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Average 2) Clothing: High 3) Communication: Low 4) Education: High 5) Furniture & Appliances: Average 6) Groceries: Average 7) Healthcare: Average 8) Household Accommodation: High 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: Average 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Very High Belfast is for example -18.7% cheaper than Canberra for groceries, -15.6% cheaper for household costs than Perth, and -12.1% cheaper for transport costs than Austria. The hardship premium for Belfast for an expat from Albania, is for example -30%, i.e. host location (Belfast) premium of 10% minus home (Albania) location premium of 40%. Belfast is ranked as a minimal hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Belfast? Register subscribe to your home location and Belfast and run your personalised reports.