International cost of living and hardship / quality of living data for 780 global locations.
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Afghanistan is a landlocked country in Central, and Southern Asia and is part of the Greater Middle East. It is bordered in the north by Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan; south and east by Pakistan, west by Iran and in the far northeast by China.
The climate is arid to semi arid with cold winters and hot summers.
Dari (Afghan Persian) and Pashto are the country's official languages, the former is used in business and government. English is spoken among the elite, but to a lesser degree by the rest of the population.
The main religion is Islam.
The economy of Afghanistan has improved significantly since 2002 due to the infusion of multi-billion US dollars in international assistance and investments, remittances from expats, dramatic improvements in agricultural production and the end of a four-year drought in most of the country. However, Afghanistan still remains one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world and is highly dependent on foreign aid.
In Afghanistan conservative Islamic values should be respected. Men and women are strictly segregated. It is advisable to use your right hand for eating, greeting and accepting gifts. It is not advisable to take photographs of local people, or official buildings etc. Expatriate women should dress modestly in public and ensure hair, arms and legs are covered. They should also be accompanied by an expatriate male colleague and sit in the back seat of vehicles. The working week is Sunday to Thursday. Businesses are closed on Fridays. The safety risk for expatriates is extreme in Afghanistan. Risks include armed insurgent activities targeted at the government and foreign safety personnel, suicide attacks, armed robbery, petty theft, carjacking and rape.
The currency of Afghanistan is the Afghanistan Afghani (AFN). Credit cards are not accepted. Some ATMs in Kabul dispense US dollars as well as the local currency.
Health care facilities are limited. Diarrhoeal diseases and other gastrointestinal infections are common. Respiratory tuberculosis is common. Malaria is present.
The population is 34.6 Million (2019 est.), and the inflation rate (CPI) is 1.8% for Afghanistan as at September 2019.
The Xpatulator Hypothetical Tax for Afghanistan is based on the amount of income tax payable by a natural person which is calculated by applying the schedule in Article 4 (3) of the Income Tax Manual (2009). The current personal income tax rates are progressive up to 20%.
Within Afghanistan we also cover Kabul.
The cost of living for expatriates in Afghanistan as at January 2020 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. We have collected prices for the same items, world wide, based on Expat spending norms, in or closest to the location, and converted them to $USD so that we can compare the cost of 13 different baskets in 780 global locations. For each basket, compared to New York, the equivalent cost in Afghanistan is as follows:1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: for tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$370. 2) Clothing: for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$400. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$18, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$31, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$43 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$34.3) Communication: for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile service provider tariff and data costs. A basket costing USD$200 in New York costs USD$192. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$141, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.03 per minute.4) Education: for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30000 in New York costs USD$16800. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$10,984 for Primary School, and USD$12,223 for High School.5) Furniture & Appliances: for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2500 in New York costs USD$1575. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$620, and USD$533 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.6) Groceries: for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$510. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$1.16, 1 kg oranges USD$1.48, 1 head lettuce USD$0.29, 1 kg potatos USD$0.48, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$3.32, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$4.93, 1 dozen large eggs USD$1.33, 500g loaf white bread USD$0.39, 1 L full cream milk USD$0.85, and 1.5 L water USD$0.43.7) Healthcare: for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$710. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$58, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,775.8) Household Accommodation: for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5000 in New York costs USD$1000. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$1,057 in a central location, and USD$612 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.9) Miscellaneous: for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$355. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$6.88, while an international newspaper is USD$2.12.10) Personal Care: for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$330. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$26, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$131.11) Recreation & Culture: for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$195. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$2.48, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$14 per month.12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$310. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$2.24, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$0.40, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$4.15, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$8.71.13) Transport: for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$460. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$0.68, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$10,387.
Afghanistan is -31.4% cheaper than USA for groceries, -63.4% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 16.7% more expensive for transport costs than India.
Afghanistan is ranked as an extreme hardship location.The hardship premium for Afghanistan for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Afghanistan) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.