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Antigua and Barbuda, Saint John's

Antigua and Barbuda, Saint John's

Cost of living in Saint John's, prices and what it is like to live for an Expat, quality of life / hardship, and compare cost of living for Expatriates as at October 2021.

What is it like to live in Saint John's?

Saint John's: St John's is the capital and largest city of Antigua and Barbuda. St John's is the commercial centre of the nation and the chief port of the island of Antigua.

Economy: St. John's is one of the most developed and cosmopolitan municipalities in the Lesser Antilles. The city is famous for its various shopping malls as well as boutiques throughout the city, selling designer jewellery and haute-couture clothing. There are also many independent, locally-run establishments, selling a variety of fashions. The investment banking industry has a strong presence in the city. Many major world financial institutions have offices in St. John's.

Inflation: 1.97% for Antigua and Barbuda as at 2020.

Saint John's Population: 81,800 (2020 est.)

Expat Life: In Antigua and Barbuda people are relatively casual regarding agendas and time schedules. Swimming attire should not be worn in public places, only at the beach or pool and camouflage clothing is forbidden. Business attire usually comprises a lightweight suit/dress for business meetings. Expatriate women should exercise caution at all times and avoid travelling alone at night. The safety risk for expatriates in Antigua and Barbuda is low. Risks include petty street crime, and to a lesser extent violent crime and armed assault, particularly when walking alone at night in urban areas. St Johns has a higher crime rate than the rest of Antigua and Barbuda. Other risks include hurricanes and tropical storms.

Health Care: Health care facilities are good but limited and generally expensive. Serious or complex health care treatment may require evacuation which can be expensive. Dengue fever occurs. Cases of Chikungunya virus have been reported.

For other areas within the country see Antigua and Barbuda.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Saint John's?

The cost of living for expatriates in Saint John's as at October 2021 is very high in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 90.61 (New York =100). 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 Saint John's is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is high for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$910. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$13.26, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$2.47, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$3.17 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$7.32.

2) Clothing: Cost is average for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$1010. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$41, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$81, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$82 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$44.

3) Communication: Cost is high 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$232. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$58, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.13 per minute.

4) Education: Cost is average for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30,000 in New York costs USD$27300. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$17,687 for Primary School, and USD$19,682 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is very high for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2,500 in New York costs USD$3200. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$872, and USD$748 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is very high for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$1130. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$8.85, 1 kg oranges USD$6.74, 1 head lettuce USD$3.84, 1 kg potatos USD$4.24, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$9.33, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$9.22, 1 dozen large eggs USD$4.32, 500g loaf white bread USD$2.89, 1 L full cream milk USD$2.17, and 1.5 L water USD$1.92.

7) Healthcare: Cost is high for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$860. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$70, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$2,139.

8) Household Accommodation: Cost is average for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5,000 in New York costs USD$2900. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$2,539 in a central location, and USD$1,796 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is high for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$495. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$9.61, while an international newspaper is USD$2.96.

10) Personal Care: Cost is high for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$425. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$34, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$171.

11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is high for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$410. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$8.36, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$70 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is very high for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$860. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$5.68, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$2.92, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$9.52, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$98.84.

13) Transport: Cost is very high for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$1150. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$0.96, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$26,621.

How does the cost of living in Saint John's compare?

Saint John's is 45.9% more expensive than Houston TX for groceries, 40% more expensive for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and 90% more expensive for transport costs than Dubai.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Saint John's?

Saint John's is ranked as a some hardship location.The hardship premium for Saint John's for an expat from Perth, is for example 10%, i.e. host location (Saint John's) premium of 20% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%.

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