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International Cost of Living Calculators

International cost of living and hardship / quality of living data for 780 global locations.


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Benin, Cotonou
Overview

Benin, CotonouCotonou is the economic capital of Benin, as well as its largest city. Cotonou is Benin's largest city and houses many of its government and diplomatic services. The city is a major port, and is also home to an airport and a railway that links to Parakou.

Benin is in Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo. The climate is tropical and hot and humid in the south, but semi arid in the north.

The official language is French. A large number of people speak Fon and Yaruba. English is not widely spoken. The main religions are Indigenous beliefs, Christianity and Islam.

The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Cotton accounts for 40% of GDP and roughly 80% of official export receipts.

Beninois religious beliefs are a large part of society. Business clothing is usually in the form of lightweight suits. Women are prominent at all levels of business and public life. The working week is Monday to Friday, though in the north, some businesses may be closed on Friday afternoons.

The security risk for expatriates in Benin is low, but medium for the border area with Nigeria. Risks include petty and armed crime, more prevalent near the Nigerian border, as well as armed crime in Cotonou. Other risks include traffic accidents, often related to the many scooter taxis, and there have been incidents of pirates attacking ships off the country's coast.

The currency of Benin is the CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF). Benin is largely a cash based economy. Credit cards are not widely accepted and ATMs are limited.

Medical facilities are poor and emergency facilities are extremely limited. Serious or complex medical treatment may require evacuation which can be expensive. Cholera, tuberculosis, meningitis and malaria are common.

The population of Cotonou is 779,000 (2019 est.), while the inflation rate (CPI) is -1.7% for Benin as at September 2019.

Xpatulator Hypothetical Tax for Benin is based on the current personal income tax rates which are progressive up to 35%.


Cost Of Living

The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in Cotonou as at 1 November 2019 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 Cotonou is as follows:
1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$540. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$6.75, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$0.80, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$1.27 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$2.00.
2) Clothing: for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$540. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$40, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$62, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$81 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$35.
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$242. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$42, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.10 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$21000. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$13,585 for Primary School, and USD$15,117 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$2325. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$736, and USD$632 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$740. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$2.95, 1 kg oranges USD$1.69, 1 head lettuce USD$0.59, 1 kg potatos USD$1.18, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$7.60, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$2.28, 1 dozen large eggs USD$1.86, 500g loaf white bread USD$1.27, 1 L full cream milk USD$1.69, and 1.5 L water USD$0.84.
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$500. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$40, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,245.
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$1300. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$1,031 in a central location, and USD$587 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$320. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$6.29, while an international newspaper is USD$1.93.
10) Personal Care: for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$175. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$14, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$70.
11) Recreation & Culture: for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$375. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$3.38, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$51 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$550. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$2.36, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$0.76, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$12.66, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$30.38.
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$780. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$0.93, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$6,752.

Cotonou is 14.4% more expensive than Houston TX for groceries, -39.9% cheaper for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and 31.5% more expensive for transport costs than Dubai.

Cotonou is ranked as a extreme hardship location.

The hardship premium for Cotonou for an expat from Perth, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Cotonou) premium of 40% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%.

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