International Cost of Living Calculators

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Eritrea, All Areas

Eritrea, All Areas

Cost of living in Eritrea, 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 2023.

What is it like to live in Eritrea?

Climate: The climate is desert, hot and dry along the Red Sea coast but cooler and wetter in the central highlands, and semi arid in western hills and lowlands.

Language: English and Italian are widely spoken among the business community. Tigrinya is the main local language, though Arabic, Afar, Bilen, Hedareb, Kunama, Naro and Saho are also spoken.

Religion: Islam and Christianity.

Economy: The economy of Eritrea is largely based on subsistence agriculture, with 80% of the population involved in farming and herding. Drought has often created difficulty in the farming areas.

Inflation: 7.5% for Eritrea as at December 2022.

Money: The currency of Eritrea is the Nakfa (ERN). Nakfa are not convertible outside Eritrea and requires the original currency transaction receipt. Eritrea is a cash based economy. There are no credit card or ATMs facilities. Most hotels in Eritrea require payment in US Dollars, however it is illegal to use foreign currency for purchases outside of officially-recognised hotels.

Tax: In Eritrea is based on the current personal income tax rates which are progressive up to 30%.

Population: 3.5 Million (2022 est.)

Expat Life: Business culture is similar to that of Western Europe and North America. Expatriate dress code comprises suits for official meetings, otherwise a shirt and tie is appropriate for men. For women modest dress to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities is required. The safety risk for expatriates in Eritrea is medium, but high on the borders with Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti. Risks include petty crime throughout, and military raids and landmines in the border regions.

Health Care: Health care facilities are limited. Serious or complex health care treatment may require evacuation which can be expensive.

Eritrea covers all areas within the country other than Asmara.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Eritrea?

The cost of living for expatriates in Eritrea as at October 2023 is average in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 61.94 (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 Eritrea is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is average 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$630. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$23.43, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$1.09, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$3.24 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$4.30.

2) Clothing: Cost is very low for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$480. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$25, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$46, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$39 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$35.

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$228. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$237, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$5.79 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$22200. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$14,381 for Primary School, and USD$16,003 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is 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$2200. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$715, and USD$614 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is average 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$660. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$2.42, 1 kg oranges USD$1.41, 1 head lettuce USD$0.52, 1 kg potatos USD$1.21, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$4.95, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$17.45, 1 dozen large eggs USD$3.84, 500g loaf white bread USD$3.50, 1 L full cream milk USD$3.74, and 1.5 L water USD$1.49.

7) Healthcare: Cost is low 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$560. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$45, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,395.

8) Household Accommodation: Cost is low 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$1450. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$2,198 in a central location, and USD$1,256 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is low for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$270. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$5.24, while an international newspaper is USD$1.61.

10) Personal Care: Cost is average for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$295. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$24, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$118.

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$405. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$3.81, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$46 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is low 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$360. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$1.75, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.35, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$5.46, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$29.41.

13) Transport: Cost is 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$990. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$3.18, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$26,000.

How does the cost of living in Eritrea compare?

Eritrea is -17.8% cheaper than USA for groceries, -50.7% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 95.4% more expensive for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Eritrea?

Eritrea is ranked as an extreme hardship location.The hardship premium for Eritrea for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Eritrea) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.

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