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Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

Cost of living in Addis Ababa, 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 Addis Ababa?

Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia.

Economy: Addis Ababa has the status of both a city and a state. It is where the African Union and its predecessor the OAU are based. The economic activities in Addis Ababa are diverse.

Inflation: 28.2% for Ethiopia as at August 2023.

Addis Ababa Population: 4.6 Million (Metro) (2022 est.)

Expat Life: In Ethiopia, first names are followed by the first name of the individuals father. There are no "surnames" passed on to successive generations. Expatriates should take care during conversation to maintain a reasonable distance, not to make prolonged eye contact, and to keep hands out of pockets. Expatriate dress code is typical conservative, usually comprising a suit and tie for men, while women should wear long, dark, loose-fitting dresses and conservative shoes and use minimal perfume and makeup. As a significant proportion of the population is Muslim, the cultural sensitivity to the role of women in Islamic culture is advisable. Ethiopian women have not yet achieved equal status in the public and business sectors. Expatriate women may encounter conservative, negative attitudes in business meetings and may find themselves regarded as inferior or even ignored completely. The safety risk for expatriates in Ethiopia is medium, but high for the majority of the border areas. Risks include terrorism and tensions mainly along the borders, as well as low levels of serious and violent crime throughout Ethiopia.

Health Care: Health care facilities in Addis Ababa are reasonable for basic care of minor health problems, elsewhere health care facilities are extremely poor. Dengue and Yellow fever have been reported. Malaria is common below an altitude of 2,000m (Addis Ababa is 2,400 metres above sea level). Bilharzia is present. Water-borne diseases are common.

For other areas within the country see Ethiopia.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Addis Ababa?

The cost of living for expatriates in Addis Ababa as at October 2023 is high in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 82.62 (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 Addis Ababa is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is very 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$1000. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$10.60, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$0.98, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$1.82 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$5.20.

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$770. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$27, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$63, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$76 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$54.

3) Communication: Cost is very 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$274. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$202, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$11.50 per minute.

4) Education: Cost is very high 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$33600. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$21,804 for Primary School, and USD$24,264 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$2500. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$762, and USD$655 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is 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$890. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$2.52, 1 kg oranges USD$1.24, 1 head lettuce USD$0.46, 1 kg potatos USD$0.27, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$4.86, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$5.55, 1 dozen large eggs USD$2.99, 500g loaf white bread USD$0.81, 1 L full cream milk USD$5.40, and 1.5 L water USD$0.51.

7) Healthcare: Cost is average 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$720. 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$1,781.

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$2200. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$3,523 in a central location, and USD$1,727 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is average 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$6.20, while an international newspaper is USD$1.91.

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$380. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$31, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$153.

11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is very high for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$515. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$5.85, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$92 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is average 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$450. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$1.04, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$0.88, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$7.80, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$39.00.

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$1260. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$3.56, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$25,500.

How does the cost of living in Addis Ababa compare?

Addis Ababa is 22.3% more expensive than Houston TX for groceries, 95.2% more expensive for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and 71.5% more expensive for transport costs than Dubai.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Addis Ababa?

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

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