International Cost of Living Calculators

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Lebanon, All Areas

Lebanon, All Areas

Cost of living in Lebanon, 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 Lebanon?

Climate: The climate is mediterranean with mild to cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows.

Language: The official language is Arabic. Arabic and French predominate in the east of the capital Beirut and the north of the country, while Arabic and English are the main languages in west Beirut and the south. Both English and French are also widely used.

Religion: Islam and Christianity.

Economy: The economy of Lebanon is characterised by remittances from Lebanese abroad which account for one fifth of the country's economy. Prior to 2019 the thriving tourism and banking activities have made the services sector the most important part of the Lebanese economy employing nearly 65% of the workforce. Even before the coronavirus pandemic at the start of 2020, Lebanon was in crises. Public debt was already amongst the highest in the world after years of careless government borrowing. Unemployment was already over 25% and nearly a third of the population was living below the poverty line. Protests became common due to the government's failure to provide basic services, daily power cuts, a lack of safe drinking water, limited public healthcare, and some of the world's worst internet connections. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the economic crisis. Then on 4 August 2020 a devastating explosion in Beirut killed over 200 people and injured about 5,000 others, destroying around 300,000 homes.

Inflation: 230% for Lebanon as at August 2023.

Money: The currency of Lebanon is the Lebanese Pound (LBP). ATMs are common, especially in the main tourist / expatriate areas. International hotels mostly accept payment by credit card.

Tax: In Lebanon is based on the current personal income tax rates which are progressive up to 25%.

Population: 6.8 Million (2022 est.)

Expat Life: Lebanese people are known for their hospitality. Expatriate dress code is usually formal, comprising suits (and ties, for men). The safety risk for expatriates in Lebanon is low to medium. Risks include petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag-snatching, low levels of violent crime, cross-border shelling and incursions, protest action, and the threat of terrorism.

Health Care: Health care facilities are good, however health care treatment in Lebanon can be expensive. Doctors are generally well qualified though nursing standards vary.

Lebanon covers all areas within the country other than Beirut.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Lebanon?

The cost of living for expatriates in Lebanon as at October 2023 is low in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 56.21 (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 Lebanon is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is low 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$610. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$7.80, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$3.58, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$3.16 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$3.90.

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$840. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$69, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$113, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$126 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$65.

3) Communication: Cost is average 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$176. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$51, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$71.48 per minute.

4) Education: Cost is low 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$16800. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$10,834 for Primary School, and USD$12,056 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is low 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$1400. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$594, and USD$510 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$770. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$1.24, 1 kg oranges USD$0.74, 1 head lettuce USD$1.08, 1 kg potatos USD$0.72, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$3.97, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$7.19, 1 dozen large eggs USD$3.22, 500g loaf white bread USD$1.25, 1 L full cream milk USD$28.50, and 1.5 L water USD$0.78.

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$500. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$41, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,247.

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$1900. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$2,928 in a central location, and USD$1,604 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$280. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$5.47, while an international newspaper is USD$1.68.

10) Personal Care: Cost is very low for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$185. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$15, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$75.

11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is average for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$320. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$13.00, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$65 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$540. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$3.72, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$2.85, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$9.10, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$65.00.

13) Transport: Cost is low 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$630. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$4.25, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$24,500.

How does the cost of living in Lebanon compare?

Lebanon is -3.7% cheaper than USA for groceries, -36% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 24.8% more expensive for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Lebanon?

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

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