Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. Freetown is the economic, financial, and cultural centre of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia. The climate is tropical, hot and humid with a summer rainy season and a winter dry season. The official language is English. Krio (an English creole) is the lingua franca. Local tribal languages are also spoken. The main religions are Islam and Christianity. The economy of Sierra Leone is slowly emerging from a protracted civil war and is showing signs of a successful transition. The country is very rich in minerals and has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base. The country is among the top 10 diamond producing nations in the world, and mineral exports remain the main foreign currency earner. Expatriate business dress is mostly conservative, though ties are not always worn. The security risk for expatriates in Sierra Leone is high. Risks include theft and violence. Other risks include poor infrastructure, hazardous driving conditions, and unreliable electricity and water. The currency of Sierra Leone is the Sierra Leone Leone (SLL). Sierra Leone is largely a cash based economy. Credit cards are accepted at only a few hotels in Freetown. ATMs are available but limited in Freetown but there are high levels of fraud reported. Outside of Freetown credit cards are not accepted and ATMs are not be available. Medical facilities are well below international standards. Any medical treatment is required to be paid for up front. Rabies, lassa fever, water-borne diseases, malaria and other tropical diseases are common. Cholera is endemic. The population of Freetown is 951,000 (2016 est.), while the inflation rate is 18.7% (Jan 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Freetown, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Freetown as at 1 April 2017 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Average 2) Clothing: Very Low 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: High 5) Furniture & Appliances: Very High 6) Groceries: Very High 7) Healthcare: High 8) Household Accommodation: High 9) Miscellaneous: Very Low 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: High 13) Transport: High Freetown is for example 58.9% more expensive than Houston TX for groceries, 46.2% more expensive for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and 29.7% more expensive for transport costs than Dubai. The hardship premium for Freetown for an expat from Perth, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Freetown) premium of 40% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%. Freetown is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Freetown? Register subscribe to your home location and Freetown and run your personalised reports.