Venezuela is in Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana. The climate is tropical, hot and humid, but more moderate in the highlands. The official language is Spanish. Many local professionals speak English, knowledge of Spanish is appreciated and particularly useful. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Venezuela is dominated by the petroleum sector accounting for roughly a third of GDP, around 80% of exports and more than half of government revenues. Gold, diamonds and iron ore are mined as well. Venezuela contains some of the largest oil and natural gas reserves in the world. It consistently ranks among the top ten crude oil producers in the world. Expatriate business dress is conservative and formal. Venezuelans are very fashionable. Nice suits are respected. The security risk for expatriates in Venezuela is medium but high in Caracas and near the Colombian border. Risks include opportunistic street and petty crime, violent crime (kidnapping, carjacking and armed robberies), and high risk of express kidnapping in the main urban areas, such as Caracas and Maracaibo, and in areas close to the Colombian border. Other risks include very high inflation, tight government controls on foreign exchange, the poor state of the economy and infrastructure, regular protest action, and shortages of basic items. The currency of Venezuela is the Venezuelan Bolivar Fuerte (VEF). Strict currency exchange controls are in place. There are two official exchange rates. Only use official currency exchange. It is illegal to exchange money on the black market. It is difficult to change Bolivars to US dollars. ATMs have low limits for cash withdrawals using international cards. Credit card fraud and cards being cloned is common. Medical facilities vary in quality. In large cities, private clinics are generally good for routine treatment but often experience shortages of medicine. Serious or complex medical treatment may require evacuation which can be expensive. Dengue fever and malaria are present. Cases of Chikungunya virus and Zika virus have been reported. The population of Venezuela is 30.4 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 741% (Feb 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Venezuela, 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): Venezuela as at 1 January 2018 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Very Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Very Low 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Very Low 8) Household Accommodation: Very High 9) Miscellaneous: Very Low 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Very Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very Low 13) Transport: Very Low Venezuela is for example -32.5% cheaper than USA for groceries, 20.7% more expensive for household costs than UK, and 17.7% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Venezuela for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Venezuela) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Venezuela is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Venezuela? Register subscribe to your home location and Venezuela and run your personalised reports.