Caracas is the capital and largest city of Venezuela. Important industries in Caracas include chemicals, textiles, leather, food, iron and wood products. Caracas is a regional centre for the distribution of products. 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 Caracas is 5.3 Million (2016 est.), while the inflation rate is 741% (Feb 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Caracas, 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): Caracas as at 1 October 2017 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: High 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 Caracas is for example -20% cheaper than Houston TX for groceries, 96.7% more expensive for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and -14.7% cheaper for transport costs than Dubai. The hardship premium for Caracas for an expat from Perth, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Caracas) premium of 40% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%. Caracas is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Caracas? Register subscribe to your home location and Caracas and run your personalised reports.