International Cost of Living Calculators

2021 International cost of living and hardship / quality of living data for 780 global locations.

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Zimbabwe, All Areas

Zimbabwe, All Areas

Cost of living in Zimbabwe, prices and what it is like to live for an Expat, quality of life / hardship, and compare cost of living for Expatriates as at July 2021.

What is it like to live in Zimbabwe?

Climate: The climate is tropical, moderated by altitude and the rainy season (November to March).

Language: The official language is English. Various dialects of Shona are the main indigenous languages in the centre and north; Ndebele is spoken in the south and west, including in Bulawayo.

Religion: Christianity and indigenous beliefs.

Economy: The economy of Zimbabwe has reserves of metallurgical-grade chromite and commercial mineral deposits include coal, asbestos, copper, nickel, diamonds, gold, platinum and iron ore. However internal upheaval, population displacement, poverty, 94% unemployment and years of hyperinflation have negatively impacted the economy. The Zimbabwe dollar was abandoned in April 2009 when the US Dollar became legal tender, there is some evidence to suggest that this has helped slow the economic decline somewhat, however extreme hardship persists for majority of citizens.

Inflation: 50.24% for Zimbabwe as at August 2021.

Money: The currency of Zimbabwe is the US Dollar (USD). Credit and debit cards are generally accepted, but not all areas outside of Harare. ATMs are common in Harare, dispensing US dollars. It is illegal to exchange foreign currency other than at officially licensed dealers such as banks. Strict exchange control regulations are in place.

Tax: In Zimbabwe is based on the current personal income tax rates which are progressive up to 45%.

Population: 14.8 Million (2020 est.)

Expat Life: Expatriate dress code is typically a lightweight suit and tie for men and a lightweight suit or its equivalent for women. The safety risk for expatriates in Zimbabwe is medium to high. Risks include crime, the risks associated with road travel (due to poor road conditions and driving standards), the risks associated with a fragile political environment and prevalent tensions, as well as obstructive or intrusive behaviour on the part of the authorities.

Health Care: Health care facilities are unreliable. There is a shortage of drugs and trained health care staff in hospitals. Private clinics generally require payment upfront, often before they will admit even emergency cases. Health care costs, particularly for evacuation, can be high. There have been outbreaks of contagious diseases reported. The HIV prevalence rate is very high.

Zimbabwe covers all areas within the country other than Harare.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Zimbabwe?

The cost of living for expatriates in Zimbabwe as at July 2021 is very high in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 176.03 (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 Zimbabwe 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$1910. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$13.30, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$2.03, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$2.98 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$3.33.

2) Clothing: Cost is very high for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$1860. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$41, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$74, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$79 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$43.

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$414. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$97, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.16 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$52500. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$34,054 for Primary School, and USD$37,895 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is very 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$15200. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$2701, and USD$2,319 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is very 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$2360. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$4.75, 1 kg oranges USD$3.16, 1 head lettuce USD$1.39, 1 kg potatos USD$1.96, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$6.70, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$8.45, 1 dozen large eggs USD$3.45, 500g loaf white bread USD$1.38, 1 L full cream milk USD$2.47, and 1.5 L water USD$1.99.

7) Healthcare: Cost is very high 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$1380. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$112, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$3,448.

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$2100. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$1,469 in a central location, and USD$1,035 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is very high for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$2070. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$40.35, while an international newspaper is USD$12.42.

10) Personal Care: Cost is very high for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$1060. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$85, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$424.

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$1165. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$10.88, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$56 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is very high 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$1550. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$3.42, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.30, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$7.71, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$51.39.

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$1670. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$1.26, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$27,900.

How does the cost of living in Zimbabwe compare?

Zimbabwe is 186.6% more expensive than USA for groceries, -39.4% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 220.9% more expensive for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Zimbabwe?

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

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