Ranking African Countries by Cost of Living Index

Cost of Living index is a theoretical metric that compares the average living expenses between different regions.
It provides the percentage difference in the cost of living between one location and another.

Cost of living on the other hand refers to the expenses incurred to sustain a certain standard of living in relation to basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, education, transportation and healthcare.

The percent difference of the index is compared to a nominal figure of 100. Thus, a city having a cost of living index as 85% is 15% below the location being compared to. 

Basically, the higher the cost of living Index of a city the more expensive it is to live there.

Data provided by Statista reveal the 15 African cities with the highest cost of living indices.

1. Addis Ababa: The Ethiopian capital city and headquarters of the African Union has the highest cost of living index score in Africa at 58.92.
This suggests a comparatively high price of consumer goods in the city in relation to other continental locations.

2. Abidjan: The capital city of Cote D’Ivoire has a cost of living index score of 55.73, making it the second highest in Africa.

3. Harare: This Zimbabwean capital city, formerly called Salisbury, has a cost of living index score of 52.33 as of 2021.

4. Johannesburg: This is the first of four South African cities on the list. It is the largest city in the rainbow nation. Joburg, as it is fondly called by its residents, has a cost of living index score of 46.

5. Pretoria: This administrate capital of South Africa has a cost of living index score here is 44.7.

6. Gaborone: The capital city of Botswana has a cost of living index of 42.84.

7. Cape Town: This is the third South African city on the list and it has a cost of living index of 42.24. It is the legislative capital of South Africa.

8. Accra: This is the second West African city that made it to the list, besides Abidjan. The Ghanaian capital city has a cost of index of 42.18.

9. Marrakech: This is fourth largest city in Morocco. A former imperial city in the western region of the North African country, it is a major economic centre and tourist magnet with it’s iconic mosques and palaces. It has a cost of living index of 41.73.

10. Windhoek: Namibia’s capital and largest city has a cost of living index score of 41.08.

11. Tangier: This is the second Moroccan city on the list. A port city on the strait of Gibraltar, it has an index score of 40.18.

12. Durban: This is the last of the four South African cities on this list. Durban has a cost of living index score of 39.86.

13. Casablanca: This is the second largest city in Morocco and it has a cost of living index score of 39.81,

14. Nairobi: Kenya’s capital city has a cost of living index score of 38.51.

15. Rabat: Finally, Morocco’s capital city has a cost of living index score of 37.95.

The top 15 most expensive cities in Africa features 4 cities in South Africa with 3 in Morocco. Two West African cities make the list. Surprisingly Lagos doesn’t feature in the top 15.

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