If you’d asked me yesterday, I would have been convinced that Cape Town was the most expensive city in South Africa.
My bank balance backs this up.
Numbeo’s recently released Cost of Living Index for mid-year 2019, however, suggests something different.
BusinessTech reports that The Numbeo index compares the cost of living across the world relative to New York City, which has an index score of 100 (100%).
The index looks at the relative costs across several categories, including rent, the cost of food, transport and entertainment.
If another city has, for example, a rent index of 120, it means that on an average in that city, rents are 20% more expensive than in New York City. If a city has a rent index of 70, that means on an average in that city, rents are 30% less expensive than in New York City.
As for the most expensive city in South Africa…
At mid-year 2019, Pretoria is still ranked as the most expensive city in South Africa, where enough data is available to form statistical certainty.
This is followed by Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and then Durban.
Pretoria’s index score climbed in 2019 to 49.18 (from 45.89 in 2018) – trend seen across all South Africa’s cities, showing the effects of the rising cost of living in the country due the various economic factors that have kept growth subdued.
Johannesburg’s score rose to 47.47 (2018: 45.51), Cape Town was up to 45.00 (2018: 41.58), and Port Elizabeth (42.15 from 39.41) shot past Durban (40.61 up slightly from 40.68) to be ranked fourth.
Yep. Pretoria, of all places, will cost you a fortune every month, according to the index.
The expat cost of living index by Expatistan, which uses Prague instead of New York, revealed similar results to Numbeo, except they named Joburg as the most expensive city.
Outside of the global ranking of major cities, Expatistan also provides more local data, showing how many of the smaller cities rank. Of the 31 cities covered, Expatistan ranks the top 10 based on the quality of the data (ie, there is enough data to accurately gauge the cost of living in those areas)
I’ll leave you with a list of 30 South African towns and cities covered by Expatistan, which also provides insight into how the top 10 fit into the bigger picture:
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