Lagos ranks 2nd in cheapest cities to live in Africa


June 19, 2024.

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Azonuchechi Chukwu.

Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and its commercial hub, Lagos, have been ranked as the first and second cheapest cities for expatriates to live in for 2024, according to Mercer’s Cost of Living rankings.

The report highlights that the cost of living is a crucial consideration for expatriates when selecting a city for relocation, as it impacts their quality of life and financial stability.

At the lower end of the cost spectrum, cities like Islamabad, Lagos, and Abuja are among the least expensive for expats.

This ranking provides insight into economic trends, assisting individuals and organizations in making informed decisions regarding global mobility.

Among African cities, Bangui has notably risen 12 places to rank 14th globally. Djibouti and N’Djamena follow closely, ranking 18th and 21st, respectively.

In the opposite, Blantyre, Lagos, and Abuja are among the least expensive African cities, positioned at 221st, 225th, and 226th globally.

Top 10 cheapest cities to live in Africa with their global rank

10. Johannesburg, South Africa

The global rank for the cost of living: 206

Johannesburg combines economic opportunities with a relatively low cost of living, particularly in housing and basic services, making it a top choice for expats in South Africa. Johannesburg dropped to 206 as compared to its 205th place in 2023.

9. Cape Town, South Africa

Global rank for cost of living: 209

Cape Town, while being a major tourist destination, offers reasonable living costs for expats, especially in housing and utilities. Unlike Johannesburg, Cape Town climbed up to 209 from 208 in 2023.

8.Tunis, Tunisia

Global rank for cost of living: 210

Tunis offers a blend of cultural richness and affordability, with low costs of housing, food, and transportation for expats. The city moved up nine places to rank 210th in 2024 as compared to last year.

7. Lusaka, Zambia

Global rank for cost of living: 213

Lusaka is known for its low living costs, particularly in housing and transportation, making it an appealing city for expats seeking affordability. Lusaka, Zambia dropped 16 places from last year’s ranking to 213th in 2024.

6. Gaborone, Botswana

Global rank for cost of living: 215

Gaborone presents a cost-effective living environment for expats, with affordable housing and lower costs for daily essentials. Gaborone moved up in the cost-of-living ranking by 1 place since 2023.

5. Windhoek, Namibia

Global rank for cost of living: 218

Windhoek’s affordability is driven by moderate housing costs and relatively low prices for goods and services, making it an attractive destination for cost-conscious expats. The city climbed up 4 places compared to last year.

4. Durban, South Africa

Global rank for cost of living: 219

Durban offers a lower cost of living compared to other South African cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town, especially in terms of housing and groceries. Durban was ranked 220 on the global list for cost of living in 2023.

3. Blantyre, Malawi

Global rank for cost of living: 221

Blantyre is known for its low cost of living, especially in terms of housing and everyday expenses, making it a viable option for expats looking to live comfortably on a budget. The city dropped 23 places to rank among the cheapest cities in the world for expats.

2. Lagos, Nigeria

Global rank for cost of living: 225

Despite being one of Nigeria’s bustling metropolises, Lagos ranks as one of the cheapest cities due to the lower costs of basic goods and services driven by currency depreciation. Lagos dropped 178 places as a result of the currency depreciation.

1. Abuja, Nigeria

Global Rank for cost of living: 226

Abuja dropped 86 places due to the currency depreciation. Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, offers an affordable cost of living for expats, particularly in housing and utilities, which have seen lower cost increases compared to other major cities.(

Chukwu Azochukwu, The Naija247news
Chukwu Azochukwu, The Naija247news
Azonuchechi Chukwu - Business Journalist at Azonuchechi Chukwu is a seasoned business journalist contributing to the insightful coverage of economic and financial news at With a passion for unraveling the complexities of the business world, Azonuchechi brings a wealth of expertise and dedication to his role. As a Business Journalist, Azonuchechi specializes in providing comprehensive analyses of market trends, corporate developments, and economic indicators. His in-depth reports offer readers a nuanced understanding of the forces shaping the Nigerian and global business landscapes. Azonuchechi Chukwu's commitment to journalistic excellence is evident in his ability to translate complex financial information into accessible and engaging narratives. Whether exploring stock market fluctuations, corporate strategies, or economic policies, he strives to deliver content that empowers readers with valuable insights. With an educational background in business and a keen interest in the intersection of finance and technology, Azonuchechi stays at the forefront of industry dynamics. His coverage extends beyond traditional financial reporting, encompassing the dynamic realms of fintech, entrepreneurship, and sustainable business practices. Azonuchechi Chukwu's work goes beyond the surface, aiming to foster financial literacy and awareness among's audience. By demystifying economic complexities and shedding light on emerging opportunities, he plays a pivotal role in keeping readers well-informed in the fast-paced world of business. As's Business Journalist, Azonuchechi Chukwu continues to make meaningful contributions to the platform's mission of delivering timely, accurate, and relevant business news to its diverse audience. His dedication to journalistic integrity and his ability to navigate the intricacies of the business realm make him an invaluable asset to the team.

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