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Thursday, 23 May 2019

Egypt ranks 49 out of 55 countries in Deutsche Bank’s living standards index

Egypt is ranked 49th out of 55 countries in Deutsche Bank’s survey of global prices and living standards. The index aggregates different “sub-indices that measure certain broad factors that affect overall quality of life in a given location,” including purchasing power, crime and safety, healthcare quality and availability, cost of living, traffic congestion, pollution, and the affordability of housing relative to average income. This is the first year Egypt has been included in the index.

Egypt falls at the bottom of the ranking for purchasing power, healthcare, and pollution, but fares quite well in terms of cost of living, coming in 4th overall. Our notorious commutes are ranked 44th overall, while we are listed as 39th in terms of safety. When it comes to income and expenses, the average monthly salary in Egypt has grown 16% y-o-y to USD 206, which is around 4% of the average in New York City. Egypt has the lowest average monthly income in the index.

What’s cheaper in Cairo than New York? Most things: Renting a mid-range two-bedroom apartment will cost you 10% of the amount it would in New York, and monthly public transport tickets are less than a third of what they cost across the pond. A liter of gas in Cairo costs around half of what it does in the Big Apple, despite that figure rising a cumulative 92% over the past five years, relative to New York. Basic taxi tariffs, cinema tickets, monthly gym memberships, men’s haircuts, Marlboro cigarettes, and — unsurprisingly — some forms of labor are all also cheaper. Even outings are significantly less costly here, whether it’s for ethanolic beverages or an average dinner at neighborhood pubs (although, to be fair, we’re not entirely sure what qualifies in Cairo as a “neighborhood pub”).

What’s more expensive in our fair city? Bourgeois things. Clothing at foreign outlets such as Zara, an annual subscription to the Economist, weekend getaways, and the iPhone X are all a fair bit pricier in our neck of the woods.

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