Wednesday, March 24, 2010

United Kingdom, Birmingham Cost of Living January 2010

LOCATION: The United Kingdom is in Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France.

CAPITAL CITY: London

LARGEST CITY: London

CURRENCY: British Pound (GBP)

ECONOMY: The United Kingdom is a major industrial and trading nation. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves; primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, account by far for the largest proportion of GDP while industry continues to decline in importance. Although Birmingham grew to prominence as a manufacturing and engineering centre, its economy today is dominated by the service sector, which in 2003 accounted for 78% of the city's economic output and 97% of its economic growth.

Birmingham has an overall cost of living index which equates it with middle cost of living locations. The overall cost of living index is comprised of the prices for defined quantities of the same goods and services across all 13 Basket Groups. Birmingham is currently ranked 166 overall, most expensive place in the world for expatriates to live, out of 276 international locations. The cost of living overview for each of the 13 Basket Groups is as follows:

Alcohol & Tobacco costs for alcoholic beverages such as alcohol at bar, beer, locally produced spirit, whiskey, and wine as well as tobacco products such as cigarettes is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 239 out of 276.

Clothing costs for clothing and footwear products such as business suits, casual clothing, childrens clothing and footwear, coats and hats, evening wear, shoe repairs, and underwear is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 231 out of 276.

Communication costs for various communication costs such as home telephone rental and call charges, internet connection and service provider fees, mobile / cellular phone contract and calls is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 259 out of 276.

Education costs such as creche / pre-school fees, high school / college fees, primary school fees, and tertiary study fees is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 112 out of 276.

Furniture & Appliance costs for furniture, household equipment and household appliances such as dvd player, fridge freezer, iron, kettle, toaster, microwave, light bulbs, television, vacuum cleaner, and washing machine is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 234 out of 276.

Grocery costs for food, non-alcoholic beverages and cleaning material items such as baby consumables, baked goods, baking, canned foods, cheese, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fruit juices, meat, oil & vinegars, pet food, pre-prepared meals, sauces, seafood, snacks, soft drinks, spices & herbs is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 240 out of 276.

Healthcare costs for general healthcare, medical and medical insurance such as general practitioner consultation rates, hospital private ward daily rate, non-prescription medicine, and private medical insurance / medical aid contributions is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 159 out of 276.

Household costs for housing, water, electricity, household gas, household fuels, local rates and residential taxes such as house / flat mortgage, house / flat rental, household electricity consumption, household gas / fuel consumption, household water consumption, and local property rates / taxes / levies is relatively more expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 62 out of 276.

Miscellaneous costs related to stationary, linen and general goods and services such as domestic help, dry cleaning, linen, office supplies, newspapers and magazines, and postage stamps is relatively more expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 63 out of 276.

Personal Care costs for personal care products and services such as cosmetics, hair care, moisturizer / sun block, nappies, pain relief tablets, toilet paper, toothpaste, and soap / shampoo / conditioner is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 131 out of 276.

Recreation and Culture costs such as books, camera film, cinema ticket, DVD and CDs, sports goods, and theatre tickets is relatively less expensive compared to other cities with a rank of 230 out of 276.

Restaurants, Meals Out and Hotel costs such as business dinner, dinner at a restaurant (non fast food), hotel rates, take away drinks and snacks (fast food) is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 120 out of 276.

Transport costs for public transport, vehicle costs, vehicle fuel, vehicle insurance and vehicle maintenance such as hire purchase / lease of vehicle, petrol / diesel, public transport service maintenance, tires, vehicle Insurance, and vehicle purchase is equally expensive on average compared to other cities with a rank of 164 out of 276.

Your exact customized cost of living index for Birmingham is based on which of the above basket groups as well as the comparison location you select in the Calculators.

In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, Birmingham is ranked as a minimal hardship location with a hardship index of 10%.

Your exact customized hardship index premium for Birmingham is based on the comparison location that you select in the Calculators.