Thursday, July 14, 2011

Moving to Brussels

In our series of short blogs on moving between different international locations, we highlight cost of living and other major differences likely to be experienced.
Today we look at moving to Brussels in Belgium from Canberra in Australia. In Canberra people speak English. In Brussels people speak Dutch (local variant called Flemish), French and German.

Canberra is the capital city of Australia and is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth largest Australian city overall. Brussels is the de facto capital city of the European Union (EU) and the largest urban area in Belgium. Canberra's main industry is government administration and defence employing over 40% of Canberra's workforce. The unemployment rate in Canberra is well below the national unemployment rate, with labour shortages reported in some sectors. As a result of low unemployment and substantial levels of public sector and commercial employment, Canberra has the highest average disposable income of any Australian capital city.

Serving as the centre of administration for Europe, Brussels' economy is largely service-oriented. It is dominated by regional and world headquarters of multinationals, by European institutions, by various administrations, and by related services, though it does have a number of notable craft industries, such as the Cantillon Brewery, a lambic brewery founded in 1900.

The overall cost of living rank in Canberra is 15 out of 300 global locations, which equates it with high cost of living locations. An expatriate moving from Canberra to Brussels which has an overall cost of living rank of 45, which equates it with high cost of living locations, will experience a change in cost of living of -13.7%.
In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, Brussels is ranked as a minimal hardship location with a hardship index of 10% compared to Canberra with a hardship index of 10% which is a minimal hardship location.

Source: as at July 2011.

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