Friday, July 15, 2011

Moving to La Paz

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 La Paz in Bolivia from Baku in Azerbaijan.
In Baku people speak Azeri and Russian. In La Paz people speak Spanish, Quechua, Aymara and Guarani.
Baku is the capital, the largest city, and the largest port of Azerbaijan and all the Caucasus.
La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia.

The basis of Baku's economy is petroleum. The existence of petroleum has been known since the 8th century. The World War II Battle of Stalingrad was fought to determine who would have control of the Baku oil fields. Fifty years before the battle, Baku produced half of the world's oil supply. Currently the oil economy of Baku is undergoing a resurgence.
The economy of La Paz has improved greatly in recent years. Due to the long period of high inflation and economic struggle faced by Bolivians in the 1980s and early 1990s, a large Informal Economy developed. The overall cost of living rank in Baku is 82 out of 300 global locations, which equates it with high cost of living locations.

An expatriate moving from Baku to La Paz which has an overall cost of living rank of 294, which equates it with low cost of living locations, will experience a change in cost of living of -38.6%.
In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, La Paz is ranked as an extreme hardship location with a hardship index of 40% compared to Baku with a hardship index of 40% which is an extreme hardship location.

Source: as at July 2011.

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