Friday, July 15, 2011

Moving to Thimphu

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 Thimphu in Bhutan from Vienna in Austria.
In Vienna people speak German. In Thimphu people speak Dzongkha (official).

Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and also one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre. Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan.
Vienna, is home to key international organisations, including the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Opec, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Thimphu became a town in 1961 and grew as the capital of Bhutan. Before 1960, Thimphu was a small settlement but was developed by the King Jigme Dorje Wangchuk to replace the ancient capital of Punakha. Rapid expansion following the pattern of rural exodus has resulted in considerable rebuilding in the city centre and mushrooming suburban development elsewhere.

The overall cost of living rank in Vienna is 30 out of 300 global locations, which equates it with high cost of living locations. An expatriate moving from Vienna to Thimphu which has an overall cost of living rank of 300, which equates it with low cost of living locations, will experience a change in cost of living of -50.8%.
In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, Thimphu is ranked as an extreme hardship location with a hardship index of 40% compared to Vienna with a hardship index of 10% which is a minimal hardship location.

Source: as at July 2011.

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