Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moving to Saipan

Today we look at moving to Saipan in Northern Mariana Islands from Maputo in Mozambique. We highlight cost of living and other major differences likely to be experienced in our series of short blogs on moving between different international locations.
In Saipan people speak English, Chamarro and Carolinian. In Maputo people speak Portuguese (official), Makua-Lomwe, Swahili and other indigenous languages.

Saipan is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands. The Commonwealth's center of government is located in the village of Capital Hill on the island. Saipan is often referred to as the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands. Maputo is the capital and largest city of Mozambique. Tourism has long been a vital source of the island's revenue. In years past, the main economic driving force in Saipan was garment manufacturing, however there are no garment manufacturers left on the island. Maputo's chief exports are coal, cotton, sugar, chromite, sisal, copra, and hardwood. The city manufactures cement, pottery, furniture, shoes, and rubber. There is also a large aluminium smelting plant, Mozal.

The overall cost of living rank in Saipan is 214 out of 300 global locations, which equates it with low cost of living locations.  An expatriate moving from Maputo to Saipan will experience a change in cost of living of -5%.
In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, Saipan is ranked as an extreme hardship location with a hardship index of 40% compared to Maputo with a hardship index of 30% which is a high degree of hardship location.

Source: Cost of living Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands as at July 2011.