| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Lebanon Has Highest Cost of Living, Worst Quality of Life

Beirut ranked 242nd out of 248 cities around the world for the “worst” quality of life, according to a recent international report.


Meanwhile, the Lebanese capital topped the region in the highest cost of living among Arab cities, ranking 12th globally and approaching New York City, which is adopted as a reference indicator for measurement.


The Lebanese people are stifled by the sharp imbalance between shrinking incomes – as salaries are still paid at the official dollar rate of LBP 1,500, while the local currency on the black market touches LPB 30,000 to the dollar – and skyrocketing inflation, which topped 1,000 percent.


The situation has pushed about 80 percent of the population below the poverty line, according to reports by the United Nations office, the World Bank, UNICEF and many international financial institutions.


Moreover, the basics of a decent life are almost completely absent, including electricity, water, health coverage and others, in addition to the paralysis of all government services due to the open strike carried out by public administration employees who are demanding a pay hike.


A report by the International Numbeo Institute for Statistics found that Beirut is the most expensive Arab city compared to prices in New York City.


Doha, for example, came second in the cost of living index regionally and ranked 225th globally, with a score of 60.91 points, while Abu Dhabi ranked third in the region and 261st globally, with a score of 56.13 percentage points.


The result looks tragic when examining the components of the index, specifically the purchasing power of the population in Beirut, which declined from 47.18 points (before the end of 2019) to reach only 11.73 points in 2022, which is 88.27 percent lower than the purchasing power in New York City.


The same applies to the prices of goods, which scored 109.65 points in the approved index, meaning that the prices in Beirut are 9.65 percent higher than those recorded in the American city.


Beirut ranked last among Arab cities and 242nd in a list of 248 cities in the world included in the measurement of the quality of life index issued by Numbeo for mid-2022.


The results are drawn according to eight main indicators that measure the level of quality of life. They include the purchasing power index, the safety index, healthcare, and cost of living, the ratio of house price to income that reflects the affordability of housing, the traffic or travel time index, the pollution index, as well as the climate index.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat