EXPATS

Expatriates in Kenya feel life is expensive

The country's Personal Finance Index by global network of expatriates, InterNations fell off to 53 from 44

In Summary

•In a new Expat Insider 2019 survey by InterNations, the average personal-financial satisfaction for the international community working in the country fell off with the index declining from 44 to 53.

•"One expat cites the 'depletion of personal funds because of the rising cost of living' as something she particularly dislikes about life in Kenya."

Expat-to-Expat director Joep Van Bionsbergen, Egyptian Embassy counsellor Sherif El Mawardy, Honorary Consul of Estonia Kadri Humal Ayal and Egypt Air country manager Mohamad Abbas
Expat-to-Expat director Joep Van Bionsbergen, Egyptian Embassy counsellor Sherif El Mawardy, Honorary Consul of Estonia Kadri Humal Ayal and Egypt Air country manager Mohamad Abbas
Image: Moses Mwangi

Expats' satisfaction with their personal finances in Kenya has worsened, a global network of expatriates has said.

In a new Expat Insider 2019 survey by InterNations, majority of the international community working in the country said their financial situation had not changed much and their disposable household income was inadequate to cover daily costs.

This pushed down Kenya's personal-financial satisfaction with the index declining to 53 from 44 out of 64 destinations.

 

This despite the country gaining 15 ranks to position 36 in 2019 from 51 in 2018 due to improvements on other metrics including ease of settling in and making friends.

The survey interviewed 20,259 expats representing 182 nationalities.

“Just about three in five expats in Kenya (61 per cent) are happy with their financial situation in 2019 compared to 70 per cent in 2018," the survey shows.

It indicates that 32 per cent, think that their disposable household income is not enough to cover all living expenses compared 18 per cent in 2018.

"One expat cites the 'depletion of personal funds because of the rising cost of living' as something she particularly dislikes about life in Kenya."

The cost of living index was 45.

InterNations has 3.6 million members in 420 cities worldwide.

Kenya still ranks among the ten worst destinations in the economy and job security subcategory with the index coming to 56.

 

About 29 per cent of expats said they lack job security compared to 21 per cent globally, while the current state of the economy took a snag as 40 per cent said they were are unhappy compared to 18 per cent globally.

Majority of the expats find it easy settling in.

“In fact, 72 per cent of expats find it easy to make new friends, 85 per cent consider the population in Kenya generally friendly and 74 per cent also describe the Kenyans as friendly towards foreign residents.”

However, the community continue to worry about their safety and security in Kenya with the overall index coming to 58, ranking the country among bottom 10 counties in the category for the fourth year in a row.

More than one in three expats, representing 33 per cent worry about both their personal safety against nine per cent globally and the country’s political instability.

“An Italian expat thinks that there are a security problem and corruption everywhere,” the survey said.

About 67 per cent were satisfied with the working hours and their jobs.

This led to an improvement in the Working Abroad Index with Kenya gaining ten ranks to 46.

In the survey, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Portugal are the best expat destinations, all attracting expats with their ease of settling in and good personal finances.

At the other end of the ranking, Kuwait (64), Italy, and Nigeria are the worst destinations for expats in 2019. While Kuwait is the country where expats find it hardest to settle in, Italy offers the worst work-life, and Nigeria the worst quality of life in the world.