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8. N’ Djamena, Chad

N’Djamena, the capital and economic center of the central African country of Chad, fell five spots this year from third place in 2011 and 2010.

The key reason behind the high cost of living in N’Djamena is the difficulty in finding suitable and safe accommodations for expatriates, making the few available places extremely expensive. Companies must also take into account the personal safety of employees in the violence-mired city, further adding to costs.

The influx of expatriates working in Chad’s oil industry has pushed up the cost of living, with a fast-food meal costing as much as $25. Chad’s oil fields have attracted a number of international energy giants such as China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Malaysia’s state-run Petronas. Chad saw investments of more than $8 billion in 2011 by Chinese firms keen to cash in on the country’s energy industry.

Monthly Rent, Luxury 2 Bedroom: N/A
Cup of Coffee: $3.32
One Gallon of Gasoline: $6.55
Daily International Newspaper: $6.85
Fast-Food Meal: $25.18

Pictured: Market in N'Djamena

Photo: Kanbou Sia | AFP | Getty Images