Cost of living in Madagascar: the Tananarivians’ point of view

07/12/2018. Every year at this time, we see the same mechanism in this country: the price of rice rises several notches, those of a kilo of sausage and entrecote fly to other skies, and those of PPN follow the pace, synchronous with the petrol and the rent. *Ding, dong* Happy New Year ! :D.

We all know the consequences. “Lafo ny fiainana” here, “Tsy zakan’ny tsena zany” there, and “Niakatra ‘ndray ve?!”. One wonders if the majority of Malagasy people are on the same side. At the magazine, we asked ourselves this question and we wanted to find out for sure: so we launched a poll on it! Yes, a survey on the perception that the people of Tananarivo have of the cost of living. The thing was so obvious to some that we just got insulted. But at least, now we’re set!

How’s the cost of living?

In the end, it was quite obvious xD: of the 961 people we interviewed, 89% told us that they found life very expensive!

7% then find it expensive, 2% quite expensive, 1% find it normal (neither expensive nor cheap), 1% find it quite affordable and a very small minority, 0.2%, very affordable.

Asked about the items whose inflation has had the greatest impact on them over the last five years, 44% said it was food in general, 21% said it was petrol, while 18% pointed to rice, an essential staple for Malagasy people.

11% then gave us various responses from which we were able to extract 3 main trends: “all”, to say that they were hit hard by the increase in all expenditure items, is the most significant (65% of various responses). Come after the “PPN”, therefore including oil, sugar, etc. (15% of the varied answers), and the “JIRAMA” in third, signifying that the continuous price increases still run seriously on the Tananarivian system (11%).

Finally, respondents cited transport (3%), meat (2%) and, lastly, rent (1%).

The rent

Let’s talk about the rent. Among all the people interviewed, there are 30% of tenants (for real estate in Antananarivo), a portion to whom we asked their feelings about the cost of rent. Well, they were 88% to judge that it was very expensive!

Those who then rate their rent as expensive account for 9% of them and 2% call it quite expensive. Finally, only 0.3% consider it normal and 0.7% consider it quite affordable!

Public transport

The issue of public transport, or “buses” when talking about Antananarivo, has always been a bone of contention every time the ticket price is increased. Thus, 59% find the ticket price very expensive in the capital, 17% say it is expensive and 6% say it is quite expensive.

Then, 14% of them still find the normal rate and even 3% find it quite affordable. On the other hand, it is a minority who find it affordable and very affordable: 0.2% and 0.5%.

Taxi-be remains the means of transport most used by Tananarivians to get to work.
Taxi-be remains the means of transport most used by Tananarivians to get to work.

Fuel and maintenance

Out of a panel of vehicle owners (car and motorcycle), representing 14% of the respondents, we have 70% who find that fuel is very expensive and 21% who say it is expensive. Only 1%, on the other hand, think it is quite expensive.

Those who find its price normal account for 6% of the panel. 1% then find it quite affordable and another 1% find it very affordable.

As for maintenance, it is, once again, a majority share that finds it expensive: 63%. 17% then find it expensive and 5% find it quite expensive. Those who find the cost of normal maintenance accounts for 7% while 6% find it quite affordable and 1% affordable. A final one percent (1%), finally, finds it very affordable.


68% of the respondents told us that they find rice very expensive, 26% find it expensive and 3% find it quite expensive.

On the other hand, only 2% find its price normal, 1% quite affordable and 0.2% find it affordable.

The meat

As with rice, meat is an interesting item to observe since, traditionally, it is the main source of protein in a meal in the highlands.

Guess what? Again: 69% find meat very expensive! Then 27% find it expensive and 2% quite expensive. Those who consider its normal price represent only 1% of the respondents, as well as those who consider it quite affordable (1% therefore). Finally, there are those who consider it affordable: 0.2%.

Other foodstuffs

The cost of food in general, excluding rice and meat, is seen as very expensive by 65% of Tananarivians. Surprise!

27% then say they find it expensive, 3% think it is quite expensive and 2% find it normal. For the rest: 2% said that the price of food is quite affordable for them, while 0.4% admitted to finding it affordable. And in the very affordable camp, 0.1% of respondents said it was very affordable.

Even the cost of vegetables has risen significantly in recent years.
Even the cost of vegetables has risen significantly in recent years.


Let’s finish this overview with the cost of clothing. Is it expensive to dress in the capital? 36% of the respondents answered that the prices to get dressed were … very affordable ! Hallelujah !

Then 23% find them affordable, 17% say the prices are quite affordable and 7% find them normal. Those who consider the price of clothing to be quite expensive now represent 4% of those surveyed. Then come those who consider it expensive (8%) and very expensive (5%).

In a nutshell

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, here are two thousand to summarize what was said :).

What we can say about this survey on the cost of living in Antananarivo

As the regular, intimate streetwise tribulations would say: “Danzé be a ! ».

“Dearest” sums it all up. Goodbye, see you soon xD.

More seriously, what can we say except that the people of Tananarivo have a strongly fixed vision of the high cost of living in Madagascar. From food, to rent, gasoline, diesel, and public transportation: everything is very expensive with a global perception that gives cold blood to the back: 89% of Tananarivians consider that the current cost of living is very expensive. 7% say it is expensive.

Can we really blame them with, to take one example, the price at the pump which is increasing insidiously every month? Ah, and what about this new way of doing things that would make Hitler puke: we increase the price just before the holidays, like Easter, Christmas and the end of the year, just to make a little more money on the backs of honest people. Seriously?

We also note that what has hurt Tananarivians the most is the inflation of food, especially when it comes to NPPs: 44% of them point to the increase in the cost of food as being the most impacting in the last 5 years.

But even beyond these observations, there is one thing that drives home the point: for 82% of Tananarivians, the economic divide in Madagascar is very wide! This gives us food for thought.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here