India’s city of dreams has emerged as the world’s cheapest city to live in. The analysis takes into account the concept of value of money — how much bread would you get for one dollar or for that matter a litre of petrol. While Mumbai has emerged as the country with the best value for money spent, Delhi has emerged the third cheapest, placing it right at the bottom of the world’s most expensive cities.
For example, buying 1 kg bread in Mumbai would cost $ 0.91 while in Delhi it would be $ 1.05 as against $ 3.36 in Singapore which has toppled Tokyo to be the world’s most expensive city to live in this year. The average cost of one litre unleaded petrol in Mumbai is $ 1.21 and in Delhi $ 1.14 as against $ 2.50 in Paris — the world’s second most expensive city.
Singapore topped 131 cities globally to become the world’s most expensive city to live in 2014, according to the economist intelligence unit (EIU). Asia is interestingly home to some of the world’s most expensive cities as well as to many of the world’s cheapest cities.
The index says: “Within Asia the best value for money is in the Indian subcontinent (defined as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka). Mumbai is the cheapest location in the survey and three of the four cheapest cities surveyed hail from Pakistan, India and Nepal. Mumbai’s title as the world’s cheapest city and is a reflection of the structural factors that define price within the Indian subcontinent.”
It added: “Although India has been tipped for future growth, much of this is driven by its large population and the untapped potential within the economy. Income inequality means that low wages proliferate, driving down household spending and creating many tiers of pricing that keep per capita spending low. This, combined with a cheap and plentiful supply of goods into cities, as well as government subsidies on some products, has kept prices down, especially by western standards.”
Besides Singapore, cities making up the top five most expensive cities to live in are Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney, with Tokyo falling to sixth place. The economic intelligence unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey looks at more than 400 individual prices.
The survey gathers detailed information on the cost of more than 160 items-from food, toiletries and clothing to domestic help, transport and utility bills — in every city. More than 50,000 individual prices are collected in each survey round.
A weaker yen has pushed Osaka and Tokyo away from the top of the cost of living ranking. This has paved the way for Singapore, which has been steadily moving up the ranking over the last decade, to claim the unenviable title of world’s most expensive city.
Singapore’s rising price prominence has been steady. The city-state was 18th most expensive 10 years ago.
However, over the last decade a 40% currency appreciation, coupled with solid price inflation, has consistently pushed Singapore up the ranking.
For example, car costs have very high related certificate of entitlement fees attached to them, which makes Singapore significantly more expensive than any other location when it comes to running a car. As a result, transport costs in Singapore are almost three times higher than in New York. In addition, as a city-state with very few natural resources to speak of, Singapore is reliant on other countries for energy and water supplies, making it the third most expensive destination for utility costs.
European cities account for three of the five most expensive and one-half of the top ten cities.
As with last year, indices using New York as base city have continued to fall, reflecting a stronger US dollar and rises in the cost of living in New York. Some 94 cities fell in cost of living terms compared with New York. However, the Big Apple itself only moved up one position in the ranking to become the 26th most expensive, compared with a rise of 19 places last year.
The 10 least expensive cities
1. Mumbai (India)
2. Karachi (Pakistan)
3. New Delhi (India)
4. Damascus (Syria)
5. Kathmandu (Nepal)
6. Algiers (Algeria)
7. Bucharest (Romania)
8. Panama City (Panama)
9. Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
10. Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)