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The Most Expensive And Cheapest Cities To Live In: EIU Report

April 10th, 2019

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Whether you’re moving to a new country to seek greener pastures or you’re being sent overseas by your employer, it helps to understand what the cost of living of your host country looks like. This knowledge would help you compare your potential income increment with the cost of living to assess if there are any real gains. It could also help identify potential cities to start building a life in a new country, especially for those relocating from a lower income country. We looked at the most recent “Worldwide Cost of Living” report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to identify the cost of living trends globally (1).

Cities with high costs of living

The EIU cost of living survey is based on the prices of 160 products and services across 133 cities, using prices in New York as the basis.

New York, being the base city, is assigned an index number of 100. The ‘top 10’ list in the latest EIU report featured 11 cities, thanks to tied up spots. Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong occupy the first position with a cost of living index of 107 each. The EIU report records the cost of living in the three most expensive cities to be 7% more than New York. Zurich, Geneva, and Osaka made up the top five, with the latter two cities tied at the fifth position. Seoul and Copenhagen occupy the seventh position alongside New York while Los Angeles and Tel Aviv complete the top 10 list.

If you’re conscious of a high cost of living, you would want to pay close attention to Singapore, Paris, Hong Kong, Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen and Seoul as these seven cities have consistently featured in the top ten lists for the last five years.

Cities with lowest cost of living

The EIU report gives a complete lowdown on the most expensive as well as the cheapest cities to live in. Asia is home to seven of the ten cities in the world that have a low cost of living. They include the cities of Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Karachi, Tashkent, Almaty and Damascus. The other three cities which fall under the low cost of living category include Caracas, Lagos and Buenos Aires.

Interestingly some cities are cheap because they are structured to have a low cost of living while some others appear on the list due to their economic instabilities. As per the EIU report, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi and Karachi consistently dominated the low cost of living list, thanks to their countries being structurally cheap. If you are contemplating migration to a foreign country it is essential to understand that cities with high costs of living are economically advanced and offer a high standard of living to its residents.

Irrespective of where you migrate to and what the cost of living would be, you would always want to support your loved ones back home, hence you must factor in accessibility and affordability of remittance services in the host country. With over 160,000 agent locations spread across more than160 countries, you can count on Xpress Money as a worthy partner when it comes to sending money back home.



1. https://www.eiu.com/public/topical_report.aspx?campaignid=WCOL2019