The Indian city of Mumbai has been named the least expensive city in the world to live in.
The Worldwide Cost of Living survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit points to the cheapest cities having a “familiar feel to them, both in terms of geography and consistency.”
Though India is considered a growing economy, income inequality means lower wages proliferate, driving down household spending.
The twice annual survey compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services.
These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.”
The report adds: “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.”
New Delhi comes third in the list, though one unfamiliar entry is that of Damascus, which makes the list because of the unfolding crisis in Syria and its impact on exchange rates.
Though cost of living prices are low, the report cites security risks as being off-putting for many considering living in these cities. It names Pakistan, Nepal, Syria and Algeria as all having well-documented security issues or domestic unrest.
The report is a purpose-built internet tool designed to help HR and finance managers calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expats and business travellers.