Wednesday, October 27, 2010

South Asia Cost of Living - 2010

South Asia is the least expensive region in the world for expatriates to live in. The most expensive city surveyed is Mumbai (ranked 94 in the world), followed by New Delhi (ranked 127 in the world), and Chennai (ranked 129 in the world). The Indian Rupee has weakened by 7% against the United States Dollar over the past two years. The cheapest city in South Asia is Thimphu in Bhutan (ranked 298 in the world).


Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world in which to live, out of 300 global locations, surveyed in September 2010. While Tokyo is relatively cheap for items such as alcohol & tobacco (ranked 145), it is the most expensive for groceries and healthcare, and household accommodation costs. Tokyo has always been relatively expensive. This trend has strengthened again recently, as a result of the Japanese Yen having gained in value by about 18% against the United States Dollar in the past two years.

As the most expensive city in the world, Tokyo has an overall cost of living index of 155.4 (New York = 100), while Dubai (ranked 60 in the world) has a cost of living index of 88.84. Therefore Tokyo's cost of living is 75% higher than Dubai. That means that an expatriate earning USD$5,000 per month in Dubai would need to earn USD$8,750 per month in Tokyo to enable them to have the same purchasing power, and therefore a similar standard of living as they had in Dubai. The cost of living for an expatriate is affected by both the availability and prices, of goods and services representative of an expatriate lifestyle, local inflation, and the exchange rate between the home and host country. As a result the cost of living has a significant impact of an expatriate's salary package.


Most expensive cities in South Asia (Global rank in brackets)
1. India, Mumbai (94)
2. India, New Delhi (127)
3. India, Chennai (129)
4. India, Calcutta (130)
5. Maldives, Male (135)
6. India, Hyderabad (142)
7. India, Bangalore (160)
8. Afghanistan, Kabul (194)
9. Bangladesh, Dhaka (263)
10. Pakistan, Lahore 276)


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