Cheapest And Most Expensive Cities For Expats


Singapore is the most expensive expat city for the fourth year running, according to the economist Intelligence Unit.

The EIU publishes a worldwide cost of living survey each year – and Singapore has consistently taken top place.

And in each year Hong Kong has taken second place and Zurich third.

The weakening of the Pound has seen London drop to 24thand a slightly weaker Dollar has pushed many US cities down the table of 133 cities as well, although New York slipped only two places from 7thto 9th.

Indian cities take four of the bottom 10 places.

Political and economic disruption

Almaty, Kazakhstan, props up the table as the world’s cheapest expat location. Lusaka, Zambia, held the honour last year, but has leapt to 122ndplace due to soaring inflation.

“As Lagos and Almaty prove, an increasing number of locations are becoming cheaper because of the impact of political or economic disruption,” says the EIU report.

“Although the Indian subcontinent remains structurally cheap, instability is becoming an increasingly prominent factor in lowering the relative cost of living of a location. This means that there is a considerable element of risk in some of the world’s cheapest cities.

Cheap doesn’t mean cheerful

“Karachi, Algiers, Kiev and Lagos have faced well-documented economic, political, security and infrastructural challenges, and there is some correlation between the cost of living and liveability. Put simply, cheaper cities tend also to be less liveable.”

The EIU fears 2017 may be a year of change for the worldwide cost of living as doubt following the election of President Donald Trump as US president pervades global trade and commerce.

The EIU survey is based on analysis of 50,000 prices of goods and services collected worldwide in a range of stores in each city.

10 Most expensive world cities

Rank City Country
1 Singapore Singapore
2 Hong Kong Hong Kong
3 Zurich Switzerland
4 Tokyo Japan
5 Osaka Japan
6 Seoul South Korea
7 Geneva Switzerland
8 Paris France
9 New York USA
10 Copenhagen Denmark

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

10 Cheapest world cities

Rank City Country
124 New Delhi India
124 Bucharest Romania
124 Kiev Ukraine
127 Mumbai India
127 Chennai India
127 Algiers Algeria
130 Karachi Pakistan
131 Bangalore India
132 Lagos Nigeria
133 Almaty Kazakhstan

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit