New Delhi: Some of India’s biggest cities are among the cheapest in the world to live in, according to findings of the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Cities of Bengaluru—India’s technology capital, the southern city of Chennai, and the country’s capital city New Delhi ranked among the world’s ten cheapest cities in a ranking released by the Economist Intelligence Unit in its bi-annual survey on March 19. EIU ranked 133 cities in 93 countries surveying 50,000 individuals.
These three cities joined the ranks of Venezuela’s Caracas, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Lagos in Nigeria, and Pakistani city of Karachi among others that remain highly affordable when compared to other cities globally. Mumbai too ranked at 122, making it among the cheapest in the list of 133 cities surveyed by the EIU.
Bangalore is Asia’s cheapest city, being more than twice cheaper than the three most expensive cities, according to the rankings.
Within Asia, the best value for money has traditionally been offered by South Asian cities, particularly those in India and Pakistan. In fact, all South Asian cities feature among the cheapest 30 in the world, and continue to offer the best value for money in the region, the EIU said in its release.
In India, a wide disparity in incomes has created various layers of affordability. “India is tipped for rapid economic expansion but, in per head terms, wage and spending growth will remain low. Income inequality means that low wages are the norm, limiting household spending and creating many tiers of pricing as well as strong competition from a range of retail sources," EIU said in a release dated March 19. “This, combined with a cheap and plentiful supply of goods into cities from rural producers with short supply chains as well as government subsidies on some products, has kept prices down, especially by Western standards," it added.
Amongst the most expensive cities in the world, Singapore and Hong Kong topped the rankings, along with Paris, followed by Zurich and Geneva. Singapore has continued to hold on to the ranking for five years now.
Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 400 individual prices across 160 products and services to include— food, toiletries and clothing, domestic help, transportation, utility bills—in each city. Researchers surveyed a range of stores: supermarkets, mid-priced stores and higher priced specialty outlets.