Four Indian cities are among the cheapest to live in globally, while Singapore
has been ranked as the most expensive for the fourth consecutive year, according to a report by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
"Although the Indian subcontinent remains structurally cheap, instability is becoming an increasingly prominent factor in lowering the relative cost of living of a location," EIU
said, adding, "this means that there is a considerable element of risk in some of the world's cheapest cities.
The EIU's Worldwide Cost of Living 2017 report — a ranking of the world's major cities — said Asia
is home to some of the world's most expensive cities and also to many of the world's cheapest cities.
retained its title as the world's most expensive city for the fourth consecutive year, while Hong Kong remained second, closely followed by Zurich at the 3rd place.
Others in the 10 most expensive list include Tokyo at the 4th position, Osaka (5th), Seoul (6th), Geneva (7th), Paris (8th), New York (9th) and Copenhagen at 10th place.
Within Asia, the best value for money has traditionally come from South Asian cities, particularly those in India and Pakistan, the report said.
Bangalore, Chennai, Karachi, Mumbai
and New Delhi
make up half of the 10 cheapest locations surveyed.
"India is tipped for rapid expansion as Chinese growth declines, but much of this is driven by its demographic profile, and in per-head terms wage and spending growth will come from a low base," the report said, adding that "cheaper cities tend also to be less liveable".
With the dollar weakening slightly against other currencies, New York is the only North American city among the 10 most expensive cities, although Los Angeles remains highly ranked, in 11th place.
The Worldwide Cost of Living is a bi-annual (twice yearly) EIU
survey that 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.