Looking to cut down on your living expenses? Then south Asia is the place to be. The region is the most affordable in the world, with Mumbai in India claiming the top spot as the least expensive city to live in.
Today we take a look at the top 10 cities where the cost of living – from the price of bread to the cost of petrol – is the lowest.
The list below is based on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2014 World Cost of Living Index, released this week. The annual index compares prices in 131 cities to find the cheapest locations around the globe.
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
It seems everyone wants to move to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital. The city is one of the fastest growing in the world, with its population booming from 150,000 inhabitants in the 1960s to current levels of over 5 million. By some estimates, its population is expected to reach 11.1 million by 2020.
- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Located on the coast of the Red Sea, this urban center in western Saudi Arabia is an important commercial hub for the Kingdom. As well as being inexpensive, it is also considered one of the most innovative cities in the Middle East region.
- Panama City, Panama
A magnet for tourism, the cosmopolitan capital of the Republic of Panama is responsible for producing more than half of Panama’s GDP – much of which comes from shipping and trade activities around the Panama Canal.
- Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest, the only European city to make the top 10, has experienced an economic and cultural renaissance in recent years. After two world wars and decades of communist rule, the city, once known as ‘Little Paris’, is now undergoing extensive urban renewal – but still remains one of the world’s cheapest places to live.
- Algiers, Algeria
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning property on the Mediterranean, Algiers is your best bet. This ancient-city-meets-modern-metropolis is the capital of French-speaking Algeria. It ranks sixth on the list of top 10 inexpensive cities, making it the most affordable place to live on the Mediterranean Sea.
- Damascus, Syria
One of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, economic instability caused by ongoing civil war and the collapse of Syria’s currency have placed Damascus on the list of the world’s cheapest cities.
- Kathmandu, Nepal
Steeped in 2000 years of history, Kathmandu is both the cultural and economic center of Nepal. But if moving here is not an option, then you might at least want to consider visiting as a tourist. Kathmandu was ranked third on TripAdvisor’s 10 hottest travel destinations in 2013, with the city claiming first place for Asia.
- New Delhi, India
Indian cities claim both third and first place on the list of cheapest places to live around the world. Many Indians might not think the cost of living is low in the Delhi metropolitan region, which is one of the wealthiest in India – but that hasn’t stopped the city from being affordable in global terms.
- Karachi, Pakistan
Pakistan’s largest city is the world’s second cheapest, according to the survey. Home to 23.5 million people, Karachi is the country’s financial capital. It is one of four south Asian cities in the top five – making the region the cheapest place in the world to live.
- Mumbai, India
In the 2013 cost of living survey, Mumbai and Karachi shared the title of the world’s most affordable cities. This year, Mumbai has taken the crown. Buying 1kg bread would cost $US0.91 in Mumbai or $1.05 in Delhi. By comparison, it would cost $US3.36 in Singapore, which knocked Tokyo off the top spot to be named the world’s most expensive city.