It will come as no surprise that some of the cheapest cities to live in are those that are in the midst of political turmoil and conflict, such as Damascus and Caracas. However, there are some surprising additions that prop up the top 10 cheapest in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey which is based on a large basket of items that comprise living costs. Many of the cities on this list are in India, including Bangalore, Chennai and New Delhi.
In addition, Bucharest in Romania, Karachi in Pakistan, and Lagos in Nigeria also claim their positions.
Economic Opportunities in Asia
Yet, with burgeoning economies and economic opportunities across Asia and Africa, many of these hubs are of big economic interest. For example, as one of India’s most progressive cities, Bangalore (recently renamed Bengaluru) is home to over 10 million people and is the fourth biggest contributor to the country’s GDP growth.
Why move to India
Bengaluru is very commonly known as a technology hub for both India and Asia in general. Thus, not only are employment opportunities rife, but the living costs – which include rental costs, or even buying property – are comparatively low. To buy property for example, average prices are around Rs5,000 per square metre (approx. £55) in Bengaluru. Compare this with Paris, where prices per square metre average almost €8,500 (approx. £7,500) and it is easy to see why Bangalore sits towards the top of the cheapest city table.
Hidden costs of living abroad
But there is the potential for hidden expenses for those living and working abroad, and that is exchange rates. For anybody residing in India and earning in pounds for example, the cost of living is now around 13pc cheaper based on the GBP/Indian rupee rate since April last year.
However, rates can (and do) just as quickly move adversely. To help those living abroad plan ahead for exchange rate differentials this newspaper has partnered with currency experts moneycorp to bring Telegraph International Money Transfer. The service provides our readers with access to great exchange rates, as well as expert market guidance and assistance on every aspect of a transfer – including guidance on the specialist tools available to help protect you from rate movements.
Get a great exchange rate wherever you live with Telegraph International Money Transfers
moneycorp is a trading name of TTT Moneycorp Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the provision of payment services. All customer funds are safeguarded in segregated client bank accounts.
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Information correct at date of publication.