Chennai Is The Cheapest Indian City For Expats; Mumbai, The Most Expensive


On one hand 61,000 USD millionaires from India have shifted to foreign locations in the last 14 years; India is the country which is home to 2nd largest highly paid expat community in the world. At a time when India has received $70 billion as remittance from NRIs (in 2014), 18% of expats working in India are receiving salaries of more than $250,000 per year.

We are certainly living in a vibrant, dynamic global economy: when people are constantly shifting their bases and creating a wealth for not only their native country but also the place which they call their home.

Understanding this relation between income and expenditure for global, cosmopolitan, jet-hopping professionals, Expatistan has come up with their latest ranking for cost of living across the world. Expatistan is a startup which tracks cost of living for expats around the world.

In order to simplify the ranking, Expatistan has created a Cost of Living Index value by calibrating it against the standard index value of Prague city, which is permanently 100. Hence, if a city has global index value of 150, then it means that cost of living in that city is 50% more expensive than Prague, which has a fixed value of 100.

Cheapest Costiliest Cities

India’s economic capital Mumbai has emerged as the costliest city for an expat in India, with a global index of 85 (hence, Mumbai is 15% less expensive than Prague).

Bangalore, which was declared as the Startup capital of India has a global index value of 69, which makes it cheaper than Hyderabad, which has global index value of 72.

Gurgaon is the 2nd most expensive city for expats in India, as it has been assigned a global index of 81.

In the top 18 list of Indian cities for expats (In Asia), Pune is ranked #17 with a global index value of 63, which is slightly higher than Chennai, whose value is 59; and which makes it the cheapest city to live for expats.

Top 10 Cheapest Cities in Asia for Expats

Cheapest Expat Cities in Asia

Hong Kong with a global index value of 261 is the most expensive city for expats in Asia; followed by Singapore at 252; Tokyo at 210 and Seoul at 173.

As per the ranking, South Eastern cities like Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila are more expensive than any Indian city.

Globally, Zurich has been ranked as the most expensive city to live in for expats, at a global index value of 300, which means that compared with Prague, it would be 200% more expensive to live there.

Geneva at 295 global index value is at #2 while Cayman Islands is at #3 with 294 points. San Francisco, the place where maximum startups are born is ranked #7.

Some interesting comparisons as derived from the reports:

– With $1 worth of gasoline (petrol), a person can drive 69.9 miles in Riyadh, Saudi Arabai, where petrol is $0.14 per liter.

– The same $1 worth of petrol can only enable a expat in Hong Kong to drive 4.6 miles; 5.6 miles in Rome and 9.4 miles in Cape Town

– $1 can get you 457 ml of beer in Brno in Czech Republic; meanwhile only 43 ml of beer can be bought for the same amount in Dubai

– Public transport in Washington DC, USA is 3000 times more expensive than Chi?in?u, capital city of Republic of Moldova.

You can get the complete report here.

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