Monday, February 04, 2013

The top 10 most expensive cities in the world to live in


The top 10 most expensive cities in the world to live in (above).
The survey compares the cost of living among 131 cities worldwide using New York as a base city.

Asian, Australian cities continue to move up cost of living scale

One of the features of the cost-of-living ranking over the last few years has been the rise of many Asian cities offsetting traditionally more costly European locations. In particular, Australian cities have been rising very quickly up the rankings as economic growth has supported inflation and currency swings to make them more costly.

This survey is no exception. Ten years ago there were no Australian cities among the 50 most expensive cities. Two years ago Australian cities began to be ranked among the ten most expensive. The current survey sees Australian cities reach the highest-ranked position yet, with Sydney rated the third most expensive city surveyed and Melbourne ranked in fifth place. 

Australian cities are joined by cities in New Zealand and the rising Asian hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong in a top 20 where Asian cities are dominant. Asian cities make up 11 of the world’s 20 most expensive compared with eight from Europe. A decade ago this was six Asian vs ten European cities, with four cities from the USA. The 
current ranking still fails to include any cities from North America among the 20 most expensive, despite widespread decline in the cost of living relative to US cities. 

Cheapest cities reflect low costs in South Asia

The cheapest cities in the ranking have a familiar feel to them, both in terms of geography and
consistency. While Asia is home to over half of the world’s 20 most expensive cities, the region is also
home to six of the ten cheapest cities. Within Asia it is also possible to drill down to the geographic area
offering the lowest prices. Five of the bottom ten (and six of the bottom eleven) cities hail from the Indian
subcontinent (defined as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka). Mumbai and Karachi are the
joint cheapest locations in the survey, with indices of just 44 when compared with New York.
Although India is something of a tiger economy tipped for future growth, much of this is driven by
its large population and the untapped potential within the economy. Income inequality means that
household spending levels are low on a per capita basis, which has kept prices down, especially by Western
standards. Outside India bargain hunters may be put off by the security risk in many of the countries in
which the world’s cheapest cities are found. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Algeria and Iran all
feature in the bottom ten, but have had well documented security issues or domestic unrest. Bucharest
(Romania), Panama City (Panama) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) could offer a cheap cost of living in a more
stable environment.

The ten least expensive

Iran Tehran 
Saudi Arabia Jeddah 
Panama Panama City 
Sri Lanka Colombo 
Romania Bucharest 
Algeria Algiers 
Nepal Kathmandu 
India New Delhi 
India Mumbai 
Pakistan Karachi 


In brief

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition is likely to win the general election that must be held by April 2013. However, it will probably fail to attain the two-thirds parliamentary majority that would enable it to make constitutional changes unchallenged. The central bank is expected to maintain an accommodative monetary stance in 2013, before tightening policy from 2014 onwards. The economy will remain on a fairly rapid growth trajectory in 2013-17, expanding by 5.2% a year in real terms.

Child Brides Continue to Die in Yemen

More shocking news from Yemen, where the marriage of minors is encouraged by families due to financial considerations.  

According to the Arabic website, al Watan, a heinous crime took place against a 13 year old girl in a village located in Hajjah Province.  The girl died following a severe hemorrhage and the rupture of her genitals on her wedding night.

According to the report, the girl’s family asked her to marry a Yemeni man, but she died on the night of her marriage after her fresh husband abused her and cause the fatal hemorrhage.  Her brother, Mehdi, told the newspaper, “God knows what they did to my sister.  We can’t even recover the body…How can we avenge the death of my sister because, of course, her husband is the real murderer?”
The hospital reported that the young bride was already dead by the time she arrived at the hospital with severe damage to her genitals.  Her husband said his wife was “sick” when he married her and did not want to have a relationship because she was “afraid.”
This is just the latest incident related to the phenomenon of child marriage in Yemen, especially in rural areas.  In some regions, demonstrations have been held to demand a minimum age for marriage, but authorities have not yet met this demand.