According to the Mercer’s annual Cost of Living survey, Mumbai, India’s Financial Capital, is the most expensive for expats. Mumbai ranks as the 57th most expensive city in the world while Delhi entered the 100 bracket at the position of 99.
To put things in perspective for the reader, as per this ranking, Mumbai is more expensive for expats than Auckland (61), Paris (62), Canberra (71), Seattle (76) and Vienna (78 ) .
Mercer is the leading provider of data on cost of living and housing for employees sent to work abroad. The annual rankings of the cost of living is conducted for more than 200 prevalent assignment destinations where there are expatriate employees. The ranking acts as a guideline for the purchasing power of expatriate employees. Multinational companies also rely on this ranking to compensate their skilled professionals who take on international assignments according to the cost of living of the city they are working in.
Chennai has been ranked at 135, Bangalore 166, followed by Kolkata at 184 by Mercer.
Mumbai- Why Expensive?
India as a whole has become more expensive for expats in recent times due to the rapid economic growth resulting in stabilising the Indian Rupee against the US dollar.
Mumbai in particular has seen a substantial increase in the cost of living by jumping 25 spots in just one year due to the following reasons:
- In Mumbai, the rent of residential properties have gone through the roof, especially after demonetization. Demonetization hit the real estate sales market adversely and as a result many people looking to invest in property opted out and went in for rentals instead. This resulted in putting pressure on the rental prices.
- There has also been a surge in the prices of food and personal care items. These especially included the food items used by expats including cheese, butter, fish, meat etc.
- Commuting is also very expensive in Mumbai. In fact, Mumbai is the most expensive city in the transport sector with very high taxi fares, cost of auto and auto parts as well as high running costs.
- Because of the aforesaid reasons Mumbai saw an increase in inflation from 4.81% to 5.57%.
A Few Other Rankings Of Cities From Around The Globe
According to the survey conducted by Mercer the most expensive cities in the world are mainly concentrated in Asia, Europe and Africa.
- Luanda, capital of Angola, is the most expensive city in the world.
- Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich and Singapore follow Luanda close at heels.
- New York City is the ninth most expensive city in the world.
- London stood at the 30th rank.
- Karachi, the financial capital of Pakistan was ranked at 201.
While Mumbai becomes one of the most expensive cities for the expatriates, there are also repercussions of the same on the locals. Cost of living for the citizens of Mumbai has also shot up and as per a recent survey conducted, a four-person family’s monthly costs amount to 82,284.11 INR, without even catering for the rent factor. In fact, as per the cost of living index, Mumbai is 8.19% higher than in Bangalore.