Dhaka is the 72nd most expensive city in the world according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living 2018 index which was released on Thursday.
The city has become cheaper than what it was 12 months ago, falling 10 places down in the index – making a place in the “biggest movers down the ranking in the past 12 months” category.
However, Bangladesh’s capital is still more expensive than other South Asian cities such as Bangalore (129th), Chennai (126th), Karachi (127th) and New Delhi (124th) which are among the ten cheapest locations surveyed by EIU.
According to the study, within Asia, the best value for money has traditionally been offered by South Asian cities, particularly those in India and Pakistan.
The cheapest cities in the world have seen significant changes over the past 12 months, according to the index.
According to the study, Asia is home to some of the world’s most expensive cities as well as many of the world’s cheapest cities. It says: “India is tipped for rapid economic expansion, but in per-head terms wage and spending growth will remain low. Income inequality means that low wages are the norm, limiting household spending and creating many tiers of pricing as well as strong competition from a range of retail sources.
“This, combined with a cheap and plentiful supply of goods into cities from rural producers with short supply chains as well as government subsidies on some products, has kept prices down, especially by Western standards.”
The study marks that even if South Asian cities traditionally occupy positions among the ten cheapest, they are no longer the cheapest cities in the world, adding: “Last year that title was held by Kazakhstan’s business centre, Almaty, which fell in the ranking following a 50% devaluation of the national currency, the tenge, after it was allowed to float in August 2015.”
The cheapest city in the world is Syria’s capital, Damascus, which has fallen by 14 places in the past 12 months.
The citizens of Damascus may not feel that the city is getting cheaper, with inflation averaging an estimated 28% in Syria during 2017, the study says.
Most expensive cities
Among 133 cities worldwide, Singapore has been ranked as the most expensive city in the ranking.
Seoul is the only other city that has maintained its ranking from the previous year – securing the sixth position in the top ten list. Five years ago, Seoul was ranked as the 21st expensive city.
Hong Kong and Sydney follow Singapore and Seoul in the list. However, low inflation has pushed Tokyo and Osaka out of the top ten this year.
Tokyo has moved seven spots down the ranking in the past 12 months – it was the world’s most expensive city until 2013.