For the fifth year in a row, Bengaluru, along with Chennai and New Delhi has made it into the list of the top ten cheapest cities of the world according to the Worldwide Cost of Living 2019 survey released by the Economist on Tuesday.
However, in comparison with other Indian metro cities that have featured in the survey for the past five years, Bengaluru has had the least amount of change in rankings. Hence, though there have only been marginal increases in the cost of living in all other Indian cities, including New Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai, Bengaluru continues to be the best value for money for it citizens according to this survey.
Bengaluru and Chennai first debuted in the worldwide survey in 2015. That year, Karachi and Bengaluru were tied cheapest locations in the survey, and five of the six cheapest cities surveyed hailed from Pakistan and India. Since then, almost all aforementioned Indian cities continued to make it into the list of top ten cheapest cities of the world, except for Mumbai who placed outside the list for the year 2018 and 2019.
The Economist says that though India is tipped for tremendous future economic growth, it forecasts that 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,” it said in this year’s survey to explain the rankings.
The Worldwide Cost of Living is a thirty-year-old, biannual Economist Intelligence Unit survey that compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.