A Look At The Top Ten Cheapest Cities In The World

Friday, April 30, 2010

Over at Matador, I caught an article digesting Xpatulator’s release of the top 282 cheapest cities in the world.  Apparently, this site takes 13 different categories — the cost of housing, groceries and recreation, etc. —  and ranks them all. Unlike so many other arbitrary “lists” floating around cyberspace, this one is a bit different. The Matador article takes the top ten and looks at their ranking with a bit of a critical eye.

For example; “While Harare [Zimbabwe] ranks as the cheapest city in the world, there are numerous reasons why expats and travelers won’t be flocking there. Zimbabwe has a 94% unemployment rate and a major refugee problem due to the country’s financial collapse. In 2008 there was more than 150% inflation and the national currency was eventually ditched for the U.S. dollar.” #8 Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and [#6] Tajikistan are tied as the “most corrupt” countries on this list. Cheap is good, but there should be a balance with quality of living as well.

Despite the grim news, there are several bright spots on the list. None are more sunglasses-worthy than Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m sure Brit can go on for hours about B.A., but with its low “hardship level” ranking, beef, tango, and art scene, it pulls the #4 spot on the list.  Another is Quito, Equator, because of quality medical care, low rental costs and excellent fresh produce. I’m noticing a pattern of South American destinations here.

Of those on the list, where would you settle indefinitely? The top ten cheapest cities in the world are as follow: 1- Harare, Zimbabwe 2-Tianjin, China 3-Sana’a, Yemen 4-Buenos Aires, Argentina 5-Thimphu, Bhutan 6-Dushanbe, Tajikistan 7-Colombo, Sri Lanka 8-Phnom Penh, Cambodia 9- Quito, Ecuador 10-Karachi, Pakistan.

  • Mark

    As an expat living in Buenos Aires, I guarantee that it is nowhere near the top 10 cheapest cities in the world. Maybe 10 years ago when the bottom fell out on their market. Today inflation is rampant. The WSJ estimates it at 30% – one of the worst in the world!http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100414-7107
    Housing, food, and recreation are all getting to be close to par with the US from my perspective. Public transportation is the only thing that has remained stable through large government subsidies.

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