If cities were stores, to find the best deal you’d be advised to shop in Mumbai for Levis and Coca Cola KO -0.15%, go to Rio for a pack of Marlboro cigarettes and stop off in San Francisco to buy an iPhone 6.
The Real Cost of Living
The price in dollars of items across world cities. Click the drop-down to change the item.
Deutsche Bank research published last week compares prices for everyday items in cities around the world. Overall, across a range of products, India is “the cheapest major economy.”
Looking for a cheap date? A Big Mac, movie, cab, soft drink and couple of beers costs $24.70 in Mumbai – making India’s financial capital the least-expensive place in the world to show someone a good time.
Try to do the same in San Francisco or Tokyo and you won’t get change from $100 – in fact, you’ll need to scrape a few more dollars together to cover the bill.
Need a man’s haircut? A short-back-and-sides in New Delhi on average goes for $2.40, a snip of the price elsewhere in the world. A trim in Tokyo costs 15 times more.
The study compiles prices posted on the Internet and from secondary sources, though it doesn’t say what they are.
“We have tried our best to use goods and services that are standard across countries or are close substitutes,” the authors of “The Random Walk Mapping the World’s Prices 2015,” wrote.
Such studies, including this one, do not reflect the true cost of living though because they ignore housing rents – often a person’s biggest monthly outlay.
Add on the price of accommodation in Mumbai, which can have rents as high as those charged in New York, and the city would suddenly look a lot less easy on the wallet.
*The price in each country. **A Big Mac, movie, cab, soft drink and couple of beers. ***Two nights in a standard 5 star hotel room, four meals, two snacks, car rentals for two days, two pints of beer, four liters of soft drinks/water, and a bit of shopping (a pair of jeans and sports shoes.)