Singapore, Makati, Bangkok: Highest cost of living in Southeast Asia

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The 2018 Cost of Living Index compiled by crowd-sourced global database Numbeo ranked Singapore, Makati and Bangkok as the three cities with the highest cost of living in Southeast Asia, including the costs for rent.

As per this measure, within Asia, Singapore is also the most expensive place to live, ahead of Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. Globally, the city state ranks 19th.

Numbeo takes into account the costs of rent at a place, as well as costs for groceries, the costs of eating out in restaurants, for transportation, utilities, sports and leisure, childcare, clothing and apartment prices, measured against the local purchasing power.

Indices in Numbeo’s open access index are listed relative to New York City, which has an index of 100.00, meaning that if a city has Restaurant Index score of 70, it is 30 per cent cheaper to eat out there than in the Big Apple. Data about prices is crowdsourced and released quarterly by Numbeo.

Its Index unsurprisingly reflected a strong correlation between levels of economic development and cost of living, with the urban centers of Southeast Asia’s wealthier countries being the priciest, with a few exceptions such as Phnom Penh which shows a surprisingly high price index for groceries.

Singaporeans must live with the fact that with great economic success come high costs of living. But still, eating out in Singapore is 36 per cent cheaper than in New York, and rents are also almost 30 per cent below New York’s level.

Makati in Metro Manila and Bangkok both show low levels for rent and eating out, but are also expensive when it comes to buy groceries. In this category, cities such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Johor Bahru, Petaling Jaya, Penang and Kota Kinabalu are also on the relatively high side.

The cheapest places in terms of living costs in Southeast Asia can in its majority be found in Indonesia (Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Medan) and the Philippines (Quezon City, Davao City, Valenzuela).

Valenzuela, one of the cities that constitute Metro Manila and located in the north of this urban region, is by far the cheapest city in Southeast on Numbeo’s list to rent and eat out in restaurants and also the second-cheapest to buy groceries behind Quezon City. Interestingly, due to its role as a major economic and industrial center of the Philippines, it has higher purchasing power than Cebu, Quezon City, Davao City, Hanoi, Pattaya and Phnom Penh.

Globally, the highest cost of living including rent can be found in Hamilton (capital of Bermuda), San Francisco, Zurich Geneva and New York.

The cheapest places to live in this list of 540 cities are Thiruvananthapuram in India, followed by Alexandria in Egypt and Mysore, also in India.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The 2018 Cost of Living Index compiled by crowd-sourced global database Numbeo ranked Singapore, Makati and Bangkok as the three cities with the highest cost of living in Southeast Asia, including the costs for rent.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The 2018 Cost of Living Index compiled by crowd-sourced global database Numbeo ranked Singapore, Makati and Bangkok as the three cities with the highest cost of living in Southeast Asia, including the costs for rent.

As per this measure, within Asia, Singapore is also the most expensive place to live, ahead of Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. Globally, the city state ranks 19th.

Numbeo takes into account the costs of rent at a place, as well as costs for groceries, the costs of eating out in restaurants, for transportation, utilities, sports and leisure, childcare, clothing and apartment prices, measured against the local purchasing power.

Indices in Numbeo’s open access index are listed relative to New York City, which has an index of 100.00, meaning that if a city has Restaurant Index score of 70, it is 30 per cent cheaper to eat out there than in the Big Apple. Data about prices is crowdsourced and released quarterly by Numbeo.

Its Index unsurprisingly reflected a strong correlation between levels of economic development and cost of living, with the urban centers of Southeast Asia’s wealthier countries being the priciest, with a few exceptions such as Phnom Penh which shows a surprisingly high price index for groceries.

Singaporeans must live with the fact that with great economic success come high costs of living. But still, eating out in Singapore is 36 per cent cheaper than in New York, and rents are also almost 30 per cent below New York’s level.

Makati in Metro Manila and Bangkok both show low levels for rent and eating out, but are also expensive when it comes to buy groceries. In this category, cities such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Johor Bahru, Petaling Jaya, Penang and Kota Kinabalu are also on the relatively high side.

The cheapest places in terms of living costs in Southeast Asia can in its majority be found in Indonesia (Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Medan) and the Philippines (Quezon City, Davao City, Valenzuela).

Valenzuela, one of the cities that constitute Metro Manila and located in the north of this urban region, is by far the cheapest city in Southeast on Numbeo’s list to rent and eat out in restaurants and also the second-cheapest to buy groceries behind Quezon City. Interestingly, due to its role as a major economic and industrial center of the Philippines, it has higher purchasing power than Cebu, Quezon City, Davao City, Hanoi, Pattaya and Phnom Penh.

Globally, the highest cost of living including rent can be found in Hamilton (capital of Bermuda), San Francisco, Zurich Geneva and New York.

The cheapest places to live in this list of 540 cities are Thiruvananthapuram in India, followed by Alexandria in Egypt and Mysore, also in India.

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