Karachi named sixth cheapest city of world

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Paris has climbed to the top of the world's priciest city for expatriates, tied first with Singapore and Hong Kong according to a survey Tuesday, March 19 that named the capital of strife-torn Venezuela as the cheapest. This is the first time in the survey's 30-year history that three countries have ranked first place on the list.

The objective of the survey, according to its authors, is to "help human resources and finance managers calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travelers". Copenhagen is ranked seventh equal with Seoul and New York City.

A woman's haircut was about $15 in Bangalore, India, compared to $210 in NY, for example, while a bottle of beer was about half a dollar in Lagos, Nigeria, and more than $3 in Zurich.

Last year, Hong Kong and Paris were placed fourth and second respectively, while Singapore remained its position as the most expensive city in the last five years.

The report also noted that cities in Asia tend to be the most expensive places for general grocery shopping, while those in Europe tend to have the highest costs in the household, personal care, recreation and entertainment categories - with Zurich and Geneva the most expensive in these categories.

Move over Singapore - the world's most expensive city has two new rivals.

It is curious to note that Copenhagen is the only city in the top ten that has seen the price of a loaf of bread rise: from 3.87 dollars to 4.21.

Currency appreciation, inflation and devaluation as well as political upheaval played a part in this year's rankings, said EIU, which surveyed 133 cities worldwide.

"Cities in the United Kingdom are becoming relatively more expensive for domestic consumers but they are becoming cheaper for foreigners because of the weakness of the pound", said Slavcheva. Venezuela, the report authors note by way of explanation, is in the midst of an economic crisis, and its inflation neared 1 million percent previous year.

Although Asia is home to some of the world's most expensive cities, but they also have numerous world's cheapest cities like Bangalore, Chennai and New Delhi in India, as well as Pakistan's Karachi.

So while there are definite downsides to living in a city where the average price of a woman's haircut is $210 (ahem, New York), cheaper isn't the only factor to look at when it comes to finding a place to settle down.

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