The Cheapest Cities to Live in Around the World Have Finally Been Revealed

© Romas_Photo / Shutterstock
© Romas_Photo / Shutterstock
Photo of Luke Abrahams
Social Content Editor11 July 2017

Feeling the crunch? Sick of spending so much on food? Hate your grossly underpaid job? Want to move to the cheapest city in the world? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all that jargon, you’ll be pleased to know the cheapest city in the world has finally been revealed, and it’s not what you think is is. No, honestly.

Investment consultancy group Mercer recently published their Cost of Living survey, which unmasked the 17 cheapest cities to live in around the globe.

They were able to determine the results by examining currency fluctuations and the general inflation of basic goods, and most importantly, the price of city digs for new residents.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the cheapest cities feature entries from Africa and Eastern Europe. Despite the usual suspects, they won’t stay cheap. Why the negativity? Population growth and emerging economies. The list goes on and on, but no fear, we’ve condensed it all.

Check out the full ranked list below:

17. Belgrade, Serbia…

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Why so cheap? Maybe it’s the cheap, delicious food or perhaps it’s the extreme temperature drops. When you move there, you decide.

16. Kolkata, India…

Kolkata, India | © Roop_Dey / Shutterstock

Why so cheap? Emerging economy it may be, but vast swathes of poverty up and down the country keep the prices down.

15. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina…

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Why so cheap? Post-communism took its toll in the form of a struggling economy, making the overall cost of living cheap and cheerful.

14. Almaty, Kazakhstan…

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Why so cheap? Thanks to a structurally strong finance sector (which means lots of well-paid jobs), Almaty alone generates 20% of the entire country’s income.

13. Monterrey, Mexico…

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Why so cheap? Cheapness is more important than getting mega rich in these parts. Why? A 2006 Quality of Life Mercer report suggests so.

12. Tbilisi, Georgia…

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Why so cheap? Tourists don’t love it. Yes, really. Oh, and it’s also one of the safest countries in the world, too.

11. Skopje, Macedonia…

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Why so cheap? The place has a very high unemployment rate, keeping the cost of living way down. This doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of opportunities in this part of the world, though. You just need to look that little bit harder.

10. Lusaka, Zambia…

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Why so cheap? A population that hasn’t exceeded two million helps keep all the major costs down. Huzzah.

9. Gaborone, Botswana…

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Why so cheap? It’s booming thanks to finance, but the growth is generally slow, which means for now, prices are still pretty darn smokin’.

8. Karachi, Pakistan…

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Why so cheap? Over 25 million people live here. Does that make a difference? No. What does is the high levels of violence and dirty drinking water, which keep newbies at bay, but investors still curious.

7. Tunis, Tunisia…

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Why so cheap? Whilst the city is rapidly expanding into the suburbs, prices have not yet caught up with the rest of the boom. Thank goodness.

6. Minsk, Belarus…

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Why so cheap? Like Tunis, the economy is booming, but the prices aren’t.

5. Johannesburg, South Africa…

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Why so cheap? The city is notorious for its high murder and crime rates.

4. Blantyre, Malawi…

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Why so cheap? Despite its growing finance world and epic views, Malawi stays cheap because it’s still massively underdeveloped.

3. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan…

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Why so cheap? The country’s turbulent political neighbours unfortunately keep visitors away.

2. Cape Town, South Africa…

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Why so cheap? Breathtakingly beautiful this part of the world may be, but high crime rates dissuade people from taking the plunge to move here.

1. Windhoek, Namibia…

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Why so cheap? Only 322,500 people live in this part of the world. The small population might explain the low cost of living. Whatever it is, it’s a fabulous place to live.