Dumb it down
Is Dublin now cheaper to live in than Beirut?
The latest cost of living survey is out and Dublin is dropping like a stone. Some good news from the recession at last, eh?
So, what’s this good news you promised me?
Wow, straight in, Okay, well the good news is that Dublin has fallen in the latest survey of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. It’s now the 72nd most expensive, down 14 places from last year and 62 places from 2005, when it was the 10th most expensive place on earth to live.
A lot has changed since then...
Too much to go into here anyway.
So how is this calculated?
Well, according to the good people at Mercer who compiled the list, “the survey covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. The cost of housing is also included and, as it is often the biggest expense for expatriates, it plays an important part in determining where cities are ranked.”
So the price of snack boxes, scratch cards and large bottles of Bulmers are not included?
They don’t specify but I doubt it. The survey is designed to help companies when they are moving employees to a new country so local ‘delicacies’ probably aren’t included.
So what you’re saying is Dublin is getting a lot cheaper?
Yes, but so is all of Europe. Thanks to the giant mess we’re in in this part of the world, stuff is getting cheaper. London is down to 25th, famously pricey Paris is down to 37th while other eye-wateringly expensive spots like Milan (38), Rome (42) and Helsinki (65) are all down too. The most expensive European city now is Moscow (4).
So where is the most expensive place to live then, if I do win the Lotto tonight?
Pack your bags and head to Tokyo if you really want to burn through your money fast, as it is the most expensive place to move to. Second on the list is a place called Luanda, the capital of Angola.
Pardon my lack of geo-political knowledge but why is that so high, ahead of New York and the like.
Well Angola is oil-rich and the cost of accommodation, and local services, makes it a severely pricey place to live. Unless you’re in the oil business you are unlikely to be sent there so don’t worry. And a good thing too. According to reports on the city last year, 90 per cent of its products are imported. A litre of milk costs over €3.00 and even a crummy hotel is over €300 a night.
Won’t be going there on holidays then. You mentioned Beirut earlier?
I did. A beautiful place that as once a byword for violence and danger is now blossoming again and it sits higher than Ireland at 67 on the list, as does Eurovision host city Baku (48) and a large number of cities in Africa and Asia. If ever you wanted to see how the global economy is really changing, this survey shows it in stark terms.
So you’re now saying this is bad news?
Kind of. Sorry about that.
Grand, I’m off to buy enjoy the pleasures of the cheap city I live in. Before I go, where’s the cheapest place to live?
Well only up the road is Belfast and its ranked 167, the cheapest on these islands, but the absolute cheapest place is Karachi in Pakistan, ranked 214.
Belfast it is then.
See you there.