Karachi – cheapest city in the world?

CNN reports that Karachi, Pakistan is among the cheapest cities in the world.

The cheapest cities in the world are Paraguay’s Asuncion, Zimbabwe’s Harare, Buenos Aires, Manila, Pakistan’s Karachi, India’s Bangalore and Uruguay’s Montevideo.

To give a sense of just what life costs in various cities, Mercer priced out the cost of a two-bedroom unfurnished apartment, a cup of coffee served, a fast food meal and an international paper.


I can’t say I understand economics very much, but some economist somewhere is certanly smoking dope if they think Karachi is a cheap city. When was the last time they tried to fill a car in that city with petrol? And yes, have they tried to buy coffee at Espresso in Clifton? I couldn’t believe that on my last trip to Karachi I was paying more for coffee in Clifton than I would in Manhattan or downtown Boston.

Anyways….from the data its clear that the cost of a 2-bedroom apartment would trump over all other factors – and yes, my 1-bedroom condo in Boston would easily trade for a 3-5 bedroom house in a decent neighborhood in Karachi (at least it could a few years back).

Top 10 most expensive cities
1. Moscow
2. Seoul
3. Tokyo
4. Hong Kong
5. London
6. Osaka
7. Geneva
8. Copenhagen
9. Zurich
10. Oslo, New York (tied)  
Source: Mercer Consulting

Cost of living in Boston?

Source: Cities Ranked and Rated, 2004


5 Responses to Karachi – cheapest city in the world?

  1. Laila Shabir says:

    Hey there,

    I found your blog on a paksmit email, and it really is an interesting read! 🙂 I’m a rising sophomore at MIT (dept of Economics) and I must tell you as an Econ major I dont understand much about intl comparative inflation either (my weakest point)…

    Are you still around MIT? I don’t remember seeing you at any of the PaksMIT events… well, I hope we can catch up some day. Good stuff! 🙂

  2. Shirazi says:

    Yes, toon is halarious. And yes, Pakistan is among the cheapest countries in the world. Nice resource here.

  3. […] Pakistan is one of the best travel destinations in the world – desert expanses in Thar and Cholistan, Lush green plains in Punjab, mighty mountains in Northern Pakistan and Chitral, so many unexplored and “just to yourself” places, what else. Start of some of the world history can still be traced down to Pakistan – Indus Civilization. Moreover, Pakistan being one of the cheapest countries in the world is best for budject travelers. […]

  4. chennai city

    Can u provide more information about this ?

  5. jamie says:

    Just searching on google and found your site. It was ranked fairly high on google for keywords boat for wordpress sites,
    To be honest i am just looking around to find out why..

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