Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
For most people the cost of living is one of the most important factors to consider when moving abroad, especially at a time when many are relocating in hope of better living standards. We've put together this list of some of the top low cost expat destinations around the world to give you a better idea of what to expect and help you better plan the financial side of the moving process.
According to Numbeo’s cost of living survey
, the top 10 cheapest expat
destinations in 2011 are India, Pakistan, Bolivia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Macedonia, Kenya, China and Mongolia. Some of these destinations are popular among expats
, however most aren't. Our list will focus on some of the more popular, but still low cost destinations.
The Philippines is an exciting and extremely varied expat destination, being made up of over 7000 islands. It is the world’s 12th most populous country, and has a growing economy. It is a newly industrialised country that has transitioned from an agricultural based economy to an industrial economy based on the services and manufacturing sectors. The Philippines has an important position in Southeast Asia, a diverse and multi-ethnic population and if you're looking for new business or professional opportunities, you will certainly have many options. The cost of living is one of the lowest compared to the rest of the world, with rent and living costs being especially cheap. A couple can live comfortably on £600-700 in Manila, the capital, and living costs are even lower in the countryside.
India is the lowest ranked on Numbeo’s cost of living survey, with average rents being 9% of those in New York City and grocery costs lower than one-quarter of those in the Big Apple. India is a great destination if you are looking for new opportunities, as it is one of the world’s fastest growing economies with a vibrant business sector. Despite India becoming a strong and influential economy , poverty levels are very high, and almost half of the population still lives under the international poverty line of $1.25 per day. If you're looking for an exciting country that also has great economic potential, and low living costs, India can be a great place, but only if you find a suitable location for settling down.
Although South Africa isn't among the world's top ten cheapest destinations, the combination of the relatively low living costs, the stunning scenery and some fully developed cities, such as Cape Town and Durban make it a popular expat destinations. South Africa is a newly industrialised country with a good supply of resources, strong financial, legal, communications, and energy sectors and a stock exchange that ranks in the top twenty in the world. Despite the growing economy, income inequality is very high in South Africa, which is strongly influenced by the country’s political legacy, and there are huge differences between the country’s different regions. Most expats tend to move to the more developed areas, like Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg, where living costs will be higher than in the countryside but still much lower than in London, Paris or New York.
4. Eastern and Central Europe
If you want to experience an exciting and new culture, and low living costs, then Central and Eastern Europe might be for you. These former socialist states offer excellent business and investment opportunities with their growing free market economies, beautiful sceneries
and a varied culture. Poland
, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic
that are all EU member states as well. They can boast developed economies, but due to the countries' recent history, you'll find that living costs are still significantly lower than in other Western European countries, especially when it comes to rent and eating out.