Cost Of Living Index: 9 Cities That Have Seen A Huge Five-Year Drop In Cost!

Each year, The Economist launches an in-depth survey which focuses on hundreds of products and thousands of data points to give as accurate a picture of the cost of living globally in the world’s biggest cities.

The latest edition has just been published and there have been some huge decreases in the five-year period from 2011-2016. The entire report is available here but we’ve picked out nine cities that┬áhave become up to 40% more affordable to live in since 2011.

Perth, Australia – 40% Decrease (130 – 78)

You won’t really need the Cost of Living Index to understand the opportunities for an Irish traveller in Australia’s only city on the West coast. Perth ranks as the 49th most expensive city in the world (Dublin is 25th this year).

Oslo, Norway – 38% Decrease (158 – 98)

Don’t get too excited about Oslo just yet as the Nordic capital still retains a lofty place among global standards, ranking 11th in the world (that’s on a par with Los Angeles).

Tokyo, Japan – 38% Decrease (170 – 105)

Tokyo is a truly incredible city to visit. Owl cafes aside, it really is one that should be on your Bucket List. Maybe it’s an idea to begin a fund ahead of Ireland’s next assault on the Rugby World Cup in 2019 before it comes home in 2023 (hopefully!).


The buzz of Tokyo remains strong and while prices to live have dropped, it has retained much of the cost as a tourist. As a result, it ranks as the 4th most expensive city on Earth.

Melbourne, Australia – 34% Decrease (145 – 95)

Personally, Melbourne is my favourite Australian metropolis with so much to do but everyone is different. What can’t be argued however is a huge drop in its Cost of Living Index over the last five years. Food for thought if the Irish summer isn’t doing it for you anymore…



Sydney, Australia – 34% Decrease (148 – 98)

Almost perfectly in unison with it’s Queensland rival Melbourne, at least the Cost of Living is one factor you can pretty much disregard in deciding which to settle in on your Working Holiday Visa.

Geneva, Switzerland – 34% Decrease (158 – 105)

Similarly to Tokyo, the last five years have been favourable to residents of this alpine region but given that the Swiss are known for how prudent they are with their finances, it’s not surprising that Geneva still ranks comfortably inside the Top 10 most expensive cities (T7 with Paris).

Frankfurt, Germany – 32% Decrease (140 – 95)

Huh? Yeah. When you think of urban wonders around the world you probably won’t think of Frankfurt but hang on, it’s now a lot more affordable not to mention it’s one of Europe’s most well-connected city.

Great beer, better bratwurst, amazing architecture and a direct flight to and from pretty much anywhere in Asia. Niiiice!

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 29% Decrease (105 – 75)

A huge reason for the enormous decrease in the Cost of Living is the small matter of the two biggest sporting events in the world taking place in Rio within two years of each other. You know the ones…

Spending some time in Rio will bring with it a probable language barrier but as the 86th most expensive city in the world, it’s a definite head turner.

Toronto, Canada – 21% Decrease (95 – 75)

Last but by certainly no means least, Canada’s biggest city has seen a less significant but still notable Cost of Living drop since 2011. As visa applications and approvals to Canada increase, Toronto along with Perth are probably the two most appealing relocation for Irish emigrants in 2017.

It’s worth mentioning that none of these has seen such a dramatic drop in the cost of living as Caracas, Venezuela but let us tentatively advise you to raincheck that one for now…