City of Dreams- Mumbai remains India's most expensive city to live in, Why?
City of Dreams- Mumbai remains India's most expensive city to live in, Why?

Mumbai Retains Its Expensive Tag: What Makes It India's Costliest City to Live In? - Mumbai, often dubbed as the ‘city of dreams’, continues to be out of reach for many due to its high cost of living. The city, known as the hub of Hindi cinema and home to numerous Bollywood stars, has maintained its status as India’s most expensive city.

According to Mercer’s 2024 Cost of Living survey, the cost of personal care, energy and utility, transportation, and housing rentals are all significantly high in Mumbai. The city has actually climbed a few spots in the rankings, making it even costlier, alongside Delhi.

Globally, Mumbai has jumped 11 places to rank 136th, while Delhi has risen 4 spots to 164th. Chennai dropped five spots to 189th, Bengaluru fell six spots to 195th, Hyderabad remained stable at 202nd, Pune rose eight spots to 205th, and Kolkata climbed four spots to 207th.

In 2023, Mumbai had dropped 20 places to 147th but has rebounded to 136th in 2024. The report attributes this to evolving economic factors that have increased the cost of living in Mumbai and other major Indian cities.

Mumbai ranks as the 21st most expensive city in Asia for expatriates, while Delhi holds the 30th position among the surveyed locations in the region.

"In the face of global economic challenges, India has remained largely resilient in our 2024 Cost of Living Survey. Despite Mumbai's rise in rankings, the overall affordability of Indian cities remains a key advantage for multinational organizations or Indian companies looking to attract global talent. Our thriving economy, fueled by domestic demand and a robust services sector, offers a stable environment for global talent. As we navigate rising global housing costs and inflation, India's growth story and improving living standards position us as an attractive destination for international assignments,” said Rahul Sharma, India Mobility Leader at Mercer.

When it comes to personal care products, including cosmetics and toiletries, Mumbai is the most expensive, followed by Chennai, and the least expensive in Kolkata. Energy and utility costs are also highest in Mumbai, followed by Pune. Transportation costs, including automobiles and auto parts, are highest in Mumbai, followed by Bengaluru.

Housing rentals saw the highest increase in Delhi, rising by 12-15% for expats, followed by Mumbai with an increase of 6-8%, Bengaluru with 3-6%, and Pune, Hyderabad, and Chennai with 2-4%.

Basic food items like milk, dairy products, bread, beverages, oils, fruits, and vegetables are most economical in Kolkata, followed by Pune, while alcohol and tobacco items are least expensive in Delhi.

The report emphasized that housing costs are critical in attracting and retaining top talent, impacting both an organization’s budget and employees’ quality of life. With global economic challenges such as geopolitical conflicts and inflation, organizations are grappling with their global talent impact.

Meanwhile, the Indian economy has remained resilient compared to major economies, witnessing significant growth driven by domestic demand and a robust services sector. Factors such as employment growth, a rising middle class, and overall economic growth have positively impacted the cost of living in India, the report concluded.

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