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Future Expats Take Note: The World's Cheapest Cities to Live in 2022, Mapped

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by Morgane Croissant Mar 25, 2022

Travelers, digital nomads, and wannabe expats with a small budget but a determination to see the world should focus their attention on five locations deemed the cheapest cities to live in. Statista, a data provider, compiled the results of a survey carried out by Time Out earlier this year to map the world’s cheapest cities to live in.

Infographic: Where Living Comes Cheapest | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

The survey included 27,000 people who were asked if their city was an expensive one to live in, and it turns out that there are still places in the world where one can settle without constantly worrying about finances. Only 10 percent of the inhabitants of Manchester thought their home turf was too pricey, and surprisingly, just 17 percent of people of Montreal, Budapest, and Johannesburg thought the same of their necks of the woods.

The survey includes the city of Saint Petersburg in Russia, believed to be an expensive place to live by only 18 percent of its people. But despite the fact that it’s one of the cheapest cities to live in, and a beautiful city at that, the current war waged by Russia in Ukraine makes it a big no-no for expats and travelers.

The cheapest cities in the world to live in

  1. Manchester, England
  2. Montreal, Canada
  3. Budapest, Hungary
  4. Saint Petersburg, Russia
  5. Johannesburg, South Africa
  6. Prague, Czech Republic

On the other end of the spectrum are the most expensive cities to live in, which features the usual suspects: Zurich, Switzerland, which 99 percent of the people surveyed thought was overpriced, and Paris, France (which at least one remote worker believes can be cheaper than living in suburban America).

A 2021 report of the most expensive cities for expats also featured Zurich, as well as two more Swiss cities, Geneva and Bern, alongside Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and more.

While Zurich often tops off the lists of eye-wateringly expensive places to visit and live, there are ways you can make a trip to largest cities in Switzerland a little easier on the wallet. Also, when compared to San Francisco, the cost of living in Zurich does not seem that much more exorbitant.

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