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Cost of LivingComparisons

Thailand is one of the lowest cost places in the world to live for expatriates (foreigners). This was confirmed once again by the most recent cost of living survey prepared by Mercer, an international recruitment firm.

How is cost of living measured?

Mercer’s 2008 survey covers 143 major cities in the world and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. The survey is based on the cost of living that a foreigner would pay to live in each city.

Which cities are the most expensive?

As you can see in the table at right, London, Oslo and Copenhagen were ranked as the 3rd, 4th and 7th most expensive cities in the world. For the second consecutive year, Moscow was the most expensive city in the world for an expatriate.

How expensive is Bangkok?

The Mercer survey included Bangkok, Thailand’s capital and largest city. Bangkok was far less expensive than Europe or North America, ranking 105 of the 143 cities surveyed. Bangkok dropped 10 places compared to 2007, meaning that it had become even less expensive compared to the other cities in the survey.

What about Thailand’s beach resorts?

We’re most familiar with Hua Hin, one of Thailand’s most popular beach resorts. Hua Hin is 200 km, just a 2½ hour drive from Bangkok.

Hua Hin wasn’t included in the survey, but would be much less expensive than Bangkok. The cost of housing in Hua Hin is about half that of prime areas of Bangkok, which is a major factor in the overall cost of living. However, because Hua Hin residents can easily drive or fly to Bangkok, they still can take advantage of the tremendous shopping bargains in Bangkok.

Find out more – To find out more about living in Thailand, contact us today.

Of 143 major cities surveyed, Bangkok ranked 105, meaning its cost of living is one of the lowest
Ranking of Cost of Living for Expatriates
Moscow 1
London 3
Oslo 4
Copenhagen 7
Dublin 16
Helsinki 21
New York 22
Bangkok 105
1 = Most Expensive City

Source: Mercer Global Cost of Living Survey 2008


The cost of living in Thailand's beach resorts is even lower than Bangkok, primarily because of the lower cost of housing