The TIME magazine has ranked Pakistan as the 14th cheapest country to live in. The report identified 50 cheapest countries to live in, where rent, groceries and items of consumptions are cheaper than in NewYorkCity.
A ranking by GoBankingRates used Numbeo’s online pricing database to find the cheapest countries to live in, the four key metrics used were:
1)Local purchasing power index- measures and compares the different income levels in countries
2)Rent index-compares rents of dwellings in a country to the ones in New York city
3)Groceries index-compares grocery item prices to items in NewYorkCity
4)Consumer price index- as Time defines it is used to compare costs of local goods and services; including restaurants, groceries, transportation and utilities to New York City.
Pakistan is ranked 14th because compared to NewYorkCity:
•Local purchasing power is 54.5% (lower)
•Rent is 94% cheaper
•Groceries are 72.5% cheaper
•Local goods and services are 71.3% cheaper
This information shows that living in Pakistan is cheaper than most countries.TIME reports
‘Living in Pakistan is pretty affordable, especially if you move to the city Lahore. Combined typical costs of rent, food and other goods and services for a month come out to about $530 a month.’
According to Numbeo , ‘the Cost of living in Pakistan is 63.92% lower than in United States’.These are useful figures for entrepreneurs and emerging businesses in Pakistan and provide an almost fertile testing ground for local startups to test their business models and explore lucrative investment opportunities.
The recent figures quoted by the economic survey of Pakistan state that Pakistan’s estimated population is 195.4 million in 2016 and the Inflation rate has fallen by 2 % despite an accelerating GDP of 4.71 %.
In addition to the above mentioned, APP Reports
1) The per capita income in dollar terms has increased from $ 1,516.8 in FY 2015 to $ 1,560.7 in FY 2016
2) The economy during FY2016 recorded a growth of 4.71 percent which is the highest growth achieved since 2008-09
3) National savings increased to 14.6 percent of GDP in this fiscal year against 14.5 percent last year.
This also implies that the Pakistani market is built around a ladder of quality differentials in various products and services, and different segments of society are choosing a very diverse set of products, which define and shape their living standard. The stability of the Pakistani rupee is a factor that can bring another source of confidence to investors.Thus focusing on the Pakistani market, and exploring to find the right niche can have a far-reaching impact on various sectors.
This also brings us to the bigger question. Is cheaper living really cheap, or are we paying for it by compromising on other aspects that ‘define’ the quality of life.
Here it may be useful to tap into qualitative evidence, particularly from immigrants of why they choose to live outside of their home country despite the low cost of living in Pakistan.
All this put together,will help define the other factors that are important to arrive at an overall index of the quality of life in a country, which is as important as the ‘cost of living’ itself.