Panama City, Panama was ranked as one of the least expensive cities in the world to live in according to the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit twice a year.

The survey takes a look at 400 individual prices across 160 products and services in 131 cities, including food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs. (CNN)

Out of the 131 cities surveyed, Panama City was ranked as the 124th least expensive along with cities in India and Saudi Arabia.

The city that was ranked as the most expensive was Singapore, which I found very interesting since people often compare Panama City as being the next Singapore.

Singapore, smaller in size than New York City, has seen home prices surge to records in recent years amid rising wealth and an influx of foreigners. The expansion of the island’s private banking industry and the presence of regional hubs for global companies have drawn more top talent, and senior executives in Singapore are earning more than those in Hong Kong, according to human resources consultant Towers Watson & Co. (Bloomberg)

The report also indicated that transportation costs in Singapore are 3 times higher than in New York City.

I think that overall Panama City does have a pretty low cost of living if it’s compared to other metropolitan cities.  I recently wrote an article outlying some of the least expensive things that can be found in Panama, but there are also things that I find to be expensive here.  I have also witnessed the prices of basic foods rise in the almost three years I have been living here.

Bu the rankings do not take into account local salaries of the countries and Panama City is VERY expensive compared with the average cost of what people make. It’s only a “cheap” city when the cost of public transportation, basic food, housing, and healthcare are compared with cities in the rest of the world.

So hopefully since Panama strives to be the next Singapore, we don’t strive to be on the most expensive city list.

Here is the full top 10 list of the most and least expensive cities for 2014:

World’s 10 most expensive cities to live in 2014

1. Singapore

2. Paris

3. Oslo, Norway

4. Zurich, Switzerland

5. Sydney

6. Caracas, Venezuela

6. Geneva, Switzerland

6. Melbourne

6. Tokyo

7. Copenhagen, Denmark


World’s 10 least expensive cities to live in 2014

122. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

123. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

124. Panama City, Panama

124. Bucharest, Romania

126. Algiers, Algeria

127. Damascus, Syria

127. Kathmandu, Nepal

129. New Delhi

130. Karachi, Pakistan

131. Mumbai, India

Do you agree or disagree with the rankings? Leave a comment below”¦


I'm Joey, a guy from Louisville, Kentucky that packed up and studied abroad in Panamá at the age of 20 and haven't moved back since. What started as a semester trip to Panamá has turned into 7+ years of living in Latin America and becoming a full-time travel blogger. Follow me on Instagram @joeybonura for more updates on my life abroad!

1 Comment

  1. Folks, if you believe what you just read above….. You are a American!!!! You believe all the crap you read. Trust me, Panama is the land of CRIME, TRASH and GRINGO PRICES. STAY AWAY. American's have always been good a screwing their own people. It's the American way. Panama is 10 more expensive than living in the United States. The people here are nasty and do not have any pride in their country. It is totally destroyed with TRASH and RATS.

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