LONDON: For an average Indian, living costs in Mumbai may be a nightmare. But the new Worldwide Cost of Living 2014 index has thrown up an interesting finding.

India’s city of dreams has emerged as the world’s cheapest city to live in. The analysis takes into account the concept of value of money — how much bread would you get for one dollar or for that matter a litre of petrol. While Mumbai has emerged as the country with the best value for money spent, Delhi has emerged the third cheapest, placing it right at the bottom of the world’s most expensive cities.

For example, buying 1 kg bread in Mumbai would cost $ 0.91 while in Delhi it would be $ 1.05 as against $ 3.36 in Singapore which has toppled Tokyo to be the world’s most expensive city to live in this year. The average cost of one litre unleaded petrol in Mumbai is $ 1.21 and in Delhi $ 1.14 as against $ 2.50 in Paris — the world’s second most expensive city.

Singapore topped 131 cities globally to become the world’s most expensive city to live in 2014, according to the economist intelligence unit (EIU). Asia is interestingly home to some of the world’s most expensive cities as well as to many of the world’s cheapest cities.

The index says: “Within Asia the best value for money is in the Indian subcontinent (defined as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka). Mumbai is the cheapest location in the survey and three of the four cheapest cities surveyed hail from Pakistan, India and Nepal. Mumbai’s title as the world’s cheapest city and is a reflection of the structural factors that define price within the Indian subcontinent.”

It added: “Although India has been tipped for future growth, much of this is driven by its large population and the untapped potential within the economy. Income inequality means that low wages proliferate, driving down household spending and creating many tiers of pricing that keep per capita spending low. This, combined with a cheap and plentiful supply of goods into cities, as well as government subsidies on some products, has kept prices down, especially by western standards.”

Besides Singapore, cities making up the top five most expensive cities to live in are Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney, with Tokyo falling to sixth place. The economic intelligence unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey looks at more than 400 individual prices.