Overall, from the cost of living index perspective, Chennai is only 5 percent less costly than Delhi. Chennai has also witnessed a 13 per cent surge in house rents over last year. The analysis done by the consulting firm revealed that Chennai ranks second, only after Mumbai, when it comes to the cost of alcohol and tobacco.

“Chennai is the most expensive city when it comes to clothing and footwear. And prices in this category have risen by 4 percent, over last year. The cost of grocery, dairy and poultry products in Chennai is comparable to that of Mumbai and Delhi,” said Ruchika Pal – India Practice Leader, Global Mobility at Mercer.

According to Ms. Pal, pricing, currency stability, and inflation in Indian cities have a direct impact on the cost of expatriation for Indian multinationals. The cost of goods and services shift with inflation and currency volatility, in the home and host cities, making overseas assignment costs sometimes greater and sometimes smaller. Ms. Pal added that the study helps companies determine allowances for their expat workers. “Many Indians, especially from Chennai, work aboard including in the U.S. and UAE.

People from other countries also come to India and this analysis will help them understand costs,” she added. Globally, Mumbai was ranked 82, followed by New Delhi (130) and Chennai (158). Hong Kong is the world’s costliest city to live in. The survey covered over 375 cities and this year’s ranking includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.