The cost of living index
The cost of living index is calculated based on the relative comparison with the cost of living in New York City, United States. Therefore, the cost of living index of New York City is 100 (100%).
That a city or a country achieves an index of 120 means the cost of living in this city or country is 20% more expensive than New York City. Similarly, if an area has an index of 70, this means that the living cost in this region is 30% cheaper than New York City.
Of the 122 countries in this year’s survey conducted by Numbeo (excluding the United States), Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean had the highest cost of living index in the world. Switzerland ranked second with 123.1 points; Bahamas ranked third with 107.54 points. The three lowest ranked countries included Pakistan having 26.69 points, Moldova getting 25.7 points and India achieving 24.14 points.
The cost of living in Vietnam
The cost of living index of Vietnam this year was 39.5 points. This figure was 2.36 points higher than the previous year that made the rank of Vietnam change from 98 to 86.
In Asia, Numbeo carried out the survey on 40 countries. The top-ranked country was Singapore with 83.67 points, followed by Kuwait with 81.62 points. Vietnam was ranked 27 among 40 countries.
Vietnam was listed in the group having the average cost of living in Southeast Asia, ranked 6th among 9 countries. According to the data offered by this website, the cost of living in Vietnam was even lower than Laos.
According to General Statistics Office (GSO), Lai Chau was the province whose cost of living index was the highest throughout Vietnam while Tra Vinh had the cheapest living expense.
The shown data reflects the cost of living of regions and localities across the country. Hanoi and the Red river Delta is used as the standard for the comparison.
Accordingly, Lai Chau got the highest subsistence expenditure in 2015 (0.3% higher than Hanoi), followed by Hanoi, Dien Bien, Son La, Lao Cai and Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City was 2.61% cheaper than Hanoi. The reason is that in recent years, due to the price stabilization program. Therefore, the price of food, clothing, beverages in Ho Chi Minh City did not change suddenly and was lower than Hanoi.
Meanwhile, the statistics pointed out that Tra Vinh province had the lowest cost of living index all over the country, particularly 19.28% cheaper than Hanoi. A special point is that in Tra Vinh, the cost of medicine and health service was the lowest among groups of services and up to 26.23% cheaper than Hanoi. In terms of drinking and eating, it was 18.61% lower than Hanoi. Going after Tra Vinh are Thai Binh and Vinh Long.
Binh Duong and Tay Ninh increase the price in the fastest speed because there has been a sharp rise in the cost of almost all the types of commodities.
Considering the regions, in 2015, the living expense index of the northern midland and mountainous regions was the most expensive throughout Vietnam while in 2014, this position belonged to the Southeast region.
There are some reasons for this situation. First, the northern mountainous provinces have no ability to produce the goods. Besides, the expense for transport from the lowland is quite high. In addition, the distribution system of this region is highly dispersed and the cost of maintaining the distribution system is high.
Mekong Delta region was still regarded as the region with the cheapest cost of living in Vietnam because types of expenses such as accommodation and traveling were all low.