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The survey also found residents in Kuala Lumpur to be 13% poorer than last year; with the average salary dropping to US$987 (about RM4279) per month. In comparison, it was US$1,136 (about RM4925) last year.
Falling 14 places down the ladder this year, the city is now beneath Mumbai and Jakarta. In contrast, Wellington was the top city in the index while the last spot went to Manila in the Philippines.
Dragging down KL’s score was its climate, which took last spot in the entire survey. It fared marginally better in the area of safety, where it took the 43rd place. It was 39th for healthcare and 38th for pollution.
For the neighbouring Singapore, it ranked 39th overall and was also rated poorly on its climate. However, Singapore remains one of the most expensive cities to live in – coming in at 35th in the cost of living index.
On the other hand, Malaysia was 8th in that area, naming it as one of the top 10 cheapest cities in the list.
Additionally, KL was noted as an affordable location for couples. It was at the 45th spot in the Cheap Date Index, which ranks locations based on their affordability. The index calculates cab rides, dinner or lunch for two at a pub or diner, soft drinks, movie tickets and a beer or two.
A Malaysian couple needs only an average US$44.10 for these, whereby couples in Singapore would need to spend nearly twice the amount.
The report was first published five years ago. It calculates price indices using secondary data available online.
Photo / 123RF