Cayman ranked as world’s most costly place

| 17/07/2019 | 110 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): It will come as no surprise to Caymanians and residents that they are living in the world’s most expensive place, regardless of government’s efforts to convince the population that inflation is under control, when a dozen eggs is more than double the price of almost anywhere else in the world. Cayman tops both lists of countries and cities published by the online cost of living measure, Expatistan.

According to the latest research by the organisation, which is gaining traction as an accurate measure for cost of living comparisons around the world, Cayman is more pricey than over 100 countries and more than 300 citites. Rent, utilities, internet service, lunch, dinner, jeans, running shoes and anything else you care to mention is more expensive here than just about anywhere else on the planet.

See Expatistan Cost of Living Index

Grand Cayman is more expensive to live than Tokyo, New York, London and Hong Kong, with only Bermuda coming close. While people may not be surprised to learn that Grand Cayman is over 400% more expensive than Hyderabad in Pakistan, the fact that it is 75% more expensive than Tampa paints a more sobering picture of just how much living in paradise costs.

The list by Expatistan is calculated using information from more than 300,000 people living around the world, and is frequently updated and recalculated. While housing and utilities drive the high cost of living here, food is also 79% more expensive than London, which is the tenth most expensive city in the world.

Zürich is the second most expensive city in the world, according to the site, but accommodation there is still 16% cheaper than Cayman and its eye-watering prices.

Visit Expatistan to compare the cost of living in Cayman to other places in the world.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is an absolute joke and who every did this is totally deluded. What allowance did they calculate on real estate values and rental costs and the fact that the jurisdiction is tax free. Obviously they did not consider the mean prices and costs and who on earth buys jeans and running shoes in Cayman. For a well travelled individual this is the totally farcical and the author or organization who compiled this list has lost all credibility.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the cost of living in the Cayman Islands, not the cost of visiting in the Cayman Islands, but even visiting can be expensive here.

  2. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Local farmers, I will always buy your food first. Thank you. :: I aspire toward a time when I can join your ranks.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And on top of our expense, it seems like our politicians want to transform George Town into a more hot concrete jungle. They want to build a costly large cruise berthing facility on a small island, which dying culturally by too much American influences!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pointless survey as it is not tax adjusted. Easy place to earn, live and save for a future return to civilisation.

  5. Anonymous says:

    i not only survive here…i thrive though deprivation….
    i live in single tiny home as our ancestors did…
    i dont have credit card…only debit..purposely…
    i drive second hand bank free .. well maintained car…
    i cook at home and only puchase what i need on werkly basis…take lunch to wk…simple meals…
    i have one of them 1000 gal tanks from brac where they sell them…and buy 1000 gal water from flowers for 50 bucks a mt..hooked to pressure pump..
    i use pay as you go for internet y tele…if no credit..call me..
    i workout daily and eat healthy…mostly fresh fish i catch on week ends…no red meat
    and most importantly…happily divorced!!
    i take exotic vacations on other side of world once a year…
    i dont let the rich take my money through wants rather than needs!!!😉😆😇😊

    and yes i am native (indigenous) caymanian and stay right here…..

    • XRP says:

      Ummh yeah, unfortunately most people won’t understand one word of this… To them 1 million Gig of Data on their phone is a Need. Cheap looking, but expensive, nail treatments are a Need. Hair extensions are a Need. Liquor is a Need. Gambling is a Need. Monthly, get-off the Island trips to spend money on useless things they don’t need, are a NEED.

    • Anonymous says:

      I lived there for 4 years and I made it. I guess it depends on what kind of work you do.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Bravo, friend! Most of us, at one time or another, live minimally. When a person chooses that life, they achieve a rare balance of wonder.

      I wish there were a UCCI course titled “Life 301” which taught such skills and inclinations as you talk about; these are the kind of things that kids grew up with decades ago. Important stuuuf that every child should be exposed to for their own foundation to their education.

      You should teach that class. ::

  6. Anonymous says:

    Try growing your own fruit and vegetables for starters. That will cut the import taxes. You already have a chicken farm so eggs should be cheaper. Milking cows would be a good investment so you can cut out that horrendous cost too but unfortunately, your land for grazing is being taken up by new building projects. What about factories to produce clothing instead of importing all the time. Do something positive with all the income you are getting from tourists. Use the money wisely instead of feathering the fat cats nests.

    • Anonymous says:

      cayman cannot do anything cheaply.
      prime example: local eggs that still cost 30% more than eggs imported from the us!
      i can’t blame the farmers …they are crippled form the outrageous cost of doing business on the island.
      classic vicious cycle

  7. Anonymous says:

    There is no way Cayman comes before Bermuda.

  8. Jim says:

    Only last week a garage quoted me 800 us for a light fitted to my vehicle which made me wonder how much these damn light cost, I googled them online, 250 us was my answer.
    Stop ripping people off I say

  9. Anonymous says:

    cayman = 5 star price for 3 star quality.
    examples: internet, cable, taxis, fresh produce, cayman airways, cig civil service….etc

  10. Anonymous says:

    some possible solutions:
    deregulate monoplised industires like taxi service, cayman airways, cuc…etc
    prosecute companies who in engage in collusion
    allow walmart in to provide true competeition to the the existing cartel of grocery providers
    reduce cost of doing business (lower business fees)

  11. Anonymous says:

    What percentage of your ‘take home’ pay do you spend on necessities? This should be the question. We’re paying our taxes based on consumption vs other countries that pay income taxes then have cheaper goods to buy because these are not taxed as highly as they are here.

    The survey is meaningless. If I earn USD 100K with no income tax and I earn the same in New York where I am taxed federal, state and city and end up with $60K in my pocket then how much do I have left after all taxes have been taken and I have paid for the same basket of goods?

    As others have mentioned the ‘survey’ is slanted and should correct for taxes before stating who the ‘winner’ is

    • Anonymous says:

      Also the lack of verification for inputs – for example it could require submitting a price tag photo on purchase items or redacted bills for rent or utilities. The process is subject to hyperbole and the sample set isn’t actually that large for Cayman…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Everyone seems to have forgotten income tax!!! Sure our milk and internet etc… might be a rip off compared to the rest of the world but we don’t lose half our paycheck to income tax either! Come on think about it. Add income tax on top of everyone elses prices and Cayman is cheap!

    • Anonymous says:

      We do pay taxes. They are hidden which is why the cost of living is so high.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes hidden in the cost of goods compared to losing half your pay before you even get to the store.

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course we do. Thats the whole point. You’re comparing the price of goods here with taxes built in with the price of goods in countries where tax is taken out your paycheck. It’s an idiotic comparison.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s a fair comment on the prices, but the poster has a point. Comparing shelf prices between jurisdictions that have say 50% income tax and VAT with a jurisdiction that has zero income tax and no VAT is comparing apples and pineapples. Cost of living in isolation to any measure of take home pay is a fairly meaningless exercise, unless you are using it – as Expatistan is probably trying to do – as a means of comparing alternative incomes between jurisdictions i.e. if I live in Prague and am offered a job in Cayman, I should want take home pay to be 2.5 times as high if my net cost of living is to be comparable.

    • Anonymous says:

      The survey is about COSTS not disposable income after or before or without taxes. Just prices.

      By your standards of considering in taxes, who do you use to formulate cost of living? The sole provider with wife and kids? the bachelor? the retired person who’s no longer working thus not paying income taxes? Its just about costs – if you have one million dollars, here’s a comparison of how far it gets you in these countries based on average costs. Full stop.

      • Anonymous says:

        Interesting perhaps for lottery winners, not so much for people who buy things out of their taxed or untaxed income.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Only politicians can make the changes.
    But somebody needs to tell them.
    Caumanians rely to much on their god. It makes them easy pray.
    STAND UP IDIOTS !!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Simply put: politicians , entrepreneurs and churches take advantadge of the uneducated, naive, religious people here.
    Caymanians dont know how to stand up fir their rights.
    Time to act…..

    • Anonymous says:

      I am Caymanian and wholeheartedly agree with you. The politicians do not want improve the public education system, because that is where most of the future voting populace is educated. Uneducated voters = Government abusing their power, and getting what they want at the cost of the people. Most Caymanians do not know their rights, or how politics work, and it’s a sad situation.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Careful the “source” you all just gobbled up a web “crowd-sourced” info instead of a fact based survey? Try https://airshare.air-inc.com/airinc-cost-of-living-surveys
    They account for our no sales tax, income tax, property tax, yes… may be much more expensive for tourists but ask the Canadians how they like they tax scheme?
    I’m just saying the source here is akin to a wiki not a PWC study folks
    we are still attractive in the Finance employee area and our citizens are not taxed –
    Careful not to ask for tax, you will regret it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have lived both in Canada and the Cayman Islands. Though my pay in Canada is 2x than what it was in the Cayman Islands, at the end of the day I have far less saved… Without going into details, I am paying taxes upon taxes in Canada, taxes which I did not have to pay in the Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        And yet youve returned to Canada where you will get medical care, old age security and pension from those taxes. I’d say thats a pretty nice security that can only be gotten from taxes.

        Its easy to come here, make and save lots of money to take back with you and have that waiting for you – even after not contributing via taxes for a while (a thing which many Canadians are here doing) but those of us who dont earn enough to save AND have NO future security after paying 10% of our earnings towards a pension black hole and mandated private health unsurance which doesnt ensure anything are in a whole other boat!

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is actually good! Do you want rich or poor people coming to live in your country?
    As for the local population, you allow your overpaid, underworked and corrupt government to personally roll in money, travel extravagantly while the rest of you living from paycheck to paycheck. Have you held anyone accountable? Start with Juliana O’Connor-Connolly. It has been several years since the auditor general submitted her expenditures to anti corruption commission for investigation. So stop whining, start acting.

    • Anonymous says:

      You still have poor people, except they might probably be living on the streets instead of under a roof.

      • Anonymous says:

        There will always be poor people among you. If they have basic necessities, such as housing, food, and health care, it is up to them to advance. The basic necessities must be guaranteed in such rich countries as the Cayman Islands. Trim astronomical compensation of your leaders and redistribute the money.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder who you think cooks, cleans and takes out the garbage for those rich people?

    • Anonymous says:

      Brackers like E E if judge by the voters are very stupid peope

  17. Anonymous says:

    While in Cuba I wanted to try out some mangoes. I asked a man who was trying to sell a box of mangoes. I said to him could he give a mango for a dollar? He said yes, he passed the mango and I paid him $1 CUC. He said he didn’t have change, so I said keep it. He said it wasn’t right for him to charge so much for a mango. He said a CUC dollar is worth $26 CUP. I kept saying to him no problem he gave me 6 more mangoes still complaining its not right. I bought 2-1/2 pound mangoes for $1CI. Why are we still buying from USA? Buy from Cuba.

    • Tulio says:

      Most of the food are coming from Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Salvador, but before arriving in Cayman it has to go through the USA with uncle sam stamp, but with tag saying made in those country above. Why not purchase directly from those country. You name it they have anything you want.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the Government will make less in duties, as the costs of importing these goods are less. Follow the money!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Demand and supply determine the price.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not a chance. The astronomical duty fees are the problem. Not to mention highway robbery petrol and food.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not really. Duty about the same as VAT in UK/Europe.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes but you can cut duties and business owners will pocket every penny in savings and use them to live even better than they already do. They have no incentive to cut prices because we are forced to pay them in most cases and the vast majority of us are somehow getting by. If people simply could not afford their goods it would be different but you don’t see shops closing and they rarely put on sales. Last sale I heard about was last weekend for one hour at a warehouse in Industrial Park (lamp shades – limited quantities, final sale!)

  19. Anonymous says:

    What is your point? Local mangos are delicious. Imported mangos taste like wood.
    After years of living in Cayman, eating tons of mangos off trees and swimming in clear waters, I can’t swim anywhere else and eat store bought mango.
    Count your blessings instead of complaining.

  20. Anonymous says:

    HA, HA, HA, HA, HA……Try living in Little Cayman……if you want to see expensive……

    • Anonymous says:

      Hardly matters when there’s nothing to spend your money on anyway. Which is how Grand Cayman used to be, still with no direct taxes, and salaries worth far more in purchasing power than what people earn today.

  21. Go Man says:

    Our local mangoes can sell for $4 a pound in the supermarkets. In the UK even in the country they can be bought for under $1 a pound and they have been shipped from South America or Africa, not East End.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Ok. Now that we have that bit of info, please go back and interview those same 300,000 people and ask them about their quality of life. Do people living in Tokyo, New York, London and Hong Kong have a better quality of life than people living in Cayman? Can they work Monday to Friday, then hop on a boat and take their family to a beautiful sand bar every weekend? Can they take a stroll on beautiful white sand beaches every evening after work? Ask those 300,000 respondents if they would pay a little more in cost of living, just to avoid the 2 hour commute by train, then bus, then walking 7 blocks to get to and from work every day. Ask those 300,000 respondents how much they pay to take a one week vacation to a warmer climate every year. Yes, their cost of living might be lower than mine, but I take a vacation every weekend right here at home.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can they go to the theatre or choose from thousands of generally goid but cheaper restaurants?

    • Anonymous says:

      You lost me at “hop on a boat.” Just what percentage of people living in Cayman do you think can do that?

      • Anonymous says:

        Simple – the 1% fat cats who are here to dodge taxes

      • Anonymous says:

        Really? A boat? I earn six figures, and can barely scrape by each month.

        • Anonymous says:

          And if you earned that anywhere else how much of it do you lose in taxes before you even get to the store? 40k? Oh no poor me, i save 40k but my strawberrys are expensive.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or treat every weekend like a vacation? Buddy, some of us working 12 hrs a day, 7 days a week to cover the cost of living.

        At least when you pay taxes in other countries, it goes towards building the country’s infrastructure, education, garbage is collected, parks and streets are built and maintained and you can actually retire at 65 and get pension and old age security. What are we getting for our built in taxes here?

        Thats what i call quality of life. Not living to work until we die. But if you have a boat and earn enough to treat weekends like vacations, you will never understand how the other half survives.

    • Anonymous says:

      Careful the “source” you all just gobbled up a web crowd-source info instead of a fact based survey? Try https://airshare.air-inc.com/airinc-cost-of-living-surveys
      They account for our no sales tax, income tax, property tax, yes… may be much more expensive for tourists but ask the Canadians how they like they tax scheme?
      I’m just saying the source here is akin to a wiki not a PWC folks

  23. Anonymous says:

    Stop the grocery stores from the 200% markup!!!
    Almost all of the merchants actually. Why do you think it pays to go to MIA to shop and the ticket to MIA is $400+ if you time it right…

    • Anonymous says:

      They have to pay a lot of people and a lot of overhead. Can you imagine what their power bill is? They work hard to provide us with shops and products we want and deserve the right to make a profit. Try importing your own groceries even just your dry goods and see how much it costs you. Don’t get me wrong, my grocery bill is painful every week but I don’t feel ripped off by the merchants as much as I do the Government.

      • Anonymous says:

        Part of the problem is they can’t claim back duty they pay on produce that spoils. Everything gets marked up (including the produce) to pay for that. Other countries make businesses pay import duties on what they sell, not what they bring in. But Cayman has been assessing them on what is brought in since about 1910.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is okay because we only want the high elite here anyway and all we need are cheap workers to make there lives wonderful. Thankfully we have a government in place that knows how to treat these big spenders. If you do not like it catch a flight out!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Old news! Last time I had to fly over (2016) it cost me more to pick up a few basics than I spend in a week at the supermarket back home. My company had already paid out nearly $200 a night for a motel quality room that costs $50-$60 back home. Overpricing is a quick way kill to kill your economy and we are certainly now wary about doing business here in future.

  26. Anonymous says:

    geedy merchants…yet govt giving so much concessions?????

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a merchant and I see no concessions! We have to charge so much because duty is so high as well as rent!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    thank you politicians!!! fellow caymanians…you know what to do 2021…😢😢😴

  28. Anonymous says:

    do-nothing ppm ahve predictably done nothing to tackle the cost of living over the last 8 years…..
    shameful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like roll back the 2% ill conceived Mac duty hikes!

      • Anonymous says:

        7:27 pm, the 2 % duties Bush put on duties was for the Garbage pick up bill, because people like you would not pay their garbage bill, that way everyone paid, the garbage fee was dropped at that time. Since then the 2 % was dropped for the businesses . The stores pays 20%, while we pay 22% if we import the same things. So check it out for yourself and don’t print rubbish before checking the facts.

  29. Anonymous says:

    But yet Tom, Dick, Puss and Harry can come here and get rich??

    • Anonymous says:

      And the minimum wage is $6.00. A disgrace and a friggin joke.

      Come on Legislators. Double the minimum wage so that people can financially sustain themselves.

      • Anonymous says:

        that will only increase prices more…..
        does anyone around here understand basic economics???

        • Anonymous says:

          Bet you would have supported slavery 8:08. Freedom for slaves forced up prices. Do you understand basic economics?

          Your problem is that in your basic greed you have lost your moral compass. Nobody here should have to live on $6.00 an hour.

          Bet you live a comfy life here.

          • Anonymous says:

            Youre right but Anon 8:08 is correct on economics. If minimum wage is increased, you dont think your employer has to increase his service/product prices to cover added salaries?

            Which means cost of living goes up again. Its a vicious cycle but its the governments job to curb/control inflation so that we dont end up where we are. And they FAILED.

            • Anonymous says:

              And the amount of crime goes up with such a low minimum wage because people cannot support themselves and their families. The simple cost of health insurance takes up everything you make. Sad but true.

              And people wonder why the crime rate is going up so much here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because we are naive,passive and stupid always thinking that because they smile with us that they like us bunch of idiots.We need to sit down and shut up we only look and sound stupid now that it has been lost,gone forever get over it.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the Brac is more expensive than Grand, example, 3 qrts. Milk $ 8.75, Gain liquid soap $38.00, where at Price Right its $21.00 for the same size .

    • Anonymous says:

      Amazing huh. Maybe they don’t eat.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Government is the primary cause of the high cost of living in Cayman! They charge excessive and unnecessary (in many cases) fees for every single process and action, and such costs trickle down through every sector of the economy. Also, they do very little to discourage businesses from passing on all costs to consumers.

    OfReg displayed a welcome but unusual stance is rejecting CWC’s request to raise water rates but how often is that done and how long will they stand firm!!

    Yet the average Caymanians are expected to live well?! Impossible!!

    PPM/Unity Team must be real proud that Cayman Island have reached this dubious status under their watch! But what will they do? Nothing but more of the same shit!!

    • Storm warning says:

      So who is going to start importing from the supply route spoke about with Honduras. If I find a a shop selling cheaper and better I will buy there. Usually governments requiring competitive markets, has to subsidize a start up operation, or start one their selves. Cheaply Supply the local mom and pop stores through a government distribution. The distribution center could also act as a national reserve.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      No. Respectfully, the cost of shipping is what is driving all the high prices here. We all have goods sent here. The barge is killing us. We need real competition here, and that’s what drives a real economy. The cost of shipping goods, PLUS the supplies choosing to jack us up are the real cause of the high cost of living.

      The CIG has always been hopelessly ineffectual in mitigating these costs. We NEED real and actual competition with the shipping companies, and when that is on line, we will have a marked decrease in real costs of goods.

  31. Anonymous says:

    It is terrible. Something must be done about it. I make a decent salary compared to my friends in other countries and they live better than me. Paycheck to paycheck

  32. Anonymous says:

    Bullshit baseless study but okay. Shouldn’t be surprised really, people here believe even the crap the ESO churns out.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Government MUST lower the cost of living. Surrendering (or even temporarily waiving) duty on diesel used to generate electricity is the easiest way to do that quickly.

    • Anonymous says:

      lower the cost of health insurance. That costs more than electricity and gas combined, especially if you’re retired and not eligible for group insurance.

      • Anonymous says:

        Such a dumb report. The cost of living in London and Zurich includes huge income taxes, the report doesn’t.

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t know about Zurich but in London those taxes mean free medical care…

        • Anonymous says:

          Income taxes pays for better roads, education, medical care, etc. We don’t get that here.

          • Anonymous says:

            If you want to pay half your paycheck every month for the NHS and UK schools be my guest. Both can be ok but certainly not worth the egregious levels of income tax.

    • Anonymous says:

      what?…everywhere else in the world is taxing fossil fuels more!
      think harder….

      • Anonymous says:

        So waive import duties and provide subsidized loans to persons installing rooftop solar. You can do both!

        • Anonymous says:

          We don’t subsidise ordinary people here so they can live better lives. Just wealthy/connected families, businesses, millionaires, and billionaires. When the world’s first USD trillionaire exists, he/she will receive a personal invitation to do anything they like here, free of charge.

      • Anonymous says:

        How special do you have to be on an island 2 ft above sea level to be encouraging more fossil fuel use?

    • Anonymous says:

      2;14 pm, the Brac the power co. gets their fuel duty free, still the people monthly power bill is higher than grand

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