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From Cheapest To Most Expensive, Here Is The List Of Cities To Live In Pakistan

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Pakistan is quite a sizeable country, with four provinces and multiple cities within these provinces. The country is diverse both geographically and demographically as well. One more area where there is a stark difference or diversification is the price differential rate among cities stretched across. This single economic benchmark or indicator tells a load about character of a particular city of being whether cheap or costly to dwell in.

The most pertinent factor is the cost incurred to live in a particular city. And that heavily depends on the market price of commodities that are used on the daily basis. These elements have a direct impact on the inflation rate in a particular region. Every district in Pakistan has its own administration in place and is largely responsible to set out and implement price rates for consumer-used essentials sold across the markets, in both wholesale and commercial markets. In terms of variation, if there is a bigger gap in the price differential rate between the district set prices and the city’s own market prices, the more expensive it is to live in it. On the contrary, the lesser this gap the cheaper it then gets to live in.

We have tried to firstly find this and found an organization under the Pakistani Ministry of Finance, namely the National Price Monitoring Committee. This Committee’s system monitors and tracks price hikes of daily essentials in 17 major cities in Pakistan. The cheapest cities list we have shared below has been tabulated and formulated by NPMC using the new and effectively introduced DSSI system. 

The below list shows the ranking of the 17 major cities, from cheapest to most expensive, based on the gap in market price differential rates (the prevalent popular prices versus the approved rates by their respective district administrations):


  1.         Bahawalpur -The Cheapest City- (9.25)
  2.         Sialkot  (10.35)
  3.         Lahore (10.53)
  4.         Rawalpindi (11.84)
  5.         Sargodha (12.98)
  6.         Faisalabad (16.16)
  7.         Peshawar (17.09)
  8.         Gujranwala (18.75)
  9. Islamabad- The Capital City- (19.19)
  10. Multan           (21.65)
  11. Bannu           (26.75)
  12. Hyderabad (28.34)
  13. Quetta (30.81)
  14. Khuzdar (38.53)
  15. Sukkur          (38.77)
  16. Larkana (49.54)
  17. Karachi-The Most Expensive City- (94.81)

Therefore, keeping the above list in perspective, it could easily be fixed that with a much lower price differential rate, the cheapest cities in Pakistan are mostly found in the province of Punjab. With the aid of the data released by the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC), Bahawalpur thus is the least expensive city to dwell in with the lowest gap of only nine percent between the market and district administration price rates of the daily consumed commodities and essentials.

Following Bahawalpur is Multan and Lahore, which have more or less the same price differential percentage that is near about a meager ten and eleven percent respectively. On the other side, Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad has risen as a moderately cheap city with a gap of nearly nineteen percent between the market and district established rates.

As far as the least expensive cities are concerned, or say expensive cities, the largest metropolis of Pakistan, Karachi, has come on top to be the most expensive one to be in. The NPMC reports, it has the highest price difference of nearly ninety-four percent between the market and established rates by the localized district administration.

The second so-called most expensive city in Pakistan is also near Karachi in the province of Sindh. Larkana has the second-highest gap between market and approved rates for daily essentials, which is shown at nearly fifty percent. The third place goes to Sukkur with a near thirty-eight percent gap, followed by Khuzdar in the province of Balochistan, where a price gap of close to thirty-eight has been seen and registered.

Apart from the price differential rates, there are other factors too that dictate the level of inflation of any particular city. Broadly speaking, the increasing economic fiscal deficit, food inflation is majorly due to ever-increasing fuel&oil prices, and gradual rupee devaluation against the dollar over time. Moreover, these same factors will also set the tone and levels of inflation in this ongoing fiscal year of 2021.

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