Forget Tokyo. Forget New York, San Francisco and even Hong Kong.

When it comes to expensive places to live, look no further than the ground beneath your feet.

According to the most recent worldwide ranking by Expatistan, Grand Cayman is the most costly place to live on the planet.

Expatistan, a website designed to provide information on the cost of living for those living or planning to live in foreign countries, puts Grand Cayman at the top of its list of 104 countries, as well as first among 318 ranked cities.

Gerardo Robledillo, who has been compiling the international rankings since 2009 when he established Expatistan, said Cayman’s position is nothing new.

“The Cayman Islands have been at the top of the rankings for a long time,” Robledillo said.

The crowd-sourced list is compiled using data from more than 300,000 contributors. Robledillo said 40 people provided information on Cayman.

“The ranking is constantly updated and recalculated as users enter new prices,” he said. “The positions in the rankings do not change much or often, though, as the price changes are just little adjustments normally.”

In addition to the overall rating for cost of living, the website provides details on specific items and services for each country.

For instance, Cayman is listed as the most expensive place in the world when it comes to internet service and buying a tube of toothpaste. The country is the second most expensive for buying tomatoes, a Coke or a microwave. And there are only three other countries where toilet paper is more expensive.

Housing, clothing and food are the major items that help push Cayman’s cost to the top, according to Robledillo’s data, and the differences can be dramatic.

Living in Delhi, India, is 68% cheaper than living in Cayman. Housing in Delhi is 78% cheaper than in Cayman, where the cost of a 900-square-foot apartment in a ‘normal’ area is listed as $1,800 per month.

The list says it is 55% cheaper to live in Kingston, Jamaica, 63% cheaper to live in Cape Town, South Africa, and 45% cheaper to live in Rome. However, living in New York City, where housing is actually 3% higher, is only 7% cheaper than living in Cayman, the site says.

If there is one area where Cayman residents can take some consolation, it is the price of gasoline. While fuel is 46% cheaper in Tampa, Florida, than it is here, most Europeans pay more, with gas costing 33% more in Brussels than it does in Cayman. And in New Zealand, the price is 21% higher.

Robledillo said he is hoping more people from Cayman will add information, particularly in the areas of cars, expensive accommodations, electronics and female clothing.

As the website tells users, “the more data entered, the more accurate the index and the calculations will be”.

The full report can be found at

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  1. But if you use their website to compare Hamilton, Bermuda with Grand Cayman it says Bermuda is 17% more expensive. On individual levels Bermuda comes out more expensive for toothpaste and Internet, both of which Cayman is rated as number one. Cayman is expensive…just that we can’t claim to be top!

    ***Editor’s Note: While the numbers for both Hamilton and Bermuda, as a whole, appear to outpace Cayman, a disclaimer at the bottom of the Hamilton page indicates that the data so far submitted has inconsistencies and was gathered from only a few submissions. As a result, said Gerardo Robledillo, who manages the site, Bermuda is not included in the country or city rankings.***