Belfast is nearly 40% cheaper to live in than Dublin, making the city a more attractive location for businesses, according to consultants who carried out an investigation into the cost of living in the two cities.
The survey by Mercer Consulting, which carries out a global annual survey on the cost of living in major cities, showed that Dublin is 19% more expensive than Belfast for goods and services and 40% more expensive for goods, services and rented accommodation.
The biggest contrast in the cost of living in the two cities was found to be in housing costs. Renting an apartment was found to be twice as expensive in Dublin and renting an unfurnished house almost three times as expensive.
Mercer converted the cost of buying basic items in both cities onMarch 1 into US dollars, using the exchange rates on that day, to draw a comparison between them.
A cup of coffee cost $3.53 in Belfast and $4.42 in Dublin. A litre of milk was $1.32 in Belfast and $1.56 in Dublin and a whole chicken cost $6.20 in Belfast and $8.82 in Dublin.
Eating out was found to be considerably cheaper in Belfast - a pizza meal for two cost $62.81 in Belfast and $80.97 in Dublin.
Patrick Robertson, a principal in Mercer’s human capital consulting business, said the survey showed that the cost of living in Belfast was “significantly lower” than in Dublin.
“The differing pay levels and availability of qualified people are also making Northern Ireland an increasingly attractive place for businesses to locate,” he said.
“Employers in the Republic of Ireland are experiencing skill shortages in many sectors which is hard for potential businesses to ignore.
“I would expect that organisations will increasingly look at investing in Northern Ireland.”