Cost of daily necessities

Comparison of worldwide cost of living

Living ist most expensive in the Bermudas and cheapest in Uzbekistan. In our ranking of 106 countries all around the world the USA comes in 19th.

The cost of living is calculated periodically in nearly representative baskets of consumer goods. But many factors complicate worldwide comparisons. E.g., a typical apartment doesn’t have a standard size nor fittings. Even the quality of a branded packet of butter isn't the same in developing countries. Consequently, comparisons like this have to to be looked at with caution.

In addition, the level of the prevailing average income should play a role in a cost comparison.

Cost of living and purchasing power related to average income

We adjusted the average cost of living inside the USA (based on 2021 and 2022) to an index of 100. All other countries are related to this index. Therefore with an index of e.g. 80, the usual expenses in another country are 20% less then in the United States.

The monthly income (please do not confuse this with a wage or salary) is calculated from the gross national income per capita.

The calculated purchasing power index is again based on a value of 100 for the United States. If it is higher, people can afford more based on the cost of living in relation to income. If it is lower, the population is less wealthy.

The example of Switzerland:
With a cost of living index of 142 all goods are on average about 42% more expensive than in the USA. But the average income in Switzerland of 7,550 USD is also 28% higher, which means that citizens can also afford more goods. Now you calculate the 42% higher costs against the 28% higher income. In the result, people in Switzerland can afford about 10 percent less than a US citizen.

RankCountryCost indexØ Monthly incomePurchasing power index
1Bermuda *157.610,206 USD109.6
2Switzerland142.47,550 USD89.7
3Cayman Islands *137.95,157 USD63.2
4Israel130.24,108 USD53.4
5Iceland128.05,288 USD69.9
6Turks and Caicos Islands *124.61,784 USD24.2
7Norway124.66,990 USD94.9
8Barbados121.51,408 USD19.6
9Denmark119.95,692 USD80.3
10Ireland119.86,343 USD89.6
11Australia118.04,764 USD68.3
12New Zealand117.23,769 USD54.4
13Luxembourg113.17,349 USD109.9
14Sweden109.34,962 USD76.8
15Finland108.04,459 USD69.9
16United Kingdom107.93,707 USD58.1
17Canada105.64,026 USD64.5
18Japan101.93,554 USD59.0
19United States100.05,911 USD100.0
20Netherlands99.04,600 USD78.6
21Belgium97.04,208 USD73.4
22France96.23,680 USD64.7
23Austria95.94,397 USD77.6
24Iran92.5294 USD5.4
25Germany92.34,305 USD78.9
26South Korea87.02,926 USD56.9
27Italy86.22,999 USD58.9
28Spain82.92,474 USD50.5
29Hong Kong *77.94,538 USD98.5
30Portugal76.41,991 USD44.1
31Singapore75.05,334 USD120.3
32Macao *75.03,871 USD87.3
33Greece74.71,667 USD37.8
34Estonia74.02,205 USD50.4
35United Arab Emirates72.33,481 USD81.4
36Qatar71.45,193 USD123.1
37Czechia68.12,036 USD50.6
38China63.2990 USD26.5
39Chile62.91,232 USD33.1
40Kuwait60.32,858 USD80.2
41Haiti60.1119 USD3.4
42Costa Rica57.71,026 USD30.1
43Hungary57.31,478 USD43.6
44Mexico54.7799 USD24.7
45Ecuador51.9497 USD16.2
46Albania51.5509 USD16.7
47Poland51.11,404 USD46.5
48Serbia50.9705 USD23.4
49Oman50.51,496 USD50.1
50Montenegro50.2778 USD26.2
51Bahrain49.01,913 USD66.0
52Brunei48.92,527 USD87.3
53El Salvador48.6355 USD12.4
54Bulgaria47.5933 USD33.2
55South Africa47.1544 USD19.5
56Romania47.01,180 USD42.5
57Brazil46.9645 USD23.3
58Morocco45.0302 USD11.3
59Saudi Arabia44.51,795 USD68.3
60Senegal42.7131 USD5.2
61Kenya42.3173 USD6.9
62Cameroon41.9133 USD5.3
63Timor-Leste41.995 USD3.8
64Colombia41.9516 USD20.8
65Nigeria41.8173 USD7.0
66Kosovo41.0428 USD17.6
67Philippines40.9296 USD12.2
68Lesotho39.3101 USD4.3
69Bangladesh39.0214 USD9.3
70Malaysia38.8893 USD38.9
71Paraguay38.6478 USD21.0
72Moldova38.5448 USD19.7
73Thailand38.4591 USD26.0
74Benin37.5113 USD5.1
75Ghana37.3190 USD8.6
76Russia36.9968 USD44.4
77Iraq36.8397 USD18.3
78Cambodia36.6132 USD6.1
79Bolivia36.2274 USD12.8
80Nicaragua35.8163 USD7.7
81Indonesia35.4348 USD16.6
82Mongolia35.4311 USD14.9
83Suriname35.0368 USD17.8
84Vietnam34.4299 USD14.7
85Turkey34.4825 USD40.6
86Tanzania33.892 USD4.6
87Armenia33.8404 USD20.2
88Laos33.5208 USD10.5
89Angola33.3143 USD7.2
90Kazakhstan33.1740 USD37.8
91Georgia32.2392 USD20.6
92Ukraine31.2343 USD18.6
93Tunisia30.9295 USD16.1
94Sri Lanka30.4336 USD18.7
95Bhutan30.0253 USD14.3
96Algeria29.9305 USD17.3
97Azerbaijan29.8408 USD23.2
98India28.8179 USD10.5
99Nepal28.1102 USD6.1
100Egypt27.1279 USD17.4
101Myanmar27.098 USD6.1
102Pakistan25.8123 USD8.0
103Kyrgyzstan25.398 USD6.6
104Tajikistan22.896 USD7.1
105Uzbekistan21.8163 USD12.6

The calculated cost of living index is based on the OECD, the Worldbank, the IMF and Eurostat figures and has been completed by our own researches. It does not take into account the differences between poverty and wealth, as well as prices for goods that do not belong to normal needs. Therefore this list should be regarded as a mathematical theorem. Whether it is realistic to survive with a purchasing power index of 3.4 (Haiti) does not matter in this table. This would correspond to about one-30th of the purchasing power inside the US.

Quality of life in relation to cost of living

Cost of daily necessitiesIn the search for a potential adopted country, the cost of living usually has the highest priority. However, other factors such as medical care or political stability should also be taken into account. In a further evaluation, we compare numerous factors of different countries in order to derive a ranking for the quality of life.

Other indices

There are some other indices, e.g., the study by the Swiss bank UBS issued about every three years or from the EDA (Federal Departement of Foreign Affairs). Both studies refer only to some few and usually large cities in which UBS and Switzerland have representation.

* Dependent territories

The following countries are not sovereign states, but dependent territories or areas of other states:
  • Bermuda: self-governing territory of the UK
  • Cayman Islands: self-governing territory of the UK
  • Hong Kong: special administrative region of China
  • Macao: special administrative region of China
  • Turks and Caicos Islands: self-governing territory of the UK
Further information on the definition of a country can be found in our article, What is a country?
Comparison: average incomeAverage income around the worldA comparison of the average income per capita over 67 countries worldwide
Comparison: quality of lifeQuality of life in country comparisonCompare the quality of life around the globe: In which countries is life pleasant, safe and healthy?
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