Cost of daily necessities

Comparison of worldwide cost of living

Living ist most expensive in the Bermudas and cheapest in Palestine. In our ranking of 103 countries all around the world the USA comes in 17th.

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 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 139 all goods are on average about 39% 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 39% higher costs against the 28% higher income. In the result, people in Switzerland can afford about 8 percent less than a US citizen.

RankCountryCost indexØ Monthly incomePurchasing power index
1Bermuda *157.910,206 USD109.3
2Switzerland139.07,550 USD91.9
3Cayman Islands *138.35,157 USD63.1
4Israel127.84,108 USD54.4
5Turks and Caicos Islands *124.61,784 USD24.2
6Iceland124.15,288 USD72.1
7Barbados121.81,408 USD19.6
8Norway113.06,990 USD104.7
9Ireland111.56,343 USD96.2
10Denmark110.95,692 USD86.8
11Australia109.04,764 USD73.9
12Luxembourg105.87,349 USD117.6
13Bahamas105.52,208 USD35.4
14Vanuatu103.8270 USD4.4
15Canada102.54,026 USD66.4
16New Zealand102.53,769 USD62.2
17United States100.05,911 USD100.0
18Finland98.34,459 USD76.8
19Puerto Rico *97.71,882 USD32.6
20Sweden96.14,962 USD87.3
21United Kingdom95.53,707 USD65.6
22Iran92.5294 USD5.4
23Netherlands90.04,600 USD86.4
24Japan89.83,554 USD66.9
25Belgium87.74,208 USD81.2
26France86.93,680 USD71.7
27Austria85.94,397 USD86.6
28Germany83.64,305 USD87.2
29Italy78.02,999 USD65.0
30South Korea77.72,926 USD63.7
31Spain75.62,474 USD55.4
32Hong Kong *73.24,538 USD104.9
33Singapore72.15,334 USD125.1
34Portugal69.61,991 USD48.4
35Qatar69.55,193 USD126.3
36Greece68.11,667 USD41.4
37United Arab Emirates67.23,481 USD87.6
38Macao *66.73,871 USD98.2
39Czechia64.02,036 USD53.8
40Costa Rica59.61,026 USD29.1
41Mexico59.0799 USD22.9
42China57.6990 USD29.1
43Haiti57.6119 USD3.5
44Chile57.31,232 USD36.3
45Lithuania55.71,812 USD55.1
46Brazil49.8645 USD21.9
47Ecuador49.7497 USD16.9
48Hungary48.61,478 USD51.4
49El Salvador48.2355 USD12.5
50Albania48.1509 USD17.9
51Bahrain47.21,913 USD68.6
52Serbia46.2705 USD25.8
53Brunei46.02,527 USD93.0
54Montenegro45.5778 USD28.9
55Poland45.41,404 USD52.4
56Bulgaria43.1933 USD36.6
57South Africa42.5544 USD21.6
58Romania42.51,180 USD47.0
59Saudi Arabia42.21,795 USD71.9
60Mauritius41.9827 USD33.4
61Timor-Leste41.995 USD3.8
62Nigeria39.8173 USD7.4
63Morocco39.7302 USD12.9
64Kenya39.6173 USD7.4
65Russia38.5968 USD42.5
66Colombia37.4516 USD23.4
67Ivory Coast37.3202 USD9.2
68Philippines37.2296 USD13.4
69Cameroon36.9133 USD6.1
70Georgia36.7392 USD18.0
71Lesotho36.1101 USD4.7
72Nicaragua35.9163 USD7.7
73Iraq35.9397 USD18.7
74Bangladesh35.8214 USD10.1
75Cambodia35.8132 USD6.2
76Malaysia35.2893 USD42.9
77Thailand34.7591 USD28.8
78Bolivia34.3274 USD13.5
79Benin33.6113 USD5.7
80Indonesia33.1348 USD17.8
81Mongolia32.7311 USD16.1
82Tanzania32.692 USD4.8
83Vietnam32.4299 USD15.6
84Kazakhstan31.7740 USD39.4
85Azerbaijan31.5408 USD22.0
86Ukraine29.5343 USD19.7
87Algeria28.8305 USD17.9
88Bhutan28.4253 USD15.1
89Tunisia27.4295 USD18.2
90India27.2179 USD11.1
91Nepal26.5102 USD6.5
92Laos26.5208 USD13.3
93Kyrgyzstan25.498 USD6.5
94Egypt23.7279 USD20.0
95Tajikistan23.596 USD6.9
96Pakistan23.1123 USD9.0
97Myanmar22.798 USD7.3
98Ghana22.2190 USD14.5
99Uzbekistan21.7163 USD12.7
100Turkey19.3825 USD72.4
101Sri Lanka19.0336 USD29.9
102Palestine17.6352 USD33.7

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 3.5 (Haiti) does not matter in this table. This would correspond to about one-29th 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.

* The marked countries are not independent and sovereign states, but dependent territories of other states. Cf. also our article What is a country?
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