Cost of daily necessities

Comparison of worldwide cost of living

Living ist most expensive in the Bermudas and cheapest in Tajikistan. In our ranking of 109 countries all around the world the USA comes in 20th.

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) 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 7,530 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
1Bermuda157.69,712 USD105.0
2Switzerland142.47,530 USD90.1
3Cayman Islands137.95,281 USD65.2
4Israel130.24,130 USD54.1
5Iceland128.05,368 USD71.5
6New Caledonia125.81,101 USD14.9
7Turks and Caicos Islands124.61,967 USD26.9
8Norway124.67,008 USD95.9
9Barbados121.51,393 USD19.5
10Denmark119.95,676 USD80.6
11Ireland119.86,210 USD88.3
12Australia118.04,730 USD68.3
13New Zealand117.23,778 USD54.9
14Luxembourg113.16,759 USD101.8
15Sweden109.34,908 USD76.5
16Finland108.04,472 USD70.6
17United Kingdom107.93,782 USD59.7
18Canada105.64,026 USD64.9
19Japan101.93,552 USD59.4
20United States100.05,869 USD100.0
21Netherlands99.04,698 USD80.8
22Belgium97.04,209 USD74.0
23France96.23,657 USD64.7
24Austria95.94,351 USD77.3
25Germany92.34,253 USD78.5
26South Korea87.02,915 USD57.1
27Italy86.22,976 USD58.8
28Spain82.92,478 USD50.9
29Hong Kong77.94,538 USD99.2
30Portugal76.41,978 USD44.1
31Malta75.72,547 USD57.3
32Singapore75.05,334 USD121.1
33Macao75.03,894 USD88.5
34Greece74.71,678 USD38.3
35Estonia74.02,164 USD49.8
36United Arab Emirates72.33,284 USD77.3
37Qatar71.44,760 USD113.6
38Czechia68.12,006 USD50.2
39Iran67.6281 USD7.1
40China63.2991 USD26.7
41Chile62.91,250 USD33.8
42Croatia60.81,429 USD40.1
43Kuwait60.33,017 USD85.2
44Haiti60.1118 USD3.4
45Costa Rica57.71,026 USD30.3
46Hungary57.31,478 USD44.0
47Equatorial Guinea55.9484 USD14.8
48Mexico54.7782 USD24.4
49Albania52.0509 USD16.7
50Ecuador51.9494 USD16.2
51Serbia51.2703 USD23.4
52Montenegro51.2775 USD25.8
53Poland51.11,389 USD46.3
54Bahrain49.01,661 USD57.7
55Brunei48.92,626 USD91.4
56Bulgaria47.5893 USD32.0
57Romania47.41,181 USD42.4
58South Africa47.1537 USD19.4
59Brazil46.9643 USD23.4
60Morocco45.0279 USD10.6
61Saudi Arabia44.51,856 USD71.1
62Mauritius43.3905 USD35.6
63Ivory Coast42.7204 USD8.2
64Kenya42.3168 USD6.7
65Cameroon41.9133 USD5.4
66Timor-Leste41.9162 USD6.6
67Colombia41.9513 USD20.9
68Nigeria41.8175 USD7.1
69Kosovo41.0414 USD17.2
70Philippines40.9303 USD12.6
71Lesotho39.3106 USD4.6
72Bangladesh39.0218 USD9.5
73Malaysia38.8911 USD40.0
74Paraguay38.6445 USD19.6
75Moldova38.5455 USD20.1
76Thailand38.4605 USD26.8
77Benin37.5114 USD5.2
78Ghana37.3197 USD9.0
79Russia36.9967 USD44.7
80Iraq36.8420 USD19.5
81Cambodia36.6129 USD6.0
82Bolivia36.2280 USD13.2
83Nicaragua35.8168 USD8.0
84Indonesia35.4345 USD16.6
85Mongolia35.3313 USD15.1
86Suriname35.0370 USD18.0
87Vietnam34.4297 USD14.7
88Turkey34.4819 USD40.6
89Tanzania34.195 USD4.7
90Armenia33.8380 USD19.2
91Laos33.5210 USD10.7
92Kazakhstan33.1727 USD37.4
93Georgia32.2395 USD20.9
94Zambia31.787 USD4.7
95Tunisia30.9303 USD16.7
96Sri Lanka30.4318 USD17.8
97Bhutan30.0237 USD13.4
98Ukraine29.9343 USD19.6
99Algeria29.9305 USD17.4
100Azerbaijan29.8407 USD23.3
101India28.8181 USD10.7
102Nepal28.1103 USD6.2
103Egypt27.2293 USD18.3
104Burma27.095 USD6.0
105Pakistan25.8125 USD8.3
106Kyrgyzstan25.398 USD6.6
107Angola23.0148 USD10.9
108Tajikistan22.896 USD7.2

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.
Comparison: average incomeAverage income around the worldA comparison of the average income per capita over 68 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?
tax havensList of the world's most notorious tax havensTax havens magically attract money and hide it from the tax authorities. Even in the middle of Europe and the USA.