The Cost of Living Around the World

The Cost of Living Around the World

The Cost of Living Around the World

Imagine that users submitted hundreds of thousands of prices for everyday items, and that they all got compiled into a massive database. Then, suppose a worldwide index of prices was created that compared the cost of living across different places by using these many data points.

Well, that’s already happened at Numbeo which is the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries.

This infographic uses this information to show the most expensive and cheapest places to live by country. While it is missing some of the granularity of looking closer at individual regions and cities, it does do a good job of showing a broad perspective on living costs.

Switzerland and Norway may not surprise you as two of the most expensive countries. However, Venezuela might not have been a place that was on your radar. Of course, in retrospect, when you have inflation spiraling out of control at a rate of 64% per year, that will make things a bit pricey.

Want cheap goods and services? Head over to India, Nepal, and Pakistan. With about 1.5 billion people spread between those three countries, labour is cheap and the cost of living is very low.

Original graphic from: Movehub


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  • Stefan Widu

    Venezuela and Argentina are much cheaper if you use the black market exchange rate. Argentina would be about 60% cheaper and Venezuela much cheaper, I don´t have the exact figures.

    • Jeff Desjardins

      This is very true. I was down in Argentina in 2012 and that was something that people mentioned in the case I wanted to get cheaper pesos.

    • AAA21


  • elvisisdead

    So if you want to live cheaply, live in a terrible, failed state. My experience in the 3rd world is that countries that take lousy care of their civil servants(I.E. anyone who lives on a tax payer-funded salary cops, firemen, soldiers, garbage men, civil engineers, teachers…) the lousier the country is. The more petty crime. The more garbage in the streets. The more corruption. The more idyll the population. Anyone has has traveled to the Philippines, South American, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East (and actually left their resorts/military base) knows the old trick of when asked for your passport by the local cop slip a green American note of some kind inside or you may not get that passport back. And depending you may not be seen again either.
    I’d rather live in a functioning civil society than a failed 3rd world dump. Money is great. Keeping as much of the money I earn as possible is great. But so is infrastructure and a functioning society. We’re spoiled here no matter how bad we think we have it.

    • AAA21

      Hey Elvis, sounds like you love Big Government. Better high-tail yourself to France then!

      • ohwell

        Why don’t you high-tail yourself to one of these 3rd world places you like…oops, internet wannabe like you will not last a month there, actually. I grew up in a 3rd world: papmpered, delusional western brats can’t surivive there, unless they’re criminals and play along with general fith.

    • battled1

      I disagree on E.Europe…Some parts are really nice and “the diamond in the rough” is not very rough at all. They have such old, sophisticated civilizations that community spirit, orthodox churches, tradition, native farming skills, and strong families can compensate for any lack of deluxe amenities. Plus, they seem to know what is really important. I can only speak to Slovenia and Croatia, which are rated above the lower cost levels here. Those countries seemed like a very reasonable, pleasant place to be!!…

      • Noble

        I’ve also visited Slovenia and Croatia and loved it. Definitely not the sort of run-down Eastern European hellholes that all my (poorly-traveled) American friends feared.

        • ohwell

          These are definitely not 3rd world. These are quite European… poor economy but not hellholes.

      • lloydsauvante

        I have lived in Kiev for eight years and not encountered the problems described. I am on the economy – rented apartments, public transportation, all that. Ukrainians are one people, and they take care of one another. They give money back when you overpay, and tell you when your kid is underdressed for the weather.

        Currency has fallen 60% (from 8 to 20 to the dollar) since the Russian invasion a year ago. My guess is that the figures in the infographics are old. What was cheap is now incredibly cheap. 7¢ for the bus, metro or suburban train, 15¢ for a minibus, and $4 for a cab ride across town. Potatoes, beets and cabbage about 15¢/lb. Electric bill for a small house about $50/mo.

        • ohwell

          Kiev? There was a revolution there and the country is falling apart, not to mention all adult male population being drafted for the war in Novorossia. Ukrainians lost their bank deposits and currency collapsed; crime is horrible. You sound like an example of western ignorant person….your Western citizenship would save you from suffering for some time, but not forever–not when people go to the streets to kill ones like you. When your house takes a missle hit, I hope you enjoy your $50/mo.

    • ohwell

      And in these 3rd world countries…just wait until you’re old…especially horrible, as people get killed for the very little that they own or are just left to die denied any care.

    • ccupidoningeras

      which part of e europe did you visit ?!?! I live in romania and we have police who do their job … that with green bill in passport is some dream of yours … maibi in pakistan iran iraq … e europe is verry nice but is not verry cheap !

  • Fred762

    You want to live where you can own things and DEFEND what you own..there are dang few places left for that my friends..try owning a gun in the “cheap places”.Ha!!.. the ‘cost of living’ has got to include the cost of defense. IF you depend upon the gvt for your safety and freedom, you are betting against the house. just sayin: . No gun..No freedom..Know guns..Know freedom

    • AAA21

      You think the US is safe? Dream on! You’ve got to be ready to leave any place you happen to live in, and have your money/resources diversified across countries.

      • ohwell

        There’s nothing that is “safe” in life. But I rather not be around drug cartel-run 3rd world hellhole.

      • mzungu

        Yes the US is safe. It has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world and the lowest crime rates. Violent crime rate hit an all-time high in 1991 and thereafter declined in 18 of the next 20 years—49 percent overall, to a 41-year low in 2011. This decline includes a 52-percent decrease in the nation’s murder rate. All this happened even as the number of privately owned firearms and the number of states with right-to-carry laws rose to all-time highs.

    • satman

      Mexico…gun ownership is legal. You register it through the Army. Easy to do. You don’t have to be a citizen either. Limitation on the caliber and long rifles. I have a .38 police special. Cost of living here is very reasonable except for gasoline and propane. Since there’s warm sunny weather year round , no central heating is needed.

      • pacificwaters

        But can you carry and what happens when u use it? In Ecuador your going to jail until you are proven innocent.

        • ohwell

          This is not bad considering in many other countries you’ll be jailed and convicted in any case, if you try to defend yourself with as little as a knife, actually (where I was born)

    • ohwell

      I’d add: and where you can DEFEND YOUR LIFE. (I grew up outside the US; you can’t use a firearm to defend yourself against crimnals who entered your house or land there; good luck with “cheap living”. It’s also quite cheap when you’re taken apart for organ trade; you won’t have any expenses at all)

  • metalmorphasis

    It all depends on how deep your pockets(and bank account(s) are in the end.

  • Jay

    On the world map, Angola is shown as one of the countries with the highest cost of living, but on the Africa map, Angola is grayed out. Can you clarify which color is correct for Angola? Thanks.

  • jack daniels

    USA is finished, thanks to Uncle Sam – Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia are cool … and dont need my M1911

  • I live in Prague and can attest that it is a gem, and reasonable for the money. Poland is also a good country, specifically cities like Krakow.

  • oblio333

    Lots here are focusing on safety, and jumping to the issue of whether they can own arms in each location. I would encourage them to consider the homicide rates in each place. The United States is not the worst, nor the best in this regard. (See here

    But arguing that you are much safer in the US from random violence than ‘those 3rd world hell holes’ is not supported by the evidence.

    (I will say as an US citizen who has lived briefly in places in SE Asia, I will concede that you do need to be more alert than you would if living in the middle of the US. Nothing that a gun would really help with, but you are visible, and are assumed to be rich.

    EXAMPLE: a friend was traveling with two back packs. someone showed him on of his packs was ‘leaking saving creme’ very cautiously, he took his packs off (the guy held his distance) but coming from behind another guy was running thru the crowd at full speed. his pack was stolen.

    my friend is athletic and gave chase…. lost the guy in the crowd. when he came back, predictably his OTHER bag and the first guy were both gone.

    Now I lived in NYC, and such things happen there too. still as a white guy in an asian nation…. it is more likely to happen to you.

    NOTE: btw, a gun would have had zero use in this context. (and if you did manage to use it you *would* be in jail)

    NOTE #2: Living abroad is freaking awesome, and I think most should accept the risks and DO IT 🙂

  • NL

    Would like a chart showing highest quality of life per cost of living

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