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Visualizing the Number of Costco Stores, by Country



Number of Costco stores globally

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Visualizing Costco’s Global Presence

Costco is a membership-based retail chain founded in 1983 in Seattle, Washington. Best known for its unique warehouse stores and high-quality products, Costco offers everything from electronics to groceries.

Since its founding, Costco has become a major retailer in the U.S., while also greatly expanding its international presence. As of August 2023, the company has 859 locations globally, with a split of 69% domestic (591 stores) and 31% international (268 stores).

In this graphic, we’ve visualized Costco’s global presence with a treemap diagram.

Number of Costco Stores Worldwide

The following table lists the number of Costco stores by country, as of Aug. 17, 2023.

CountryNumber of locations
🇺🇸 U.S.591
🇨🇦 Canada107
🇲🇽 Mexico40
🇯🇵 Japan32
🇬🇧 UK29
🇰🇷 Korea18
🇦🇺 Australia15
🇹🇼 Taiwan14
🇪🇸 Spain4
🇨🇳 China4
🇫🇷 France2
🇮🇸 Iceland1
🇳🇿 New Zealand1
🇸🇪 Sweden1

From this data we can see that Costco’s biggest non-U.S. markets are Canada, Mexico, and Japan.

In fact, Costco’s first non-U.S. location was opened near Vancouver, British Columbia in 1985. The company expanded to Mexico several years later in 1992, and then Japan in 1999.

Costco has recently turned its attention to China, opening four stores in areas around Shanghai since 2019. Reception was overwhelmingly positive—as CNBC reported, massive crowds at the grand opening of Costco’s first store forced an early closure. The company is planning to grow its Chinese presence even further, with new locations planned for Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and Nanjing.

For context, Costco is hardly the first U.S. retail chain to break into the Chinese market. Walmart first expanded to China in 1996 with a store in Shenzhen, and as of January 2023, operates 365 stores in the country.

The Sweden and New Zealand locations both opened in 2022, showing that Costco’s international expansion is still very much underway.

Number of Costco Stores by State

Focusing on the U.S., here are the number of locations in each state.

StateNumber of Stores
New Jersey21
New York19
North Carolina10
South Carolina6
Puerto Rico5
New Mexico3
North Dakota2
South Dakota1
District of Columbia1
New Hampshire1
Rhode Island0
West Virginia0

America’s most populous state, California, leads the nation with 134 locations (23% of total). This is likely due to Costco’s business strategy, which relies more on membership fees and sales volume rather than high markups on products. According to analysis by Forbes, the average markup at Costco is estimated to be 11%, while at Walmart it stands at 24%.

This may explain why Maine, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wyoming do not have any Costco locations. Most of these states are relatively low in population density, with the exception of Rhode Island which is very small geographically.

Editor’s note: According to local news sources, Maine is set to receive its first Costco location later in 2023.

Local Adaptations

While Costco locations in the U.S. often take the form of a traditional warehouse with ample surface level parking, some stores in other countries break from that formula.

In the Santa Fe neighborhood of Mexico City, the retail space and parking of the Costco lies below ground, while the roof of the building acts as an extension to the adjacent park, featuring sports fields and a green roof.

Vancouver, Canada, is home to an urban Costco, which blends into its high density surroundings and is capped by multiple condo towers.

While the price of the company’s famous hot dog and soda combo may stay the same, the company continues to adapt to changing preferences and new locales.

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Ranked: 15 of the World’s Least Affordable Housing Markets

This map examines middle-income housing market affordability across eight major countries, highlighting some of the least affordable cities.



Mapping housing market affordability and some of the least affordable cities

Ranked: 15 of the World’s Least Affordable Housing Markets

When considering where to live, big cities are attractive to people for a number of reasons, but affordability is usually not one of them.

This map, using data from Demographia, highlights the major cities ranked the worst for housing market affordability on a global basis.

Unaffordable Housing Markets

Demographia’s report looks at middle-income housing affordability in 94 cities in eight countries, many of which are known for having pricy housing markets:

  • 🇦🇺 Australia
  • 🇨🇦 Canada
  • 🇨🇳 China (Hong Kong)
  • 🇮🇪 Ireland
  • 🇳🇿 New Zealand
  • 🇸🇬 Singapore
  • 🇬🇧 United Kingdom
  • 🇺🇸 United States

For the 2023 report, it uses 2022 Q3 prices and income levels for evaluation, dividing the median house price by the gross median household income to find the median multiple for housing.

And for the first time in the history of Demographia’s reporting, not a single of the 94 cities scored below 3.0, the cutoff to be deemed “affordable.” Here’s a closer look at the least affordable markets in 2023:

RankCityHousing Median Multiple
1🇭🇰 Hong Kong18.8
2🇦🇺 Sydney13.3
3🇨🇦 Vancouver12.0
4🇺🇸 Honolulu11.8
5🇺🇸 San Jose11.5
6🇺🇸 Los Angeles11.3
7🇳🇿 Auckland10.8
8🇺🇸 San Francisco10.7
9🇦🇺 Melbourne9.9
10🇨🇦 Toronto9.5
11🇺🇸 San Diego9.4
12🇬🇧 London8.7
13🇺🇸 Miami8.5
14🇦🇺 Adelaide8.2
15🇬🇧 Bournemouth & Dorset8.0

For well over a decade now, Hong Kong has taken the top spot as the least affordable market globally. The only city to become even less affordable year over year was Los Angeles.

On the flip side, the most affordable city in the U.S. was Pittsburgh, with the median multiple sitting at 3.1. As people start to get priced out of certain markets, they may start to move to these more affordable cities.

Zooming out farther, here are the housing market affordability scores for all eight jurisdictions covered in this report:

Country / JurisdictionHousing Median Multiple
🇭🇰 Hong Kong18.8
🇳🇿 New Zealand10.8
🇦🇺 Australia8.2
🇨🇦 Canada5.3
🇸🇬 Singapore5.3
🇬🇧 UK5.3
🇮🇪 Ireland5.1
🇺🇸 U.S.5.0

Again, none of these countries are considered affordable, but within each there is a wide range of scores. Hong Kong is significantly less affordable than the second-place New Zealand and third-place Australia.

Scores across Canada, Singapore, the UK, Ireland and the U.S., however, are quite similar.

Better Cities for Housing Market Affordability

While many people flock to big cities, evidenced by the fact that many of the least affordable places are also among the most populous, others are opting to live somewhere more in their price range.

Here’s a glance at some of the most affordable housing markets worldwide:

RankCityHousing Median Multiple
1🇺🇸 Pittsburgh, PA3.1
2🇺🇸 Rochester, NY3.2
3🇺🇸 Cleveland, OH3.5
3🇺🇸 St. Louis, MO-IL3.5
5🇺🇸 Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN3.6
5🇺🇸 Oklahoma City, OK3.6
7🇺🇸 Buffalo, NY3.7
8🇺🇸 Detroit, MI3.8
9🇺🇸 Louisville, KY-IN3.9
9🇺🇸 Tusla, OK3.9
11🇨🇦 Edmonton, AB4.0
11🇺🇸 Hartford, CT4.0
11🇺🇸 Kansas City, MO-KS4.0
14🇺🇸 Columbus, OH4.1
14🇺🇸 Grand Rapid, MI4.1
14🇺🇸 Indianapolis, IN4.1
14🇺🇸 Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI4.1
14🇺🇸 Philadelphia, PA-NJ-DE-MD4.1

All of the top 18 most affordable cities covered in the report are located in North America.

While big, global cities will certainly continue to attract talent and residents from all over, the more affordable cities may gain new residents for more practical financial reasons.

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