Mid-2017 Cost of Living Update

what's the cost of living?

Numbeo has just released its mid-year cost of living report for 511 cities worldwide. If you’re interested in how an area you’re considering compares to the cost of living in New York City, read on.

New York City is the baseline comparison, so if a city ranks at 110%, its cost of living is 10% higher than New York.

Zurich, Switzerland, tops the list (as it often does), with an overall cost of living at a whopping 149.53. Among other most expensive cities, 5 others are in Switzerland, as well as Hamilton, Bermuda, Reykjavik, Iceland, and Stavanger in Norway.

The 10 least expensive cities are all in India and Egypt, with Lviv, Ukraine coming in at #11.

Here’s where some popular expat destinations rank:

  • Paris – 89.98
  • Panama City, Panama – 64.58
  • San Jose, Costa Rica – 62.82
  • Valencia, Spain – 59.16
  • Granada, Spain – 56.89
  • Seville, Spain – 56.49
  • Lisbon, Portugal – 55.94
  • Phuket, Thailand – 55.08
  • Bangkok, Thailand – 54.15
  • Porto, Portugal – 53.77
  • Guayaquil, Ecuador – 51.17
  • Quito, Ecuador – 49.84
  • Penang, Malaysia – 48.13
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand – 47.50
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 46.67
  • Cuenca, Ecuador – 44.51
  • Bogota, Colombia – 38.18
  • Cancun, Mexico – 38.03
  • Merida, Mexico – 36.53
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – 36.15
  • Medellin, Colombia – 34.30

The most expensive city in Asia is Tokyo, with Singapore not far behind. In Africa, Accra, Ghana takes the honors for most expensive, while Alexandria, Egypt is the cheapest. In the Americas, Hamilton, Bermuda and Nassau, Bahamas take top place for most expensive, while the least expensive are Cali and Medellin, Colombia.

Click here for the complete list.

Of course, you should never decide where to live based only on the costs, but most of us do need to stick to a budget.

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  1. Really interesting, Susanna. Of course, there’s nothing like boots on the ground, but these give some great “nudges” that might get future expats to consider places that might not have been on their radar before.

    • FutureExpat says:

      Exactly, Anita. It’s one thing to be told someplace is cheap, or very affordable, or “luxury,” it’s another to see how it compares with a reality you can relate to. 🙂

  2. I love that you are putting this type of information out there and in front of people. I agree with you that this shouldn’t be the only consideration on where to move, but I think far to many of us (including myself) don’t think these kind of things through before we move. I was reading recently in a study that high cost of living is the thing that surprises expats the most. Kudos for encouraging people to consider the numbers.

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