Do you want to travel, or even one day live in another country, but then you get worried you could never afford it? The truth is, however, that moving to another country could be a sound investment when it comes to your spending since it might be cheaper to live there instead of where you live now. Time has released a list of the top 50 cheapest countries to live in. Let’s look at the top 10 (and congratulations if you happen to be living there already!)
Four factors were used to determine which countries were cheaper than others: local purchasing power index, rent index, groceries index and consumer price index. As a base, most were originally compared to counterpart rates within New York City.
All around the world…
Local Purchasing Power: 49.7% Lower (When Compared to NYC)
Rent: 94% Cheaper
Groceries: 73.3% Cheaper
Local Goods/Services: 68.6% Cheaper
Located just north of Greece, Macedonia was said to have one of the lowest rents out of all the 50 countries looked at in the study. Textiles, food processing, and oil serve as Macedonia’s main industries.
9. Czech Republic
Local Purchasing Power: 8.4% Lower
Rent: 87.8% Cheaper
Groceries: 63% Cheaper
Local Goods/Services: 57.7% Cheaper
Bordering Germany, Austria and Poland, a balance between lower costs and a higher local purchasing power helped the Czech Republic remain in the top 10.
Local Purchasing Power: 49% Lower
Rent: 91.7% Cheaper
Groceries: 75.3% Cheaper
Local Goods/Services: 69.7% Cheaper
With sugar, cement and textiles serving as this South American country’s main industries, the country has low costs throughout the indexes!
Local Purchasing Power: 57.5%
Rent: 71.7% Cheaper
Groceries: 48.9% Cheaper
Local Goods/Services: 44.4% Cheaper
Collecting its wealth in oil and gas resources, this wealthy nation still has one of the highest local purchasing powers within the 50 countries in the study.
Local Purchasing Power: 50% Higher
Rent: 68.1% Cheaper
Groceries: 59.1% Cheaper
Local Goods/Services: 44.6% Cheaper
Landlocked Zambia actually has some of the highest rent of the countries within the study, but still made the ranks thanks to its high local purchasing powers.
Local Purchasing Power: 38.2% Lower
Rent: 88.9% Cheaper
Groceries: 74.8% Cheaper
Local Goods/Services: 68.7% Cheaper
Bordering Russia and China, don’t listen to whatever Borat told you about this country. Cheap living exists thanks to the low index of groceries and consumer goods.
4. Saudi Arabia
Local Purchasing Power: 33.6% Higher
Rent: 85.9% Cheaper
Groceries: 49.4% Cheaper
Local Goods/Services: 49.4% 33.8% Cheaper
Groceries are still more expensive, and even consumer goods are pretty high, but this wealthy nation still has an impressive local purchasing power when compared to New York City.
Local Purchasing Power: 33.8% Lower
Rent: 91.5% Cheaper
Local Goods/Services: 72.6% Cheaper
Found within Eastern Europe, this country actually scores pretty well when it came to consumer goods and groceries. Rents are also said to be pretty low.
Local Purchasing Power: 20.9% Lower
Rent: 95.2% Cheaper
Groceries: 74.4% Cheaper
Local Goods/Services: 74.9% Cheaper
Asia’s biggest claim to fame on this list went to India and was the most populous country mentioned on the list. That said, living in India can be pretty cheap. For example, in Kolkata, a single person could live for less than $300 a month.
1. South Africa
Local Purchasing Power: 26.9% Higher
Rent: 87.5% Cheaper
Groceries: 71% Cheaper
Local Goods/Services: 65.8% Cheaper
South Africa has a higher local purchasing power than New York City, which combined with cheap rent, groceries and local goods/services, helped give this country the #1 spot on the list. Honestly, the Gatsby sandwiches alone give South Africa a special place in my heart.