Do you want to start a new life in a different country but you don’t know where? These are the 15 cheapest and most expensive countries to live in 2021.
In times of economic crisis, we often think of moving to a different country in search of a better life. This is not an easy choice though and for several reasons. Leaving behind friends, family, and everything that we know is a challenge. There are a lot of things to consider. For example: how about the cost of living? Will it be lower or higher than in my country?
Everyone has to decide according to its own circumstances, but if you want to have some more data that will allow you to understand which are the cheapest and most expensive countries to live in, then Numbeo is an excellent website. It has a very huge and constantly updated database with data about the cost of living, crime, pollution, and much more from pretty much all the countries in the world.
The ranking is calculated considering the average price for food, transport, restaurants, bills, rent, etc. The reference data is the city of New York to which 100 points are assigned. If a city or a country has for example a score of 90 points, it means that it’s cheaper than New York. More than 100 points indicate cities or nations which are more expensive than New York.
As these data are about countries and not cities, keep in mind that even if the average score of a nation is high, some cities in that country may still not be that expensive or vice versa.
This ranking only gives a general idea of the cost of living though. Furthermore, the cost of living is only one of the factors to be taken into consideration before moving abroad. One thing that is very important to me is the level of pollution (here the ranking of the most polluted cities in the world), the climate during the year, and the quality of the health care system in the country.
This being said, this is the ranking:
The 15 most expensive countries to live in 2021
- South Korea
The most expensive country in the world to live in 2021 is Bermuda. Interestingly the United States is not even among the 15 most expensive countries to live in. In fact, it ranks only in 27th place.
Four European countries are in the top five places and Italy (my country) is in 26th place. Singapore ranks second among the Asian countries and as I wrote here it’s always among the most expensive countries on that continent.
The 15 cheapest countries to live in 2021
- Kosovo (Disputed Territory)
The cheapest country in the world to live in 2021 is a bit surprising, Pakistan. I say surprisingly because there are no wars and I would have expected to see some African countries in the last few places, but this is not the case.
The cheapest country to rent a house is Afghanistan.
The cost of living in China
China (here’s my travel guide) ranks about halfway, in 76th place. Since I’ve been living in this country for a while now, I can confirm that at the moment China is certainly not among the most expensive countries in the world.
But if you consider individual cities like Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen the prices are really high. To give you an idea, rent in downtown Beijing (about 80sqm) is around 2000€ per month and usually, rents in China are paid 3 months at a time (in some cities 6 months at a time).
If you move to a province like Guizhou, rents in its capital, Guiyang, are 5 times lower. So the difference between cities in China is much more pronounced than in other countries, although the gap is closing rapidly.
In the next few years, China will certainly rise higher in the ranking of the most expensive countries to live in, but for the moment it is a great place for expats.
What’s the cheapest country you’ve been to? And the most expensive one? Let me know in the comments.
If you’re thinking about changing your life here are some ideas for becoming a digital nomad and supporting your trips by selling your pictures. Here my tips on what to see and what to do in Singapore, one of the most expensive and most beautiful cities in the world.