Most Expensive Countries in the World to Live in in 2022

Most Expensive Countries in the World to Live in in 2022

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Table of Contents

Introduction

It’s possible for a nation to be expensive overall even if it has affordable rent and cheap food. Knowing the most expensive countries in the world can help you narrow down your choices as to where to reside next and which destinations you probably should put last in your list if you wish to stretch your funds.

The cost of living can be exorbitant for residents due to factors including heavy taxation, poor wages, and high transportation expenditures.

In this article, we will discuss the regions where it would be difficult for you to pay for basic necessities, based on global data reported by GOBankingRates. The report also includes the local purchasing power for each nation. In general, the higher a country is listed on this list of the most expensive countries in the world to live, the greater the overall cost of living and the lesser the purchasing power.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #1 Switzerland

One of the highest living expenses worldwide is found in Switzerland. Even though the monthly rent is only $1,516.73, the global income tax rate could reach 40% max. You have to pay tax even for residing in your own house as well. In contrast to New Yorkers, Swiss citizens at least have 12.1% more purchasing power.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #2 Singapore

While Singapore’s average monthly rent is $1,908.42, the country’s living cost is just around 6% more than that of the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #3 Iceland

Housing is not the main cause of Iceland’s high cost of living, since it can be rented for $1,243.80. The most expensive item in the country is food, which you’ll pay 20% more than you would in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #4 Ireland

Ireland being on the top five of this list might have caught you by surprise. The purchasing power in the country is actually over 23% lower than in the US, despite the fact that grocery costs are around 8% cheaper here.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #5 Norway

While Norway’s average monthly rent of $952.03 is on the lower end of the spectrum, the cost of groceries is nearly 27% more than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #6 Israel

Nearly 18% more money is spent on living expenses in Israel than in the US, on average. Monthly rent in the country costs $1,082.33, while grocery prices are roughly 6% more than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #7 Lebanon                

Although Lebanon’s local purchasing power is only about 70% of what it would be in the US, its overall cost of living is just less than half a percentage lower than the States. But at an average monthly rent of $566.60, it is still less expensive than many of the nations on the list in this aspect.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #8 Canada

The cost of living in Canada is similar to that of the US as a whole. However, your purchasing power is far lower in Canada than it is in the US, at around 18% less. If you’re in Canada, you’ll spend a little bit more on medical care and roughly 43% less on rent.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #9 Qatar

Having a high cost of living is nothing new for Qatar. A typical monthly rent payment in the country is $1,441.02. The benefit is that grocery expenditures are around 15% less than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #10 Netherlands

Don’t deceive yourself, the cost of living in the Netherlands is much higher than in the U.S. overall, even though the difference is only around 5%. With personal income tax rates reaching 49.5%, it is also far from being a tax haven. 

Most Expensive Countries in the World netherlands
Windmills in Zaanse Schans neighborhood in the Netherlands. Image by wirestock on Freepik

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #11 Australia

Even though living costs are among the highest in the world, Australia boasts some of the highest purchasing power globally. The country gives its residents over 5% more purchasing power than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #12 New Zealand

Even though New Zealand is one of the most expensive places to live, its cost of living is just around 5% higher than that of the US. Nearly 4% more is spent on medical care and around 2% more is spent on groceries in the European nation than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #13 Cyprus

Cyprus’ high cost of living is lower than that of the US in general. The average monthly rent is only $674.82, and the cost of consumables is over 20% less than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #14 United Arab Emirates

Even though the UAE is one of the most expensive places to live, the average cost of living there is about 12% lower than in the US. Other benefits of settling in the UAE include the lack of a personal income tax and grocery costs that are around 22% lower than in US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #15 Denmark

It is slightly less expensive to reside in Denmark, but the entire cost of living in the country is still roughly 14% higher than in the US. Despite having more purchasing power than citizens of other nations, this country’s purchasing power is still lower than that of the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #16 Nigeria

Nigeria might be one of the priciest nations, but it is far less expensive than the United States. Even though it has a nearly 40% lower cost of living than the United States, its purchasing power is surprisingly low. The average monthly rent in Nigeria is $713.99, while healthcare costs are almost 20% lower than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #17 Italy             

It ranks in the top 20 countries in the world for having a high cost of living that is only 3% less than that of the United States overall. Still, prices for groceries and healthcare are lower in Italy than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #18 Trinidad and Tobago

Living the good life is simple in Trinidad and Tobago thanks to rent that ranks among the lowest on this list and groceries that are around 16% cheaper.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #19 Panama

Although Panama’s cost of living is 20% less than that of the United States as a whole, it is still among the top 20 in the world. Nevertheless, prices for groceries and medical care remain lower than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #20 United Kingdom

While general living cost in the UK is less than a whole percentage point lesser than the US, people in the UK pay roughly 13% less for groceries than in the US. Nonetheless, if you live in the UK, you’d have to brace for more taxes, with a high personal income tax rate of up to 45%.

Most Expensive Countries in the World UK
Big Ben and Westminster Bridge, London, UK. Image by vwalakte on Freepik

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #21 Venezuela

Venezuela is another place where costs of living are far cheaper than in the United States but where purchasing power is indeed very poor. Though it is still seen as an expensive country generally, prices for groceries, rent, and healthcare are all considerably lower here.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #22 Belgium

Well, you could maybe blame all the chocolate they produce for the cost of living in Belgium is slightly higher than the average in the US. Additionally, the price of medical care is around 5% higher in the European nation vs the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #23 Sweden

In Sweden, a strong purchasing power offsets the high expense of living. The personal income tax in this nation is substantial, though, as it typically hangs around 32 percent.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #24 Finland

Despite the fact that Finland is one of the most expensive countries in the world to live, the average monthly rent there is only $786.16. While healthcare costs are roughly 7% higher, groceries are nearly 5% more affordable.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #25 France

The cost of living is very high in France and is roughly 3% higher than in the United States. You’d be paying more for groceries and medical costs which are greater, but you get to save the most on rent because it is less expensive.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #26 Austria

Austria is a costly place to live because of a number of factors, including a 55% income tax rate. The local purchasing power is only 1% more than that of the US, and rent is reasonably priced.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #27 Japan

Although Japan’s general cost of living is about 7% more than that of the United States, there are some areas where rent is less expensive. Be prepared to spend nearly 11% more on goods and roughly 11% more on healthcare.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #28 Greece

The cost of living in Greece is almost 53% lower than in the US. Rent is almost ludicrously less expensive, at $376.38 on average per month, which is fortunate because Greece’s 44% personal income tax rate will severely strain your budget.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #29 South Korea            

The cost of living in South Korea is higher than the average in the US, yet it is still 17% less expensive than in New York City alone. Rent in South Korea is likewise very reasonable, costing $412.09 a month on average.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #30 Iran

Iran has extremely low purchasing power, despite the fact that its overall cost of living is substantially lower than that of the US in almost every category.

Most Expensive Countries in the World iran
Kish Island, Persian Gulf, Iran. Image by wirestock on Freepik

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #31 Uruguay

Even though Uruguay is among the most expensive countries in the world to live in, it still has a solid 17% lower cost of living than the US. The local currency has less purchasing power; thankfully, rent, medical care, and groceries are also less costly.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #32 Dominican Republic

While the Dominican Republic is seen as being more expensive than the US, costs are still considerably lower here.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #33 Kuwait

Kuwaitis have a little stronger purchasing power than Americans and living expenses in the Middle Eastern nation are more than 20% lower. Furthermore, there is no personal income tax in Kuwait.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #34 Germany

Living expenses in Germany are around 5% lower than in the US. Additionally, Germany offers 3% higher purchasing power. Unfortunately, Germany is one of the nations with the highest tax burdens in the world due to its average personal income tax rate of 37.7%.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #35 Costa Rica

When you consider the high cost of living relative to the limited purchasing power of Costa Rica, it definitely is an expensive place to reside in. Rent, medical care, and groceries are all less expensive than in the US, though.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #36 Guatemala

It’s unfortunate that the purchasing power is more than 66% lower in Guatemala than it is in the US, despite the fact that costs of living there are around 23% lower than in the US. Guatemala is also less expensive than the US for rent, healthcare, and groceries.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #37 Slovenia

Slovenia’s cost of living is 16% lower than that of the US, which may make living there seem appealing at first. However, residents are subject to a 50% personal income tax.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #38 Portugal

Portugal can seem like a good deal with a cost of living that is 22% lower than the US. Portugal remains one of the most costly places to live, nevertheless, with an income tax rate that could go as high as 48 percent.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #39 Russia

Another country where a lower cost of living than the US does not compensate for a lower purchasing power is Russia. While food and rent are reasonably priced in this area, healthcare costs gradually approach those in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #40 Taiwan

Despite being one of the most costly places to live, Taiwan has some of the lowest rents worldwide. They compensate for this, though, by charging 17% more for healthcare and approximately 6% more for goods than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #41 Slovakia     

Compared to the US, Slovakia has a cheaper cost of living, but its purchasing power is also lower. In terms of other areas, such as rent, groceries, and healthcare, the European country’s is still less expensive than in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #42 Croatia

The high cost of living in Croatia is linked to its low purchasing power. The lower grocery prices and more economical rent are quite impressive, but the country’s healthcare costs are comparable to those in the US.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #43 Chile

Chile’s cost of living is considerably lower than that of the US, so it may not appear to be expensive. However, gear up because incomes and purchasing power are low in the country, which is dubbed the land of poets.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #44 Iraq

Iraq has absurdly inexpensive rent, reasonable prices for groceries and healthcare, and a lower cost of living than the US. In contrast to the US, though, the Middle Eastern nation has a lower purchasing power.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #45 Spain

Although Spain has a fair purchasing power and lower expenditures than the US, this does not mean that everything else is less expensive. Note that the personal income tax rate in Spain high at 45%.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #46 Jordan

Jordan is one of the most costly places to reside in despite having lower average costs for rent, groceries, and healthcare compared to the US due to its lower income.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #47 China

The average cost of living in China is 30% lower than that of the US. Prices of groceries, healthcare, and rent are also lesser in comparison, but wages are also inferior in the Asian country.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #48 Oman

Oman’s purchasing power is better than several nations higher on the list, and it also offers lower costs on almost everything compared to the US. The affordable rent in Oman is also a great catch.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #49 Albania

Similar to groceries and healthcare prices, rent is considerably less expensive in Albania than it is in the US. Some of those expenditures, meanwhile, are offset by the low purchasing power.

Most Expensive Countries in the World: #50 Vietnam

Although Vietnam is still one of the most costly places to live in, the cost of everything from rent to groceries is far lower there than in the US.

Bottom Line

Do bear in mind that expensive can represent various things to different people, so you should first determine your budget before looking for a place where the cost of living and standard of living are fairly comparable.  Remember to continually take into account your personal lifestyle behaviors when assessing how much it will cost you to live overseas.

Are you into investments? If so, you can read our articles such as best investment options for Australian expats in 2021, what are the best investment options for Canadian expats in 2021, what are the best investment options for UK expats in 2022, and how to invest in the S&P 500 from outside America.

We also have reviews of Investors Trust Access Portfolio, Novia Global, Dominion Capital Strategies Guernsey, Custodian Life, St James Place fund, Tilney BestInvest, Sarwa Dubai, HSBC Expat, Ardan International, and Investors Trust S&P 500 Review.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 500.1 million answers views on Quora.com and a widely sold book on Amazon

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