Most Expensive Countries to Live in

Everyone works hard to make a better life for themselves and their families. They aspire to earn well enough to give their families at least a stable life. But the struggles in achieving it can be challenging as the cost of living is quite expensive these days. The cost of living helps you find out how affordable it is for you to live in a particular area. 

Do you ever wonder that which is the most expensive country to live in the world? Well, don’t think so hard because we brought you the list of the top 15 most expensive countries in the world that will help put your curiosity at rest.

15 Most Expensive Countries on the Planet to Live In

1. Belgium 


  • Cost-of-living Index: 83.35 
  • Local Buying Power: 98.95

Belgium is one of the countries with a relatively high cost of living and can give you a tough time. However, it is considered affordable compared with other countries like New York City, which is 72% cheaper in terms of rent. 

The income taxes paid by Belgians start from 25% and go up to 50%, based on their earnings. These tax rates are about two times more than the ones in the US. Apart from the tax rate, the prices of regular items like milk, bread, groceries are also high compared to other European countries, such as Germany.

2. New Zealand

New Zealand

  • Cost-of-living Index: 83.41
  • Local Buying Power: 98.61 

New Zealand is a small, isolated island country with high import taxes that leads to high prices. According to InterNations GO, a regular family of four spends 6,000 to 8,000 NZ Dollars each month. An average apartment or a small house in New Zealand with one or two bedrooms has a median rent of about 1,560 NZ Dollars per month.

3. Sweden


  • Cost-of-living Index: 83.70
  • Local Buying Power: 113.01

The average cost of living in Sweden is relatively high, especially in its capital city of Stockholm, which is considered the most expensive part of the country. While the rent is 33.9% lower than that in the US, the other stuff such as transport, food, alcohol, clothing, haircuts, etc., will drain out all your dollars. With its high purchasing power and high tax rates, the prices are way too high. 

4. France 


  • Cost-of-Living Index: 83.86
  • Local Buying Power: 101.21

France is much more expensive than its neighboring European countries, while Paris is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world. The cost of living in France depends upon your lifestyle and location as urban cities are much more expensive than rural areas. 

As per InterNations GO, the average rent in France is between 800 to 1,200 US Dollars, about 71% cheaper than that of the US. 

5. Australia


  • Cost-of-living Index: 84.3
  • Local Buying Power: 122.98

Everyday essentials in Australia have much higher prices than in other parts of the world, making it one of the most expensive countries worldwide. A major part of your monthly expenses will involve housing (especially if it is in or around Sydney), groceries, etc. 

Living expenses in Australia are greater than those in the US but less than in the UK. According to InterNations GO, a family of four residing in Sydney can expect a cost of living around 5,220 AUD, equivalent to 3,600 US Dollars. 

6. Ireland


  • Cost-of-living Index: 85.45
  • Local Buying Power: 96.10

Ireland is one of the most expensive countries to live in, where the average cost of living is around 2,500 US Dollars per month. However, it depends upon various factors, such as lifestyle, location, etc. 

According to InterNations GO, life in a major city like Dublin is even more expensive, but the rent is lesser than that in the US and can range from 880 to 2,200 US Dollars. 

7. Israel 


  • Cost-of-living Index: 86.53
  • Local Buying Power: 102.30

Israel is a costly country with one of the highest costs of living in the world. Life in urban cities is more difficult to afford as compared to rural or mountain areas. Low wages and high taxes only make the problem worse, making it harder for people to support their families. Even with Israel’s high cost of living, it is 13% less expensive than New York City. 

8. Japan


  • Cost-of-living Index: 86.58
  • Local Buying Power: 107.35

Japan is one of the countries with consistently high costs of living in the world, with Tokyo being one of the few main reasons behind it. According to InterNations GO, a single person living in Tokyo can expect an expense of around 120,000 JPY per month, which is equivalent to 1,100 US Dollars. This doesn’t include the expense of rent. 

A small one-bedroom apartment can take your monthly expense to around 245,000 JPY, equivalent to 2,200 US Dollars. A family residing in Tokyo can expect this figure to go up to three times. However, its overall cost of living is 13% cheaper than that of the US. 

9. Singapore 


  • Cost-of-living Index: 91.40
  • Local Buying Power: 95.89

Singapore is commonly known to be an expensive country to live in due to its high rent prices and expensive education. Taxis are way too pricy, which is why people mostly take a bus instead to avoid extra expenses. 

The Central region of Singapore, the city’s major financial and shopping hub, has the highest rent prices. In contrast, the North and East regions have the cheapest rent. However, the cost of living in Singapore might be scarcely less than that in the US.

10. Denmark


  • Cost-of-living Index: 93.30
  • Local Buying Power: 117.53

Denmark offers you a high salary and free education and health care which is quite favorable, but the negative point is that your salary is reduced to half after deduction of taxes. Life in cities like Copenhagen and Aarhus can be very expensive and difficult to manage. 

As per InterNations GO, a single person living in Denmark can witness the cost of living to be around 5,300 DKK per month, equivalent to 790 US Dollars. On the other hand, if you have a family of four to support, then things might get a bit complex for you. Your monthly expenses can be nearly 14,100 DKK, equivalent to 2,000 US Dollars. 

The cost of living in Copenhagen is around 14.44% less than that in New York City. 

11. Luxembourg 


  • Cost-of-living Index: 96.56
  • Local Buying Power: 116.73

With a small population of around 600,000 inhabitants, Luxembourg is one of the most expensive places to live due to the high housing, food, and clothing costs. A single person living in Luxembourg can expect a monthly expense of around 3,305 Euros, equivalent to 3,951 dollars (without the inclusion of rent). Life in Luxembourg is 12.08% less expensive than in New York City. 

12. The Bahamas

The Bahamas

  • Cost-of-living Index: 100.68
  • Local Buying Power: 71.40

The Bahamas is the most expensive country in all Latin America and has a cost of living more than 95% of the countries in the world. It is 18.84% pricier than the US except for the rent, which is 21.10% lesser than that in the US. The estimated cost of living for a family of four in the Bahamas is around 6,191 US dollars.

13. Norway


  • Cost-of-living Index: 113.70
  • Local Buying Power: 107.95

Norway is an extremely expensive country, but higher wages can minimize this problem. The most expensive cities of Norway include Oslo, Stavanger, Trondheim, and Bergen, but your expenses also depend on the kind of lifestyle you choose for yourself. The food is also high-priced because of more imports in the country. 

According to InterNations GO, a family of four living in Oslo can see a monthly expense of 10,545 NOK, equivalent to 1,234 US Dollars.

14. Switzerland 


  • Cost-of-living Index: 131.39
  • Local Buyer Power: 126.15

Forget the overall cost of living in Switzerland; the rent alone is around 2,000 CHF per month for a single-bedroom apartment, equivalent to 2,150 US Dollars. Now with rent, groceries, utilities, and healthcare costs, imagine what your cost of living will be like. 

The Swiss cities, including Zurich, Bern, and Geneva, are among the world’s ten most expensive cities. However, rents here are not as much as in New York City. 

15. Iceland


  • Cost-of-living Index: 123.96
  • Local Buying Power: 87.84

Iceland is a small, geographically isolated country that does not manufacture several products and heavily depends on imports. This is why it tops our list of the most expensive country in the world. The cost of living in Iceland is nearly 40.21% higher than that of the US (without rent). 

However, the rents are not that high; in fact, they are half of that in New York City. 


If you are thinking of settling down in any of these countries, we hope this article will help you have a clear vision of your future decisions. This does not mean that these places aren’t good for you. They might be great for you, but that depends on your financial status, job, salary, lifestyle, and many other factors that you should consider before shifting permanently. 

So, which of these 15 countries were you surprised to see in the list of the most expensive countries in the world?