Save. Spend. Splurge.

Ever wonder how your country or city compares worldwide in terms of Cost of Living?

Then check out this chart by Expatistan:



And just because I’m a geek, here are some highlights / points:

  • Canada debuts with Toronto at #32
  • Montreal, Canada is in spot #75 with a Price Index of 151, just above Berlin, Germany but below Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria and Halifax!!! — Guess I am picking the right place to live, eh?
  • 5 U.S. cities are in between #1 and Toronto (NYC, San Francisco, Honolulu, Washington D.C. and Boston)
  • Paris shows up in spot #8 below Singapore
  • Switzerland has the dubious honour of having 3 cities in the top 10 (Geneva, Zurich, and Lausanne)
  • Australia first appears on the list at #11 with Sydney and then it goes downhill (uphill?) from there with Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra all having higher costs of living than Toronto
  • New Zealand debuts on the list at #28 with Wellington

This is just a short list until Canada makes it on there at #32. You can see a much longer, larger list over at Expatistan.



  • CorianneM

    My city, Rotterdam, is at #27. Though The Hague and Amsterdam are a bit more expensive. I wonder what they base the list on. And is it prices seen through the eyes of expats compared to average person in one of these cities? But anyway, at least most other places will seem cheap to me if I go anywhere else in the world 😉

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I think they’re basing the list on people entering data. You can submit how much it costs to live in your city for a 1-bedroom, etc, and then I think they average out the data and get a feel for what it costs.

  • Tania

    I love geeking out on this type of data too. The part of the story it doesn’t tell is the average income level. While NYC is much higher COL than Honolulu, there are also much higher salaries available (depending on what you do of course). Honolulu is driven by service industries (tourism/retail) while NYC is the center for financial services and also the home of corporate offices (so while Hawaii retail has primarily sales jobs, NYC retail would also have PR/Legal/Finance/Design and other jobs available in that industry.) I used to use this type of data when doing salary market increase proposals at my old job but used to get access to accounting/finance specific data. But I love to geek out on it strictly for entertainment purposes as well. I thought Toronto would be higher up honestly. I really should visit again (but maybe later when there is no snow ha ha).

    • save. spend. splurge.

      *nod nod* they’re missing quite a few factors of course, but it’s still good insight into how much it costs to live in other cities.

      I really thought Toronto would be higher up as well but it was not. Surprising because our houses here are ridiculously expensive for what they are.

  • elle [wonderfelle world]

    I always find these types of studies interesting. And no surprise that my city (DC) is high on the list… though the only 2 cities we would consider moving to (NYC and San Francisco) are, of course, higher. Though for us it’s a lifestyle choice – I don’t have a car/ like to walk everywhere plus we don’t plan to have children so I’ll happily pay $$$ rent to be in the heart of the city!

  • LAL

    Sounds about right although same I thought singapore expensive and tokyo. NYC is the housing and SF too since it’s cheap to eat and stuff.

  • MelD

    Hm. Just the top ten cities are wildly different in atmosphere, not to mention standard and style of living, and varied costs!! All very nice, I’m sure, but I think it’s one of those things to remind me it’s just statistics – what suits an individual is just as wildly subjective ;o
    (In all these I am left wondering what exactly the geographical delineation of each city was – that can make a huge difference, too, as to which suburbs may be included!)

  • Michelle

    I think this list was pretty accurate. I was a little surprised to see where Denver landed on the list..a little higher than I would like (145) I’ve lived in Paris and it is hella expensive! But, I was able to live there on hardly any money. There are several South American cities I’d love to live in (for awhile) that are a lot cheaper than Denver.

  • iou

    I would have thought Vancouver was higher than Toronto in terms of cost of living – at least that’s what my Toronto-born-Vancouver-dwelling friends have always led me to believe.

  • Kathy

    Are the salaries in those cities way higher as well? I watch the international house hunting shows on HGTV and the housing in many countries seem exceedingly more than in the U.S. I always wonder how people can afford to pay $48000 USD rent in these locations when 5hat is actually the average salary in the U.S.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      @Kathy: I am not sure if the salaries in those cities are higher as well. I know for instance in London England — I have a friend who works there and says she makes less than what she would make in Toronto but she pays almost 50% more in living expenses.

  • tomatoketchup

    It’s not listed, but I would guess that my town is somewhere in the 110-120 range. Never been a fan of big cities or being around large amounts of people, so it’s natural that I ended up where I am. The low cost of living is pretty awesome.

  • Debbie M

    My city (Austin, TX, US) is #108 with an index of 129. I have a salary to match it.

    All my favorite cities cost more. (Why yes, I have been to Lausanne.) There are very few cities lower on the list that I’ve thought I might want to move to.

    One thing averages don’t show is how easy it is to get a place of below-average cost that’s still good. I actually found one of those in my city, so that’s good.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      @Debbie M: The only cities I could move to, are cities that in the end I visited, “lived” there for 3 months – 6 months and realized I just prefer being in Canada.

      • Debbie M

        @save. spend. splurge.: Interesting. I’ve actually lived in a lot of places and my current is my favorite plus has half my friends in it. But it might get too big or have water shortages that are too terrible or some other change that might make me want to move, so I like to keep my eyes open for back-up places.

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

    Yep, not surprised NYC is up at the top.Though I’m shocked Singapore isn’t in the top 5. I remember working there for a month and feeling I was burning through money faster there than I do at home.

  • eemusings

    Just done my part for the site and put in some numbers for Auckland!

    I’m a bit sceptical about a few of the cities to be honest. I assume some of this is to do with the items measured (especially the housing/apartments – it really doesn’t work well in an NZ context).

  • SarahN

    No wonder I find travelling to Paris or NYC not *that* expensive, and let’s remember I don’t have to live there, I just have to stay, eat, shop etc. Oh well, let’s hope Sydney doesn’t plumment, can’t mean good things then!

    • eemusings

      @SarahN: You’re from Sydney? Yeah, NYC is crazy affordable, the only thing expensive there is housing. Food is cheap and of course being the US consumer goods are dirt cheap.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      @SarahN: Paris is very expensive in my opinion but then again I am used to Toronto 🙂 It’s all perspective.

      NYC I didn’t find that expensive except for the housing…

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *