50 Cheapest Countries To Live In
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If the steady upward march of inflation has you tired of living in the U.S., perhaps it’s time to start thinking about relocating to another country with a lower cost of living in order to manage your money better.
GOBankingRates checked out Numbeo statistics on the current cost of living to find out where you can live comfortably for less than what you pay for in the U.S.
Last updated: Feb. 13, 2019
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It’s 51% cheaper to live in Hungary than in New York City. Enjoy a meal out with a view overlooking the Danube River that’s 63% less pricey before heading back to your apartment where rent is just 15% of Big Apple prices. A bonus: Hungary is also one of the countries where citizens pay less in taxes than Americans.
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From national parks with wide-open savannahs and towering mountains to a thriving Lagos nightlife, Nigeria is one of the cheapest countries to live and work. Rents are 86% cheaper than in the U.S. city of New York and groceries are 64% less.
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Straddling the equator, Ecuador encompasses diverse climates from the jungles of the Amazon to the Andes mountains. It’s also one of the countries with the cheapest cost of living. Rents are 89% less and a meal out costs just 30% of what you’d pay in the Manhattan.
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You can live the Caribbean life you’ve always dreamed of when you move to an island or town along the Honduras coast. A bungalow costs 89% less than New York prices, and the overall cost of living is 56% less.
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The small island country of Taiwan is a shopper’s paradise because your money will go 6% further than New York. A bonus: Rents are just 15% of what you’d pay in the Big Apple.
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As one of the countries with the cheapest cost of living, your budget stretches twice as far in Slovakia than it does in New York. Enjoy rents that are 81% cheaper and spend less time working and more time seeing the country’s many castles.
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Sandy beaches and bustling modern cities aren’t the only reason to move to Vietnam. It’s one of the least expensive countries to live in, with a cost of living that’s 60% cheaper than New York City. Meals out cost one-fifth as much, and rent is a full 85% less pricey.
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You can go on a safari on Kenya’s vast savannahs, walk a sandy coast or climb the heights of Mt. Kenya. As one of the cheapest countries to live and work, Kenya offers plenty of time to do what you love. The cost of living is 61% cheaper than New York, and rents are 91% lower.
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Groceries in Iraq are 62% cheaper than New York. In the capital city of Baghdad, you can pick up produce such as onions, apples, oranges and tomatoes for 31 cents to 62 cents per pound. Rents are 87% lower, and the cost of living overall is 56% less. However, Iraq is on the U.S. Department of State’s “do not travel” list.
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From the towering heights of Machu Picchu to the sandy shores of its coastal region, Peru rolls out spectacular scenery worth seeing every day. It’s one of the least expensive countries to live. You’ll enjoy rents that are a full 86% less than New York and an overall cost of living that’s 60% cheaper.
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Dramatic coastlines and rugged mountains concealing medieval villages are just some of the charm of the Balkan country of Montenegro. Rents are 89% of what you’d pay in New York City, making Montenegro one of the countries with the cheapest cost of living.
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39. Czech Republic
Famous for its native beers and stunning castles, the Czech Republic is one of the least expensive countries to live in with a cost of living that’s half of New York. Sip a beer for as little as $1.73 in the capital of Prague in an apartment that costs 81% less than New York City digs.
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The dramatic volcanic islands that make up the country of Indonesia aren’t just a nice place to visit: The country also enjoys a cost of living that’s 60% cheaper than New York. Its rents average 91% less and a meal out will cost you only one-fifth as much.
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A trip to visit China might have you so enthralled with its dramatic natural beauty, ornate palaces and mind-boggling Great Wall that you’ll never want to leave. Shell out 82% less for rent and 52% less for groceries, making it one of the least expensive countries to live in.
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36. Sri Lanka
Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the island nation of Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful and least expensive countries to live in. Rent a place to live for 92% less money than you’d shell out in New York City. There will still be money left in the budget for eating out with restaurant prices averaging 80% less.
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Tucked between the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan rolls out medieval walled towns and modern cities. It’s also one of the cheapest countries to live and work with a 70% lower cost of living than New York, including 90% cheaper rents.
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Stunning scenery dotted with Greco-Roman and medieval ruins aren’t the only reasons you’d want to spend a lifetime exploring Armenia. It’s one of the countries with the cheapest cost of living, with rents that are 91% lower than New York.
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Uganda can be a money-smart place to settle down. The rents are 93% lower than New York, and you’ll earn some of the highest interest rates in the world on your deposit accounts.
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Although the U.S. State Department advises against any travel to Syria, it’s one of the cheapest countries in the world to live and work. Residents pay 95% less rent than in New York, and the overall cost of living is 72% lower.
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Life in Kazakhstan could include a stroll on any number of picturesque beaches. The cost of living is 66% lower than New York. You can spend more time exploring when you pay 89% lower rent and 72% less for groceries.
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If you love poking through old castles and ancient architectural sites, living in Albania could be the right move — especially because rents are 93% lower than New York City and eating out will cost you 70% less.
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Arts, culture, castles and ski areas make Serbia a getaway for the rich, but you don’t have to pay a king’s ransom to live there. The country’s cost of living is 60% lower than New York, and rent is 91% cheaper.
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Oman is a shopping mecca with a purchasing power index just 1% less than that in New York. Groceries are 53% cheaper and rents are 80% less than in the Big Apple.
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You’ll get a fairytale feeling living among the charming countryside, palaces and fortresses in Belarus. Enjoy “happily ever after” with a cost of living that’s 66% cheaper than New York City. Groceries are a mere 28% of New York costs, and rents are 89% less.
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Tucked between the Mediterranean and Black Seas, Turkey rolls out lavish seaside resort towns. It’s one of the least expensive countries to live in with rents that are 90% lower than New York and an overall cost of living that’s 58% less.
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Rich in music, dance, costumes and other culture, Bulgaria is one of the cheapest countries to live and work. With rents 90% lower than the Big Apple, you’ll have room in the budget to enjoy its culture. Better yet, eating out is 45% cheaper.
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The sandy sun-spanked beaches of the Philippines make it an ideal place to settle. Rents in this island paradise run 92% lower than in New York City.
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The beautiful Persian empire country of Iran is on the U.S. Department of State’s “do not travel” list, but it’s still one of the least expensive countries to live in. Citizens of Iran enjoy a 66% lower cost of living than New York, with rents 84% less and groceries 69% cheaper.
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Poland’s charm includes primeval forests and vibrant nightlife. A move there will reap you a 55% savings in the cost of living and rents that are 83% lower than New York.
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Home to exotic cities such as Casablanca and Marrakech, Morocco is also one of the countries with the cheapest cost of living overall. Enjoy rents that are 89% lower than in the Big Apple and a cost of living that is 63% less.
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Whether you just want to sit on a beach along the north shore of the Black Sea or explore forested mountains dotted with timeworn castles, Moldova delivers. Rent in the country is 91% lower than in the Big Apple, with an overall cost of living that is just one-third as high.
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From the snowy heights of Mount Everest to lowland jungles, Nepal rolls out enough adventures for a lifetime. The country enjoys rents that are 96% lower than New York and an overall cost of living that is 67% less.
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With climate zones ranging from rainforest to desert to lofty Andean peaks, you’re sure to find the perfect locale to settle into in Bolivia. Rents in the country are 90% cheaper, and the cost of living 63% cheaper than New York City.
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With a famous wine region, sandy beaches along the Black Sea and a cost of living 70% cheaper than New York, Georgia is one of the most beautiful and least expensive countries to live in. Rent runs 90% less, and you can eat out for just 30% of what you’d pay in New York. Add some wine for just $4 per bottle.
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Malaysia rolls out terrain from tropical beaches to lofty peaks more than 13,000 feet high. The cost of living isn’t high, however, at just 45% of New York costs. Cut your grocery bill in half, and enjoy rents 88% less than in the Big Apple, too.
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14. South Africa
South Africa is still one of the least expensive countries to live in with a cost of living that’s 52% lower than New York and purchasing power that’s about the same.
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13. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Charming medieval cities and storybook landscapes make Bosnia and Herzegovina a tempting place to settle down. Rent’s 93% less than New York, and an overall cost of living that’s 60% less makes this a smart move for your wallet.
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With a warm climate that stretches from the Sahara desert to the Mediterranean coast, Algeria isn’t one of the places where the cost of living is soaring. Its rents average just 6% of what you’d expect to pay in New York, and you can dine out for 82% less.
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Enjoy life on the cheap in Romania, where the cost of living is 60% lower than New York City. Enjoy castle or Carpathian mountain views every day when you settle down in this inexpensive country where rent is 89% lower.
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With rents 93% cheaper than the Big Apple and an overall cost of living that’s 65% lower, Macedonia makes this year’s top 10 countries with the cheapest cost of living. An evening out costs 76% less than in New York, and you can enjoy a nice dinner for two priced at just $20.
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Home to Bengal tigers and vast scenic forests ribboned with rivers, Bangladesh is one of the least expensive countries to live and work with a cost of living that’s 68% cheaper than New York. The uber-cheap rent is 94% lower, and a meal out costs 70% less.
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Living in the land of the Great Pyramids is cheaper than you might think. Pick up groceries at a discount of 77%, or eat out for one-fifth as much. The country’s cost of living is just 26% than that of New York, and rents are 95% cheaper.
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Make a run for the border — Mexico is one of the countries with the cheapest cost of living. Pay rent that’s 90% less than New York, pick up groceries for just 20% of Big Apple costs and eat out for 71% less.
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A night out for residents in Ukraine might include a show in an 18th-century theater in Odessa, along with a meal that costs 81% less than it would in New York. Rent is even a better deal: Expect to pay just 9% of what you would shell out for a flat in the Big Apple.
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Moving up a slot from last year’s survey into the top five countries with the cheapest cost of living, Zambia has a cost of living that’s 54% lower than the U.S. and a purchasing power that’s 1.26% greater.
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Communities along the Mediterranean Sea make Tunisia a picturesque place to settle, but it’s also one of the least expensive countries to live in. Rents are 94% cheaper in Tunisia, and you’ll pay just 17% of what you would eating out in New York.
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Life in Pakistan is 75% cheaper than New York City, putting it in the top three cheapest countries to live and work. Expect to pay 94% less for rent, and enjoy an evening out at a restaurant for 80% savings over the Big Apple.
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2. Saudi Arabia
Although Saudi Arabia is one of the richest countries in the world, you don’t have to have millions to live there. The cost of living is 52% cheaper and rents are 76% lower than Manhattan. Head to one of the country’s luxe malls, and enjoy purchasing power that’s 31% greater than in New York.
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New York City has amazing Indian cuisine, but you’ll save 81% on food when you move to India. Rents are 93% cheaper than the Big Apple, and the cost of living is just 27% of what you can expect to pay in New York.
Countries With the Cheapest Cost of Living
If you’re living in a city with a high cost of living, you might want to consider moving to a cheaper city — or even a cheaper country. But before you make the big move, research cost-of-living factors such as rent, taxes, groceries and restaurant prices in the city and country you’re considering.
There’s another factor you should consider as well: salaries.
In an ideal world, you’d want to find a place that offers a low cost of living in addition to high salaries. However, there are some places where a low cost of living comes with equally low salaries. If that’s the case, it’s important to ask yourself if a move to another country would be worth it.
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Methodology: Using 2018 information from online pricing database Numbeo.com, GOBankingRates assessed foreign nations to determine which were the most budget-friendly. Measuring each against prices found in New York City, we weighted and ranked countries based on these key affordability metrics: 1) local purchasing power index, which measures the relative purchasing power of a typical salary in the country (a lower purchasing power buys fewer goods, while a higher purchasing power buys more); 2) rent index, which includes typical home rental prices in the country; 3) groceries index, which includes typical grocery prices in the country; 4) cost-of-living index, which includes costs of local goods and services, such as restaurants, transportation and utilities; and 5) restaurant price index, which compares prices of meals and drinks in restaurants and bars.