1. Israel: 6.61/10
The worst of the countries we looked at for cost of living was Israel, which scored 6.61/10. Israel had high costs pressures in several areas, but most noticeably Israel had the fifth-highest average years of rent ratio at 30 years (the same as Denmark), the eighth-most expensive fuel price per litre at US$1.94/L, the ninth-highest annual grocery bill at US$4,062 per person and the tenth-highest annual cost of utilities at US$2,721.
2. Norway: 6.58/10
Hot on Israel’s heels was Norway, with a score of 6.58/10. Norway had the second-highest household debt as a percentage of disposable income at 245.34%, the most expensive fuel price (at time of writing) at USD$2.131/L, second-most expensive public transport fares (US$3.80 on average for an adult fare), and the third-highest groceries at US$4,924.32 on average per year.
3. Switzerland: 6.52/10
Just behind Norway’s was Switzerland, who scored 6.52/10. Switzerland had the highest average expense on groceries at US$8,332 per year, third-highest level of household debt to income at 227.52%, and the highest number of years renters would have to spend renting to have paid the value of their property (34 years). Switzerland also had the most expensive public transport at US$3.87 per fare. Switzerland’s low cash rate and high annual income helped save the European nation from ranking higher on our index.
1. Colombia: 3.04/10
Colombia was ranked as having the lowest indexed cost of living at 3.04/10 – though it’s worth noting that Colombia also had the second-smallest income at US$4,413 per year, on average. Colombia also had the second-cheapest average annual grocery bill at US$1,392.84. Colombia also had the cheapest price for petrol at US$0.599/L and the fourth-cheapest public transport at US$0.57 per fare.
Colombians on average have the fifth-smallest number for the renting to house price ratio at 16 years (a result shared by Italy, the United Kingdom, Romania and the United States). Colombians also had the fifth-lowest levels of household debt in comparison to disposable income at 51.71%.
2. Brazil: 3.16/10
Brazil scored 3.16/10 in our Cost of Living Index. The nation had the third-cheapest petrol at US$1.011/L, sixth-cheapest public transport cost at US$0.92 a fare, plus the fifth-cheapest utilities at US$869.76 per year. Food was also fairly affordable as Brazil had the fifth-cheapest groceries at US$2,025.36 per year.
While many costs are low, Brazilians didn’t have a lot of cash to throw around, as the country had the third-lowest average income at US$6,414 per year. Additionally, Brazil had the highest cash rate as of time of writing at 13.75%, which can affect the interest rates on loans and household debt.
3. Lithuania: 3.33/10
The country with the third-lowest indexed cost of living was Lithuania, which scored 3.33/10. Some of the areas Lithuania did really well in include household debt and years spent renting to pay the value of the home. Lithuania had the fourth-lowest household debt percentage of disposable income at 45.44% and the second-shortest years of renting to buy ratio at 13 years. Lithuania was also in the top 10 countries for cheap public transport at US$0.96 per fare.