The cost of living is the amount of money needed to sustain a certain standard of living by affording basic expenses. Basic expenses include housing, food, taxes, and healthcare.
Cities or metropolitan areas that have higher costs of living should also have higher salary wages than areas with a lower cost of living.
A cost of living index measures the differences in the price of goods and services over periods of time or between cities, regions, and countries. The rent index is an estimation of prices of renting apartments in a location compared to another. The restaurants index is a comparison of prices of meals and drinks in restaurants and bars in a location compared to another. Local purchasing power shows the relative purchasing power in buying goods and services in a given location for the average wage in that location.
The data presented here is indexed relative to New York City. This means that New York has an index in each category of 100. Numbers below 100 are less expensive than New York City’s costs, and numbers above 100 are more expensive than New York City.
For reference, the average rent in New York City is around $3,000. Most expenses in New York City, including food and restaurants, are higher than in other parts of the United States as well.
The Cayman Islands have the highest cost of living index of 141.64. This means that the cost of living is estimated to be 41% higher than it is in New York City. The rent index for the Cayman Islands is 74.4; meaning that the rent is 25.6% lower than it is in NYC. No other country has a rent index above 100; however, meaning that no other country has an average rent cost higher than in NYC. Some foreign cities, however, do.
Pakistan has the lowest cost of living index of 18.58. This means that the cost of living in Pakistan is estimated to be 81.42% lower than the cost of living in New York City. Additionally, the rent index is 4.02 meaning that rent is 95.98% less expensive.
Below is a table of each country’s cost of living index, rent index, restaurant index, and local purchasing power index compared to New York City.