5 Most Expensive Countries to Live in the World (2020)

NOTE: The cost-of-living index shows the difference in living costs between countries. It is meant to indicate the cost that a person can expect to incur to maintain the standard of living and needs such as housing, food, clothing, education, healthcare, entertainment. The cost-of-living index usually represented with a “100” as the base number.


1. Switzerland

Cost-of-living index: 122.40

Switzerland came out as number one, making it the most expensive country to live in in the world. The costs are substantially higher than in the neighbouring countries, particularly the cost of accommodation and transportation. Groceries and comestibles in Switzerland are also more pricey compare to anywhere else on earth. While you are keeping away from the grocery store, dining out in Switzerland can also be more costly than anywhere else.

Source: The World Travel Guide

2. Norway

Cost-of-living index: 101.43

The first word that comes to mind when thinking of Norway, you guessed it, it is “Expensive”. One of the reason is that the country has some of world’s highest quality of life index and living standards in general. Furthermore, it is a rich country with high taxes and high salaries. Norway has a large variety of welfare services free of charge and universal healthcare, compensated for by taxes. For someone who lives and works in Norway earning wage or salary income, costs of living might seem affordable. It in fact explains why Norwegians are traveling a lot to other countries – everything is much, much cheaper for them in pretty much every other country in the world.

Source: Medium

3. Iceland

Cost-of-living index: 100.48

Well known as “The Land of Fire and Ice”, with many of amazing natural phenomena – glaciers, active volcanoes, waterfalls, mountains, and geysers, Iceland is considered as one of the most expensive countries ahead of Switzerland and Norway. Geographically speaking, Iceland is a tiny remote island with a harsh climate and very limited agriculture and manufacturing capacity. Any place like that is logically expensive. Although named one of the most expensive countries, Iceland is currently the safest and most peaceful country you can live on Earth.

Source: Insider

4. Japan

Cost-of-living index: 83.35

Japan has got a quite worldwide reputation for its high cost of living. Specifically, when living in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan which every year makes it into the world’s top 10 most expensive cities. Transportation, food, and accommodation are relatively more costly in Japan than in other Asian countries. These days, residing in Japan would mean having to pay a higher rent and transportation cost. However, higher cost of living come along with great results, making the standard of living in Japan among the highest across the world.

Source: CasinoBeats

5. Denmark

Cost-of-living index: 83.00

Denmark is expensive for a number of factors. Similar to Norway, the country has high taxes and high wages. In comparison to a country such as the US, Denmark has close to twice the minimum wage compared to US. This actually balances out the standard of living of Danes to afford their day-to-day lives, also having facilities that sustains. Ranked as the fifth most expensive countries in the world, Denmark is definitely far more expensive than many European countries. However, it is still less expensive than Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

Source: The World Travel Guide

For more information about the cost-of-living index, please visit Numbeo website.

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