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United States and Costa Rica Cost of Living Comparison

Cost Of Living Comparison

The cost of living  is one of the main considerations when contemplating moving to Costa Rica. Did you know, Costa Rica’s cost of living is lower than that of the United States? For example, a single person can live in Costa Rica for as little as $1,000 per month on average. Moreover the retirement costs are also far lower in comparison with those in the United States or Canada. So if you want to live in a modern North American style with all the amenities, a US $2000 monthly budget would be more than enough.

Want to see the real price difference?

The information below is from the good folks at numbeo.com. Numbeo is the world’s largest database about food prices worldwide!

Please don’t shoot the messenger!!! If you think the price is wrong, you can edit it yourself below.

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Indices Difference

Consumer Prices in Costa Rica are 31.44% lower than in United States (without rent)
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Costa Rica are 42.41% lower than in United States
Rent Prices in Costa Rica are 63.48% lower than in United States
Restaurant Prices in Costa Rica are 39.43% lower than in United States
Groceries Prices in Costa Rica are 33.81% lower than in United States
Local Purchasing Power in Costa Rica is 63.38% lower than in United States

 

Costa Rica Cost of Living

Restaurants

United StatesEditCosta RicaEditDifference
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant15.00 $
(9,342.07 ₡)
7.23 $
(4,500.00 ₡)
     -51.83 %
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course60.00 $
(37,368.26 ₡)
40.14 $
(25,000.00 ₡)
     -33.10 %
McDonald’s average meal price8.00 $
(4,982.43 ₡)
7.23 $
(4,500.00 ₡)
     -9.68 %
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)5.00 $
(3,114.02 ₡)
2.41 $
(1,500.00 ₡)
     -51.83 %
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)6.00 $
(3,736.83 ₡)
3.99 $
(2,483.09 ₡)
     -33.55 %
Cappuccino (regular)4.30 $
(2,677.99 ₡)
2.45 $
(1,523.73 ₡)
     -43.10 %
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)1.91 $
(1,191.24 ₡)
1.52 $
(946.62 ₡)
     -20.54 %
Water (0.33 liter bottle)1.54 $
(961.37 ₡)
1.35 $
(838.71 ₡)
     -12.76 %

Markets

United StatesEditCosta RicaEdit
Regular milk (1 liter)0.86 $
(534.45 ₡)
1.30 $
(810.95 ₡)
     +51.73 %
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)2.73 $
(1,701.65 ₡)
1.49 $
(929.62 ₡)
     -45.37 %
White rice (1kg)3.98 $
(2,479.78 ₡)
1.28 $
(795.07 ₡)
     -67.94 %
Eggs (a dozen)2.30 $
(1,429.36 ₡)
2.41 $
(1,503.52 ₡)
     +5.19 %
Local Cheese (1kg)11.06 $
(6,889.82 ₡)
5.78 $
(3,599.88 ₡)
     -47.75 %
Chicken Fillets (1kg)9.22 $
(5,741.84 ₡)
6.06 $
(3,774.80 ₡)
     -34.26 %
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)12.68 $
(7,896.94 ₡)
8.08 $
(5,031.23 ₡)
     -36.29 %
Apples (1kg)4.52 $
(2,814.32 ₡)
3.78 $
(2,353.59 ₡)
     -16.37 %
Banana (1kg)1.56 $
(970.05 ₡)
1.26 $
(785.45 ₡)
     -19.03 %
Oranges (1kg)3.97 $
(2,470.91 ₡)
2.02 $
(1,261.10 ₡)
     -48.96 %
Tomato (1kg)4.27 $
(2,657.38 ₡)
1.84 $
(1,144.31 ₡)
     -56.94 %
Potato (1kg)2.58 $
(1,609.94 ₡)
1.78 $
(1,108.07 ₡)
     -31.17 %
Onion (1kg)2.60 $
(1,617.64 ₡)
2.06 $
(1,284.39 ₡)
     -20.60 %
Lettuce (1 head)1.64 $
(1,021.93 ₡)
0.85 $
(530.44 ₡)
     -48.09 %
Water (1.5 liter bottle)1.80 $
(1,118.55 ₡)
1.96 $
(1,222.73 ₡)
     +9.31 %
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)12.00 $
(7,473.65 ₡)
11.24 $
(7,000.00 ₡)
     -6.34 %
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)2.49 $
(1,552.17 ₡)
1.77 $
(1,103.30 ₡)
     -28.92 %
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)2.85 $
(1,774.64 ₡)
2.57 $
(1,601.93 ₡)
     -9.73 %
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)8.00 $
(4,982.43 ₡)
4.01 $
(2,500.00 ₡)
     -49.82 %

Transportation

United StatesEditCosta RicaEdit
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)2.20 $
(1,370.17 ₡)
0.80 $
(500.00 ₡)
     -63.51 %
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)65.00 $
(40,482.28 ₡)
34.79 $
(21,665.62 ₡)
     -46.48 %
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)3.25 $
(2,024.11 ₡)
1.04 $
(650.00 ₡)
     -67.89 %
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)1.63 $
(1,015.86 ₡)
1.06 $
(660.00 ₡)
     -35.03 %
Taxi 1 hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)30.00 $
(18,684.13 ₡)
5.68 $
(3,535.00 ₡)
     -81.08 %
Gasoline (1 liter)0.69 $
(428.99 ₡)
1.03 $
(642.38 ₡)
     +49.74 %
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)23,042.00 $
(14,350,657.67 ₡)
22,478.97 $
(14,000,000.00 ₡)
     -2.44 %
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)21,704.93 $
(13,517,921.84 ₡)
24,661.29 $
(15,359,158.00 ₡)
     +13.62 %

Utilities (Monthly)

United StatesEditCosta RicaEdit
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment165.71 $
(103,206.94 ₡)
65.80 $
(40,977.63 ₡)
     -60.30 %
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)0.14 $
(86.51 ₡)
0.06 $
(39.18 ₡)
     -54.71 %
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)65.93 $
(41,059.10 ₡)
49.95 $
(31,110.92 ₡)
     -24.23 %

Sports And Leisure

United StatesEditCosta RicaEdit
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult37.02 $
(23,053.31 ₡)
46.64 $
(29,046.53 ₡)
     +26.00 %
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)15.74 $
(9,803.19 ₡)
22.23 $
(13,843.48 ₡)
     +41.21 %
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat12.00 $
(7,473.65 ₡)
5.78 $
(3,600.00 ₡)
     -51.83 %

Childcare

United StatesEditCosta RicaEdit
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child935.40 $
(582,573.45 ₡)
322.93 $
(201,121.77 ₡)
     -65.48 %
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child15,516.26 $
(9,663,596.68 ₡)
7,095.76 $
(4,419,271.54 ₡)
     -54.27 %

Clothing And Shoes

United StatesEditCosta RicaEdit
1 Pair of Jeans (Levi’s 501 Or Similar)43.91 $
(27,348.00 ₡)
61.99 $
(38,606.27 ₡)
     +41.17 %
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, etc.)35.54 $
(22,136.93 ₡)
40.79 $
(25,406.88 ₡)
     +14.77 %
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)76.20 $
(47,455.21 ₡)
92.25 $
(57,455.65 ₡)
     +21.07 %
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes96.46 $
(60,077.96 ₡)
82.50 $
(51,381.64 ₡)
     -14.48 %

Rent Per Month

United StatesEditCosta RicaEdit
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre1,331.40 $
(829,200.22 ₡)
499.02 $
(310,788.90 ₡)
     -62.52 %
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre1,082.06 $
(673,911.15 ₡)
344.71 $
(214,686.63 ₡)
     -68.14 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre2,165.92 $
(1,348,945.84 ₡)
840.97 $
(523,759.35 ₡)
     -61.17 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre1,754.33 $
(1,092,604.01 ₡)
620.81 $
(386,644.28 ₡)
     -64.61 %

Buy Apartment Price

United StatesEditCosta RicaEdit
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre3,570.14 $
(2,223,496.32 ₡)
1,669.79 $
(1,039,953.83 ₡)
     -53.23 %
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre2,136.11 $
(1,330,376.68 ₡)
1,347.45 $
(839,195.16 ₡)
     -36.92 %

Salaries And Financing

United StatesEditCosta RicaEdit
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax)3,556.81 $
(2,215,198.33 ₡)
750.17 $
(467,209.32 ₡)
     -78.91 %
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate4.009.40     +135.07 %
Last update:August 2021August 2021
Contributors in the past 12 months:14701169

Furthermore, rather of basing pricing in Costa Rica on particular goods such as clothing or food, you should base them on what you would spend over the course of a month. For example, you’ll pay a lot more in the United States or Canada for items like auto and health insurance, rent, utilities and heating.

To summarize, moving to Costa Rica will provide you with a higher quality of life for a lower cost.

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