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10. Macedonia

  • Local purchasing power is 49.7% lower
  • Rent is 94% cheaper
  • Groceries are 73.3% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 68.6% cheaper

Rounding out the top 10 of the cheapest countries to live in or retire is Macedonia, which has one of the lowest rents of the 50 cheapest countries. Groceries and consumer goods also cheap, which keeps costs low despite a middling local purchasing power. Macedonia is a European nation located just north of Greece and has a smaller population of 2.1 million. Its main industries are textiles, food processing and oil.

9. Czech Republic

  • Local purchasing power is 8.4% lower
  • Rent is 87.8% cheaper
  • Groceries are 63% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 57.7% cheaper

The Czech Republic lands at No. 9 thanks to a balance between lower costs and a higher local purchasing power. This European country borders Germany, Austria and Poland, and has a population of 10.6 million. It has a higher GDP per capita (around $19,500), according to the World Bank, which means that locals can buy more with their incomes.

8. Paraguay

  • Local purchasing power is 49% lower
  • Rent is 91.7% cheaper
  • Groceries are 75.3% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 69.7% cheaper

A South American nation with a population of 6.8 million, Paraguay’s main industries include sugar, cement and textiles. The country has low costs across the board on rent, grocery and consumer goods. In the nation’s capital, Asunción, monthly expenses for a single person are just around $360 month, and rent for a single-bedroom flat is about $250.

7. Oman

  • Local purchasing power is 57.5% higher
  • Rent is 71.7% cheaper
  • Groceries are 48.9% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 44.4% cheaper

Oman is a small nation with a population of 3.3 million that borders Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Sea. Like many of its Middle Eastern neighbors, Oman is rich in oil and gas resources that make it a wealthy nation that has the highest local purchasing power in the top 50.

6. Zambia

  • Local purchasing power is 50% higher
  • Rent is 68.1% cheaper
  • Groceries are 59.1% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 44.6% cheaper

Zambia actually has the highest rent of any of the 50 countries in these rankings. Yet, this African nation landed at No. 6 among the cheapest countries thanks to its high local purchasing powers. For those looking to relocate to a cheaper country, Zambia would offer both lower costs and local incomes high enough to help cover expenses.

5. Kazakhstan

  • Local purchasing power is 38.2% lower
  • Rent is 88.9% cheaper
  • Groceries are 74.8% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 68.7% cheaper

Kazakhstan borders Russia and China, and has a population of 18.2 million people. The local economy relies on Kazakhstan’s natural resources like oil, coal and iron ore. Kazakhstan’s cheap living is most apparent in its costs for groceries and consumer goods, which are lower than most of the 50 cheapest nations.

4. Saudi Arabia

  • Local purchasing power is 33.6% higher
  • Rent is 85.9% cheaper
  • Groceries are 56.4% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 49.4% cheaper

Groceries are more expensive in this desert country than most other cheapest countries, as are consumer goods. But this Middle Eastern nation is fairly wealthy, thanks to its strong oil industry centered on crude oil, petroleum refining and petrochemicals. Plus, Saudi Arabia has a higher GDP per capita of $24,161, according to the World Bank. This helps give Saudi Arabia a local purchasing power that even beats out New York City.

3. Kosovo

  • Local purchasing power is 33.8% lower
  • Rent is 91.5% lower
  • Groceries are 75.8% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 72.6% cheaper

Kosovo is located in Eastern Europe and borders Serbia, Albania and Macedonia. It has a population of 1.9 million, and mineral mining and construction materials are the major industries in Kosovo. When it comes to costs, Kosovo scores the best on consumer goods and groceries — in the capital of Pristina, expenses for a single person are just $324 a month. Rent costs are also low at just $275 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.

2. India

  • Local purchasing power is 20.9% lower
  • Rent is 95.2% cheaper
  • Groceries are 74.4% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 74.9% cheaper

India is the most populous country among the 50 cheapest, home to 1.25 billion residents. Its major industries include textiles, chemicals and food processing. India also has a relatively high local purchasing power in the major cities surveyed. Living in India can be cheap; it has the second-lowest rent index of the 50 cheapest countries (after neighbor Nepal). India also has some of the lowest prices for consumer goods and groceries, with typical monthly expenses for these priced around $285 a month for a single person living in Kolkata.

1. South Africa

  • Local purchasing power is 26.9% higher
  • Rent is 87.5% cheaper
  • Groceries are 71% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 65.8% cheaper

South Africa is the cheapest country to live or retire. It’s also the world’s largest producer of platinum, gold and chromium, which goes far to enrich the country and its economy. This resulted in a local purchasing power that’s significantly higher than what New Yorkers face, which is the most favorable factor that puts South Africa at No. 1.

Along with a higher local purchasing power, South Africa also offers lower prices on consumer goods and groceries, and rent costs that are typical of the 50 cheapest countries. In the major city of Cape Town, for instance, monthly expenses total just under $400 while the average rent costs are reflected by the typical price to rent a one-bedroom in Durban of around $280 a month.

 

 

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