Cheapest countries to live in 2023

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Cheapest countries to live in 2023

The cost of living in different countries varies considerably, with some countries being much cheaper to live in. The cheapest countries in the world are usually located in Asia, Africa, and South America, with a few exceptions in Europe. Here are the top 5 countries with the lowest cost of living and which countries have the highest average salaries

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Most people think that you need to have a lot of money to move abroad. However, quite often the opposite happens - changing your place of residence can significantly reduce your expenses or increase your income.

What is the trick? When choosing a country to move to, you need to pay attention to the cost of living, the level of taxes and the size of the average salary. We talk about the leading countries for each of these indicators below.

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Top 5 cheapest country to live in 

The cost of living is the money needed to maintain a certain level of comfort. The figure includes costs for food, housing, taxes and medical care. Some countries have an extremely low cost of living, making them desirable destinations for expats, retirees and others looking to cut costs. According to the Numbeo portal, the five cheapest countries include:

5th place – Argentina

Argentina has many advantages for expats: stunning natural diversity, laid-back, family-oriented lifestyle, rich culture and a variety of visa options.

Most costs of living in Argentina are 50-60% lower than in the United States of America. Prices for kindergartens, public transport and alcoholic beverages are very low. Renting an apartment in Argentina is almost 75% less than in many countries of the world.

Also, Argentina is a culinary paradise at a reasonable price. Lunch can be very inexpensive, with a small baked empanada (meat pie) costing less than $1, a cappuccino less than $2, and a large restaurant pizza around $10.

Many expats manage to live quite comfortably in Argentina on $1,000-$1,300 per month, and a family of two on about $1,500-$1,800 per month.

4th place – Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries for expats to live in. The state is well known for offering a high standard of living at a low price. According to 2022 data, the cost of living in Vietnam is approximately 42.8% lower than the UK and 63.5% lower than the US. In Vietnam, you can live quite well for $500 a month.

Also, the cost of living in Vietnam, as in most other countries, depends on which city or region you choose. Of course, it is more expensive to live in cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, but the salary here is also higher. Renting a small apartment will cost you $250. The cost of eating outside the home is from $1 to $3 for one meal in fast food establishments.

3rd place - Nepal

Nepal is one of the cheapest countries in the world in terms of monthly expenses. The standard of living in Nepal is quite low, people live quite simply. Here you will not find bright nightlife or opportunities for active shopping.

Food prices depend on the establishment. Lunch in an inexpensive restaurant in Nepal costs about $2, which is quite cheap. But if you visit a tourist restaurant, the prices here will be higher, the cost of one dish is from $5. Cooking food at home will allow significant savings. Most staples cost less than a dollar.

Public transport is very poorly organized, although very cheap. A one-way ticket in any direction costs only $0.18, while a monthly pass will cost $8.

For renting an apartment in the center of one of the cities, prepare to pay $140 per month, which is significantly cheaper than in most countries of the world. A comfortable life in Nepal will usually cost you $500 per month for one person.

2nd place – Bolivia

Bolivia attracts expats with its natural and friendly local population. In this country, you can live on the edge of the jungle or on the peaks of the Andes. The region is also rich in colonial cities.

Life in Bolivia is undoubtedly much cheaper than in developed countries. For a little more than $500 a month, you can live quite comfortably and even visit certain establishments. Most Bolivians generally only spend $150 a month.

The cost of a quality bottle of locally produced table wine is less than $3, and one-way flights between cities can be purchased for only $27. Taxi fare starts at 75 cents. Lunch in the restaurant will cost $2.

1st place - Indonesia

Indonesia has the lowest cost of living in the world, about $340 per month. However, prices are higher in big cities than in rural areas. Of course, most of the costs depend on your lifestyle.

Jakarta, the prosperous capital of Indonesia, has a low overall cost of living compared to major Western cities. On average, Jakarta is 60% cheaper than London or New York, 40% cheaper than Berlin and 50% cheaper than Melbourne. In addition, it is more than 50% cheaper than its neighbor - Singapore.

Eating out in Jakarta is cheap, a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs less than $20. However, alcohol is usually expensive in Indonesia. The wine is imported, so a bottle will cost you about $25.

Public transportation is cheap (and crowded), with trips costing only about $0.25 and monthly passes $12. Taxi is also quite cheap. So, living in Indonesia can be a great choice if you are looking for the cheapest country to live and work.

Where in the world are the countries with lowest taxes?

Another important fact is the level of taxation. In a world where taxes often burden individuals and companies, the appeal of countries with low tax rates is very high. This ranking will tell you about the countries that have established themselves as tax havens or offer the lowest tax rate for those looking for a favorable financial environment.

● Cayman Islands

In addition to the zero rate of income tax, the Cayman Islands also has no business tax. This attractive tax system has allowed investors and international companies to significantly increase their wealth while protecting it.

Key advantages:

- Zero tax on income, capital gains, wealth, gifts or estates

- A stable government with a well-regulated and safe banking system

- Compliance with international banking standards

- Permanent residence can be obtained by purchasing real estate and obtaining a minimum income

United Arab Emirates

In the UAE, local and foreign income, capital gains and all other forms of personal wealth are exempt from taxation. Significant investments in education, healthcare, infrastructure, public transport and entertainment have made the country one of the most desirable places to live and do business.

Key advantages:

- Zero income tax, as well as no capital gains, estate or gift taxes. The corporate tax rate is only nine percent.

- A country with Islamic values that recognizes and accepts Western cultural norms.

- The "Golden Visa" program, which offers long-term residence to real estate investors, entrepreneurs, highly skilled and talented people, as well as successful students


The micro-state of Andorra, located between Spain and France in the Pyrenees Mountains, is one of the best low-tax jurisdictions in Western Europe. Residents who earn less than 40,000 euros are exempt from income tax. The business tax rate is only 10%. Regarding additional taxation, Andorra is one of the countries with the lowest VAT (4.5%).

Despite its location in the heart of Western Europe, Andorra has numerous double taxation agreements with neighboring countries to maintain a favorable tax environment.

Key advantages:

- Low tax rate on incomes of individuals and profits of companies.

- A high tax-free threshold of 40,000 euros for personal income.

- Life in a safe country.

● Bermuda

The British overseas territory of Bermuda is located in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean and is an ideal country for tax optimization. The state government does not collect tax from individuals. However, employers are required to pay payroll tax.

Key advantages:

- No income tax and a low wage tax rate.

- High average salaries.

- A residence permit can be obtained at the expense of investments.


Bahrain remains one of the best tax-free countries in Asia. There is no corporate tax in the country for companies working in the oil and gas industry. Corporate tax is still under discussion.

Key advantages:

- Zero tax on income, capital gains, wealth, gifts or estates.

- There is no corporate tax.

- The possibility of obtaining a residence permit for investment.

Which countries with the highest average salary?

Low taxes and cost of living are important mainly to expats who plan to continue working or doing business in their home country after moving. If you are considering moving abroad to start your career, the average salary level is important for you. Which countries are the leaders of the rating?

5th place – Denmark

Average annual salary: $52,666

Denmark is among the five countries with the highest per capita income in the world. It also has one of the most developed labor markets in the world, with high demand for workers in the business, science, food, legal and construction sectors.

4th place - USA

Average annual salary: $53,329

Although the American dream may be increasingly difficult to achieve, people from all over the world continue to move to the US in hopes of pursuing a career. With the headquarters of many of the world's leading companies, including Google and Amazon, there is a constant demand among job seekers, especially in the fields of technology, healthcare and finance. Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the U.S. economy will add 8.3 million jobs by 2031.

3rd place - Norway

Average annual salary: $53,514

According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Norway has the highest average salary in Scandinavia and the fourth highest per capita income in the world. It is also one of the best countries to live in, according to the United Nations Human Development Report. Meanwhile, remote workers should also consider moving here for work, as the country offers an excellent remote work visa program.

2nd place – Switzerland

Average annual salary: $63,782

Switzerland is famous for its high salaries, but the cost of living is also high in the country. Monthly expenses for a single person are on average 1,451.90 Swiss francs ($1,559.48), renting a one-room apartment outside the city center will cost you about 1,257.71 Swiss francs ($1,350.36) per month.

1st place - Luxembourg

Average annual salary: $67,967

Luxembourg is the country with the highest per capita income, with doctors, dentists, data specialists and high-level executives earning six-figure salaries. On average, people working in Luxembourg earn between €2,564 and €8,093 ($2,797-$8,828) per month. Meanwhile, this city-state ranks among the most livable cities in the world due to its high standard of living.

The cost of living, tax levels and average salary are some of the main factors that expats look at when choosing a country to move to, but it is also important to consider visa opportunities, career prospects, the level of development of the education system and the quality of the healthcare industry. The better prepared you are, the fewer unwanted surprises you will receive after the move. Also, take care of a health insurance policy that will allow you to receive quality treatment in an emergency. The policy is a mandatory document for issuing a visa to most countries of the world.

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