With inflation soaring at 9.1%, Americans are taking a hit in their wallets and lifestyles. The prices of common items such as potatoes and bread increased by more than 8%, seafood by 12% and coffee by 15.3%. Eggs rose by a whopping 32.2%.
As a result, American families are cutting back on their spending on restaurants, vacations, and debt payments, and many struggle to pay rent and are anxious about providing for themselves and their families.
The cost of living varies geographically and temporally, which means that the same lifestyle can cost more or less in different places, and can go up—or sometimes fall—over time.
To put the cost of living into perspective, here’s a comparison of 35 US cities and their closest equivalent worldwide. 2022 data for this cost of living index comes from Numbeo and Visual Capitalist, and uses New York City as the benchmark. This means that the cost of living index for New York City is 100, and if the cost of living in Geneva, Switzerland is 14.1% more than New York, then the cost of living index in Geneva is 114.1. The cheapest US city on this list is El Paso, Texas, with a Cost of Living Index of 55.9, which means it’s 44.1% cheaper than New York.
Of the 578 cities in the dataset, about 260 cities in the world are cheaper than El Paso. The city with the lowest cost of living is Peshawar, Pakistan, at 18.6, and there are a number of cities in India that are below 20 and 30. Hanoi, Vietnam, 36.9 and Mexico City 37.4. Johannesburg, South Africa 44.9, and Beijing 49.5.
Here’s how the cost of living compares in 35 US cities around the world.
See the full list of cities at Visual Capitalist.