The Cheapest Places to Live in the World – 2017

In 2017, the cheapest places to live in the world are probably going to get a lot of new transplants.

cheapest places to live 2017

After an election where the candidate who ran on a platform of hate lost the popular vote but won the presidency, many fearful Americans are ready to bolt. Add to that the Brits who got their own isolationist shock and are no longer going to be part of the EU. Then add the Canadians and Aussies who have watched their earnings power erode (but not prices) and are looking at cheaper options. It’s a recipe for lots of emigration to destinations with a cheaper cost of living.

If you’re going to make a big move abroad, you might as well make it financially advantageous too.

There are a lot more people looking at living abroad than there were when all the economic signs were pointing up and to the right. Regardless of what happens in the markets, the expatriate life in 2017 should be especially attractive for Americans. This strong dollar will continue for a while thanks to already announced fiscal plans. Check out this quote from Bloomberg News.

There is likely to be some scope for U.S. dollar appreciation of at least another 5 percent,” Alan Ruskin, global co-head of foreign-exchange research in New York at Deutsche Bank, wrote in a note to clients. “A strong U.S. dollar is potentially a vital disinflationary offset to likely reflationary fiscal policy enacted when the economy is already at full employment.

Translation: If Trump’s announced inflationary plans become reality, the greenback is not going to weaken anytime soon. The peso, pound, and loonie probably aren’t going to rocket back up in the other direction either, at least not in the next 12 months.

better life for half the priceIf you’re looking at international living but need some guidance on where to go, my book A Better Life for Half the Price is the best bet. It’s got comprehensive run-d0wns for each place and the bonus docs help you figure out the best place to live for your budget and priorities. Premium packages add more in-depth info, a private Facebook group, or even one-on-one coaching.

Meanwhile, following is a quick cheat sheet to get you started with the cheapest places to live in the world.

The Cheapest Places to Live in the Americas

cheap cost of living in Mexico


Close to a million Yanks and Canucks live here at least part of the year. Now they’re spending even less on expenses. Thanks to the president elect’s animosity toward the country’s people and its favored trade status, the peso’s earlier troubles from low oil prices have had gasoline poured onto them. For most of the decade I was visiting and living in this country, the peso ran in a range of 11 to 13 to the dollar. This year it busted the 20 pesos to the dollar mark and hasn’t been below 17 all year.

This means a country that was already an easy half-price destination—more like a one-third one in parts of Central Mexico—is now seriously on sale. Imported goods are going up in price of course, but Mexico grows a lot of its own food, brews its own beer, makes it own tequila (and so-so rum), and has relatively inexpensive real estate in most areas. Labor costs remain relatively flat.

For those coming from other countries it mostly means prices haven’t risen. For the neighbors in Los Estados Unidos though, most of what you spend your money on that’s not imported is around 40% cheaper than it was in 2014. That $3 taxi ride is now $2. That $20-a-week maid is now costing $12. The $2.20 plate of tacos is now $1.50. And on it goes.

The food is varied, there’s a robust depth of culture, and you’ll never run out of new places to visit. They’re also used to foreigners co-existing in their cities. (Unlike rural Americans, apparently…)

There are also some huge practical advantages. Getting residency is fairly straightforward, but a lot of people don’t even bother. You get 180 days for the asking on a tourist visa. Flights to get there are usually not more than a long one within the U.S. or one from Canada to the U.S. Heck you can even take a bus if you have the time and stamina. Or drive down with a vehicle full of your most precious belongings. A pet  even. Mexico is close, fun, cheap, and easy to get to, with affordable health care that’s quite good in the cities.


This is probably the best overall value in the Americas. The infrastructure keeps steadily improving, but prices have either flatlined or gone down the past few years depending on what’s happening with your source currency. If you’re from the USA, it would be hard to find another country that’s so cheap to live in without crossing an ocean. If you talk to expats there as you travel around, you’ll find plenty of couples feeling content on $1,500 a month and if you’re a single person spending more than $2,000 a month in Nicaragua you’re living the high life.

Meals where the locals eat are crazy cheap, beers are a buck, and the local rum is deservedly famous around the world. It’s relatively easy to get residency here, but if you want to just cross into a neighboring country and come back with a fresh tourist visa that works too. The inexpensive health care is not great outside Managua, but the good news is that all the places expats tend to live are within a two-hour drive of that city. To get residency as a “retireee” here you only have to be 45.


For most of last year, the Colombian peso traded between 2,900 and 3.200 to the dollar. If it stays in that range, the country will remain a terrific bargain as a place to live. Medellin has been an expat hotspot for the last few years and there are no signs that’s going to change anytime soon. It’s one of the few places in South America that really attracts a sizable number of location independent workers from other countries, so if you’re looking to network with other online entrepreneurs and freelancers it’s probably the best spot on the continent besides Buenos Aires—and has cheaper housing.

I always recommend renting for a while before making a big commitment, but if you’re rolling in with a big account balance in greenbacks, this would be a very opportune time to invest in Medellin real estate. Houses in smaller towns and in the countryside are much cheaper, of course, but Cartagena is no bargain, unfortunately. The array of visas here is dizzying, so you might want to hire a local lawyer to sort it out, but once you do it’s easily achievable. Health care prices are fixed and transparent, and care is good in the cities.

international living in Ecuador


This is the grayest expat destination on this list, with Cuenca especially attracting a lot of economic refugees who moved here more as a matter of survival rather than getting ahead. That lack of cultural curiosity can be a problem, as can the fact that only Vilcabamba can claim great year-round weather. This is one of the easiest countries in the world though for foreigners to get residency and the income requirement is a low $800 per month. If you’re retired you get lots of perks and discounts, including flight discounts.

Health care is generally good overall and infrastructure spending has been on a roll for many years. The economy is precarious though, the leadership is very authoritarian, and if you like to drink alcohol you’d better stick to what’s made locally. Anything imported has taxes of 100% and up.

living cheap in PeruPeru

For whatever reason this extremely popular tourist destination is not so popular as an expat one. That’s despite the fact they’ll give you a generous six months in the country before you have to leave and renew. Gray Lima and other ugly cities aren’t exactly the places of dreams, but Arequipa is a different story and the towns in the Sacred Valley attract a lot of foreigners looking to chill out in the mountain air for a while, hiking in the Andes.

The food is good, the scenery varied, and there are plenty of tourism business opportunities if you haven’t made the leap to running a portable business. Costs are slightly higher than Ecuador’s in most respects, but it’s a close race.

Other Places to Live in Central and South America

There are plenty of other countries in the Americas where you can live on half what you’re spending now if you go city to city or rural to rural. The only reason Argentina is not in here this time is because their fragile economic clean-up has led to high inflation, which can eat up savings. For now it’s still a bargain. Panama has long been the top retiree pick south of Mexico and it’s still an attractive place to move to if you avoid the ever-increasing prices in the capital. For lushes, it’s got the lowest wine and liquor prices in the world—no sin taxes or duties.

Guatemala and Honduras are quite cheap, though both suffer from safety concerns. They also both have the problem that their most attractive spots for expats (Antigua and Roatan Island, respectively) are also the priciest areas of the countries.

The Cheapest Places to Live in Europe

cheapest places to live in Europe

This is a list that has been growing the past few years rather than shrinking, thanks to a stronger U.S. dollar against the euro and thus non-euro local currencies as well. The following are all cheaper as I write this than they were a year ago.


The one country not located on that map above, this is a true “Western Europe” destination that also has warm and sunny weather most of the year. Thanks to a lingering economic crisis and a less robust economy than some other nations in the region, Portugal is far cheaper than Spain and easily half the cost of living of France or the UK.

Despite that, you get all the classic European advantages such as good wine and food, interesting architecture, water you can drink from the tap, and good health care. My line before on visas was “EU country for Brits, much more difficult residency visas for Americans.” Post-Brexit though, we may all be in the same situation. You can get residency eventually, but it will require some money and patience. Get to know someone at your local embassy and prepare for a long relationship.

If you have an EU passport though, no sweat. Here’s one expat’s experience on buying a house in Portugal.


If you can get past the right-wing, anti-immigration politics, Hungary is a great place to live. Budapest is one of the world’s great cities and it’s still quite easy to find a nice apartment for less than 500 euros a month there. Once you get out of the capital though, prices drop dramatically. This is an attractive country with a lot of gorgeous scenery.


This is on most counts the cheapest country to live in for the whole continent of Europe, yet it’s a gorgeous place with green mountain ranges and peaceful towns. Poke around online and you’ll find prices like a 2-bedroom apartment in Veliko Tarnovo for €230 a month, or a furnished one in the historic district of Plovdiv for €170. Thanks to the fact a lot of people have moved elsewhere in Europe to work, you can buy a house here for less than you probably spent on your last used car. If you ever wanted to throw caution to the wind and take a flyer on some real estate, there’s little downside when you can buy this house for less than US$5,000. That’s not a typo!

living cheap real estate Bulgaria


This is not on many location independent workers’ short list, but it probably should be since it is one of the countries with the fastest internet speeds in the world. It also has some of the cheapest international flights when it’s time to escape winter or go see the relatives. Add to that bargain prices on apartments, food, drink, and utilities and Romania is a country where most westerners can chop their monthly expenses by 2/3. As with Bulgaria, a lot of foreigners working elsewhere means it’s easy to find an inexpensive place to live. But as with much of Europe, the challenge is enduring the long process to get residency.

Other Countries in Europe to Consider

My next trip to Europe will be researching the Balkan region countries for the 5th edition of The World’s Cheapest Destinations book. The steady improvements in the economies and the infrastructure of countries such as Montenegro, Albania, and Serbia make them wild card cheap living destinations for pioneer types up for an adventure. Backpackers are reporting prices that are on par with Southeast Asia in some spots—but with cooler temps and better wine. As with Eastern Europe though, winters can be too cold and bleak for some.

Only slightly higher in cost than some of the others profiled here, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are both good deals and I’ll occasionally get raves from people who have settled down a while in Georgia (the country) or Ukraine. Here’s an interview with an expat living on the cheap in Turkey.

The Cheapest Places to Live in Asia

cheap living in Cambodia

Asia is complicated because of its wide variations in prices and the sometimes difficult visa situation. Thailand is a great place to live if you’re of retirement age and can meet the requirement of socking away money in a Thai bank. Otherwise it is, for now, a royal pain to get residency without a work permit. You end up doing lots of visa runs and after a while that can just plain stop working. Indonesia is only slightly better, with most expats there doing hops to Singapore several times per year to renew.


This country between Singapore and Thailand is much more welcoming, though again you have a much easier time if you’re retired with some money to invest. They have a formal program in place with a long history. This is a good destination to pick if you want to speak English and have reasonably good infrastructure, while still squeaking in for monthly expenses that are half those in a country like the UK, Australia, Canada, or the U.S.


This improving but still poor country is really the best bet in Southeast Asia for both prices and the ease of getting a long-term visa. You just shell out for a business visa (even if you business only makes $5 a month) and you’re set for a year. You can easily renew it a year later without any scrutiny as long as you’ve been a good boy or girl. Plenty of foreigners are living well in Cambodia for $1,000 to $1,500 a person. It would be very easy to have a nice life on two social security checks only. In the archives I’ve got detailed posts on prices in Phnom Penh and Cambodia in general, with info from people who live there.


As I’ve mentioned a few times here on the Cheapest Destinations Blog, India relaxed its long-term visa requirements and this is now the best “one and done” spot in the world for some nationalities. There’s a good chance your passport will expire before your tourist visa does and now when you have to leave every six months, you can turn around and come right back again. This country can be draining, maddening, and frustrating, but there’s a vast educated labor pool (especially for tech work you may need) and plenty of people wanting to take care of your domestic chores for what seems to us like a pittance. The cities are best avoided unless you’ve got a location-specific job, but there are plenty of mellow places to live, especially in the northern mountains and the southern beaches.


It’s hard to live in Nepal long-term and the electricity is about as reliable as modern day political polls. For a stop of a few months though or as part of a regular back-and-forth routine with somewhere else, this is surely one of the cheapest places on the planet for international living. If you’re pulling in more than $2,000 a month while living here, you’ll be part of the elite. Plus you’ll have million-dollar mountain views if you pick the right spot.

Other Cheap Places to Live in Asia

Vietnam attracts a lot of foreigners thanks to low prices, easier residency than Thailand or Indonesia, and a deep workforce of tech people to work for startups. I’m warming up to the Philippines after spending a couple weeks there recently, thanks to an improving economy, a deep bench of smiling English-speaking workers, and beer that’s often a buck in a bar these days. You’ve got plenty of islands to choose from, plus look at that water in the photo at the top of this post!

Moroccan spices market prices

Cheap Places to Live in Africa

As I’ve said every year and in A Better Life for Half the Price, you really have to “go native” in most of Africa to live well on a lot less money. There are too many reasons for that to go into in this post, but it’s hard to maintain anything close to the lifestyle you’re probably used to without living like one of the elites—and that’s more expensive. Here are two exceptions to consider in 2017.

South Africa

Normally no bargain, but right now it’s a deal for people earning euros or dollars and spending them in South Africa. The rand has seen one of the worst currency declines of any in the world, thanks to its dependence on mining and other commodity industries. At the beginning of 2013, one U.S. dollar got you 9 rand. Now it gets you 14 (and sometimes more). Lock in a long-term lease if you can.


This has long been the best value in Africa for travelers, with a well-developed infrastructure and plenty to see, but prices that are very attractive for both backpackers and mid-range vacationers. It’s also a great deal as a place to live and there are expat communities in multiple cities around Morocco.

Other places to consider in Africa

If you’re an adventurous type and don’t mind roughing it, there are plenty of bargains on this massive continent. Egypt was once a favored expat hangout and if things stay calm for an extended period, someday it will be again. While there are few countries that attract people who can work from anywhere, the ones that show up most as good values and interesting places to kick back for a while are Togo, Ethiopia, and Malawi. Happy hunting!


If the idea of moving abroad and having twice as much to spend gets you excited, do it right by checking out the packages at my Cheap Living Abroad site. If you like to hold a real book in your hands, yes there’s a paperback available worldwide at Amazon. An audiobook on Audible too.

You may have a fear of change, a sense of complacency, or local roots that go to deep for you to make this kind of move. If you’re a good match though, let me save you lots of time and hassle in the planning and doing. After all, what’s your time worth?

Or if you’re still in the dreaming stage, get on the insider’s list and get a free report on where you can stay four months or more on a tourist visa.

  1. Jake Owsley

    Seems like Scandinavia is conspicuously missing from this list, as well as the Baltic states in general (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). I’d like to hear more about those regions, plus include Iceland. Seems like the countries you “never hear about” would be preferable to ones frequently in the news.

    • Tim Leffel

      Jake, was this a joke? Look at the title of the post. Scandinavia has some of the highest costs of living in the world and besides not being all that cheap, the Baltic ones are colder than where most people looking abroad are living already!

  2. chester travirca

    Great reading, thanks for the insightful blog. Tied down to a 5 generation family home, pets, farm animals and a wife’s emotional attatchment to family, I guess I’ll die here in the same house that my father and grandfather did. However, the vicarious delight I receive visiting here is priceless to me. I have been a little disturbed but the negative political statements coming from the fascist lovers here. I’d like to share a few thoughts about that if you don’t mind. In 1945 Hitler’s ashes were smoldering in a bomb crater, every city in Germany was in flames, 26 million were dead in Europe alone, the Russians were killing and raping the way to Berlin and the bombs were continuing to fall from the American planes constantly swarming above and STILL there were many Germans who believed Hitler was a God…and “the only one who could fix it”. After this horrific first 100 days if ANYone can still brag about being on the Trump train they might well consider looking deep into a mirror and try and figure out why they have so little compassion or empathy for the suffering of their fellow man. I came to this site wanting to escape the nightmare our fascist orange king is creating in our once proud and freedom loving nation. But I am old and will be gone soon. Having to watch everything good that I have fought for going on 64 years now rapidly destroyed by hatred and greed is hard enough. Knowing that my grandchildren will have to suffer the effects of that unchecked hatred is a burdon I’ll carry into my grave far worse than any hell the Trump train riders wish on everyone not just like them.
    Plz continue describing your journeys and the terrific feedback they create. In reality I know I’ll never know the sorrows and bliss of ‘leaving the farm’ but I sleep a good deal better because of the many good dreams they inspire.

  3. Marsha Smith

    Tim, I certainly enjoyed your response to the political comments and opinions and I especially like that you are not intimidated by those who threaten to go to other sites! Of course let them go… To think that they are actually looking for places to migrate when they are the ones who agrees with Trump and his immigration policies. Thanks for the great information and I will be sure to pick up your book soon. I love to travel and may one day decide to move to another country but as a single woman it’s a bit scary.

  4. Ivan

    Hy, Im Ivan from Croatia
    Since you are thinking of visitin Balkans, and you are interested in cheap, I can recomend east Croatia region, other parts are much exspencive and didnt suffer so much in last war, but in east thers is everything on the bargain if you are working with youre numbers (1500$/month).
    Check it out if you like, I can promisle foodies will get great/cheap food/drinks, and people are great.

  5. Van der Auwera Gregory

    Would there be a spot in Azia where you can come around easily with 250 dollars?

    Because that would be my plan.

    I have 33.000 euro’s and my house with be around 199.000 euro’s.

    So that could settle my down for 250 a month.

  6. diren

    check out istanbul turkey.

  7. TJ


    I’m intrigued by your take on the Philippines, mostly because I’ve followed you for a while and it always sent the “thanks but no thanks” vibe. Any particular recommendations/resources?

    • Tim Leffel

      I liked it better recently because I wasn’t on a backpacker budget, but in my opinion there are greener pastures in Asia. The main reasons to go to the Philippines are they speak English and they’re really friendly people. If you’re setting up a call center or a business that needs local virtual assistants, however, it’s the best…

  8. Lee

    After reading the article and the comments, I kind of felt compelled to “hop into the discussions”. I am a Romanian that lived almost thirty years in the US. Given the insanity of the price of bare survival in the US and elsewhere, I began searching for a quiet, safe and serene place to retire and know what, I looked back to Europe and ended in Romania as a quiet, safe and nice place to retire. Of course there are lots of pros and cons but, financially speaking, I don’t think there a quieter, safer and cheaper pace to settle down, buying a property, remodel it and living mind boggling quiet life. I’ve bought an old house that I completely remodeled and renewed. The house sits on five thousand square meters of generous land, with a stream of water as my my N boundary. Lots of trees and all the birds are singing day and night. While inside the house, I have the feeling of living isolated on an island with the occasional noise of my four cats and three dogs. All this for sixty thousand US dollars from the time of purchase to the final touch of remodeling and improving the house to the standards that I was accustomed while living in Dallas TX or New York NY. The village is 20 mils away from Craiova, a large city in the southern part of Romania. Si hours drive would get me to Greece, two hours to Bulgaria and Serbia, eight hours to Italy. The Craiova International Airport has daily SUPER CHEAP flights to all major cities in Europe like London, Paris, Milan, Barcelona, you name it. Most of the flights, if booked in advance, would cost a mere 50 to 70 Euros round trip. I started my own vegetable garden and my wife makes all the winter preserves that we need, I made fifteen gallons of plum brandy -YUM!- and about twenty gallons of and amazing red wine, all from the trees and grapes already on the property. Cheap eggs and all kind of dairy products are plentiful from the local farmers. We have running water and local sewer system, high speed internet, cable TV and the whole enchilada of modern amenities that make for a modern life. We do have medical and veterinary doctors in the village, a streaming little river always generous with fish, the pheasants are nesting everywhere and early in the morning the dears and wild boars can be seen grazing near the forests in the neighborhood. Life is quiet, neighbors are friendly and wiling to help for a small sum, all in all, is like a forgotten way of living! Assuming that you are buying your own property, the monthly cost of living including all the bills -electricity, cable, internet and so on- would be in the six hundred dollar range for a family of two. If you are longing for a quiet and cheap life without any hassle, this is the kind of life you would surely appreciate. There are no restaurants/dinners in the village but about half an hour away, you can afford to go daily to “the city”. The price of living and the savings in the Romanian country side makes pretty much everything possible! Sometimes I wonder if immortality was not born in the country side!

    • Tim Leffel

      Thanks for sharing your experience Lee! It’s great to hear from someone who has made the move and what the result was.

  9. Jessica M.

    Hi, Tim, any insight as to why people do not like settling in Peru? I graduated from high school in Lima 10 years ago and have loved visiting, but am wary of the whole “it’s different when you live there vs when you visit” thing. My husband really likes the looks of Panama, but you don’t mention it here. Was there anything in particular that you didn’t like? Sorry for all the questions!

    • Tim Leffel

      Peru is cheaper than Panama and in my opinion, more attractive. It’s harder to get residency, but you get six months on a tourist visa so it’s not hard to just keep that rolling. I’m not a fan of the biggest city in either place, but after that it’s really a matter of mountains vs. ocean (warm enough to swim in all year) for starters.

  10. sharif kyeswa

    Am sharif am tour operator from uganda East Africa, we good environment, nature , good local food , cheap fast foods like rolex made of everything which costs $0.23 good transport like bodaboda ..please come and visit our country..

  11. David Raymond

  12. Anna

    Tim , what about Tunisia? No more dangerous than other place. Sunny, good food, cheap house, many friendly people, good doctors, close to EU….
    I leave in Tunisia and I know some retired people and they are very happy here.

    You can have a residente visa if your are retired or investor. Open a business is not very expensive but you must speak French or Arabic .

  13. Sam

    Your political bias is ridiculous. It makes this article read like trash. Stick to the main focus of the article and keep your political views to yourself.

    • Tim Leffel

      Sam – You’re in my house, so I’ll rail against this historically unpopular candidate (who lost the popular vote don’t forget) all I want. It’s a key reason why the outflow from the USA has picked up so much since November, 2016. The pace started picking up even more when the GOP tried to pass their mean-spirited health care cutbacks, taking away the only access many people have to the insurance market. Hate to tell you, but politics and moving abroad have everything to do with each other.

      • Penny

        America being unlivable started during Bush, to my recollection…well, probably during Reagan but I was just a kid then.

  14. Akane

    Please, riddle me this, how is Portugal one of cheapest places to live in Europe when we have a low income (less than 4€/hour), high taxes (23%), high bills (an average of 80€ for electricity, 30€ for water and around 50€ for natural gas monthly), rent is around 400€ and on average a person spends around 100€+ monthly for food. Most people I know live most of their lives in Spain because it is much cheaper.

    • Tim Leffel

      Those prices you cited are all less than the average European or American pays in a mid-sized city and the high unemployment/financial crisis is part of the reason prices stay in check—especially for food and drink. If you compare Lisbon to Barcelona on Numbeo or just Portugal to Spain you’ll see it’s far more expensive in Spain for almost everything. Anyone who travels between them will tell you the same. Maybe your friends have found an outlier enclave to live in that is an exception.

    • Vincent

      Popular vote does not win the election.

      • Tim Leffel

        It does in every situation except one. Like our health care system, the electoral college is an oddity that looks ridiculous to anyone else in the world. We just accept it because nobody has the initiative and will to change it.



  16. Bill

    Given the ongoing ethnic cleansing in South Africa, it’s probably not an ideal destination for people of European descent.

  17. Vincent

    How is it you would even open a article with something so politically charged statement and not expect to loose more than half your readers right away.

    • Tim Leffel

      Last time I ran a survey, only 5% of my readers classified themselves as “conservative,” so I’m not too worried about that. I’m not trying to appeal to the whole spectrum here.

  18. Tom E

    I’m a local San Franciscan that bailed to Mexico 2 years ago. Have not regretted the decision once. You can live beautifully on less than you are paying for rent in SF. But more than that, the City has become a postcard mirage full of gold rush-mentality transplants. While I do think many of the most important ideas of our time come to fruition in the Bay, I find it a diminishing-returns place to live for a long-term San Franciscan. I got tired of watching just about everything morph into some form of unsustainable, soul-less mockery of the values that once attracted people here 50 years ago. If you’re a young 2.0 dotcommer, it’s the place to be. If you’re a 45-year-old seeking more resonance in your life (me), it’s nothing more than an over-hyped carrot chase. I’m not planning on coming back any time soon.

    • Penny

      I’m a Native San Franciscan, grew up there in the 70s, but got priced-out of it in the dot-bust era around 2003 and have been a Masshole ever since. Now I’m being priced out of even Salem. Plus once my Spanish comes back…I’m finding out the hard way that Massachusetts has about the world’s highest standards for job qualifications, overinflated because probably 80% of the population has at least a Master’s degree, or so it seems. Back in the day, the dot-boom era in San Francisco, I walked into Manpower at the Embarcadero one day and when they saw my computer database test scores, they immediately placed me in a dot-com-startup where I stayed with all the overtime I wanted pretty much all summer until that company went belly-up. I’ve noticed in my life that that kind of “you get the job you’re qualfied for especially if it’s a tech job, in spite of being a minority and a woman” life has only ever happened for me if the place was Latino-owned or the hiring manager was Latino. So that’s why my conclusion is, “off to Bolivia.” Where everyone is Latino I shouldn’t be so damned unemployable as it feels like in Boston-Cambridge or even New Haven.

  19. Victoria

    In Europe the cheapest countries are Serbia and Macedonia. I live in Serbia in the capital and I pay for two room apartment 160 euros. Electricity and water is not more than 50 euros if you use heating or cooling. Food is excellent, many places to go out and people are open and speak English.

  20. ashylnmolly

    Really Valuable article for me, because I am searching for the cheapest place to live.Thanks for sharing this article with us.


    Hi Camella

    i saw your.response from several months ago abput Bulgaria, i would enjoy talking to you about your country, i hope you are well, my email address is

    Thank You

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  23. Mohd Salman

    I am living in India and it is very cheap country to live.

  24. Bob

    I forgot to ask about your surveys. Please, at least share more about your methodology, hypothesis, question(s), N, SD and p. I ask for disclosure because you cite circular links and personal opinion. Discounting 5% of 3,885,567,619 potential readers is 194,278,380.95. That is a large sum of potential readers. When I say “potential,” I mean commenting readers. You may keep the “headless” .95 person.

    • Tim Leffel

      I don’t want all potential readers. I want the right readers. Racists and closed-minded bigots are not welcome in my virtual house.

  25. Junnise Y.Richards

    I am tired of living in Liberia, our country is one of the richest in West Africa, but due to bay governance people are living on half a dollars a day. Some people even go to bed hungry, to even fine job is not for me I really tired living such life,I wanted to try my possible best to moved in Canada. It’s my favorite Country that I wanted to lived.I will very much be happy if someone can volunteers help me. I will pay your expenses back in doubles.

  26. sourabh

    In India jabalpur 300$ per month per person

  27. Freida

    Your obvious and unnecessary bias about one thing makes it difficult to believe that you are unbiased – or even trustworthy – on other subjects , so I’ll do as you suggest, and go elsewhere.

  28. Gail Friedlander

    My husband and I retired in 2005, leaving San Francisco for the stunning beauty of Pacific County, Washington, in the southwest corner of the state. We have the lowest -priced real estate on the West Coast – a Craftsman that would sell for $2.5 million in the bay area sells for around $180,000 here. Many smaller homes sell for under $100,000 every day. Wonderful people, beautiful rivers, great salmon, sturgeon, and steelhead fishing for the cost of a license, year-round razor and butter clamming along the beaches and in the bays, and both Portland and Seattle are a 2-hour drive away. We live well here, instead of like paupers as we would have if we’d stayed in the bay area. We are on a small hobby farm where we grow organic fruits & vegetables, look out of our window at elk, have a pond full of Mallards, Wood Ducks, and interesting shorebirds during the spring and fall migration. If this sounds appealing to you, come check out Raymond and South Bend, on Highway 101, along the banks of the Willapa River. Be sure to leave a few days to visit the Olympic Peninsula and Temperate Rainforests just north of us.

  29. Mike Bran

    Portugal would definitely be at the top of my list. Great curated list here. Well done.

  30. david

    Hi. Thanks for all the valuable info.
    Do you know which countries easy allow you to start a business without a large investment capital. I just found your site today, as I understand you prefer the “work online approach.” I agree, but I also want to do things legally, besides I want to actually live in the country and have a future there. Im in the e-commerce field selling products online on marketplaces, Im new to having my own website etc, tried but not easy, no traffic. I hold a EU passport.

    What is the risks(government pressure, one rule for foreigner and one for local, bribes, no help from Police etc.) of open a company as a foreigner in some of the countries on the list. Have you heard other peoples experience about this?

    • Tim Leffel

      Whenever you visit an expat center around the world, you will find foreigners running a business there. From bars to restaurants to tour companies to bookstores to dive shops. Some go further and run B2B companies that sell inbound or outbound. Some countries make it incredibly easy (like Cambodia), while others hit you with a mountain of red tape or a trail of bribes. It’s hard to generalize until you narrow it down. There’s a good book series out on individual countries in Asia, but after that you need feet on the ground.

  31. Rivan

    Thanks for information guys. Is there any jobs for me?

  32. Alisha

    Agree about Roatan being a bit pricey, but when I spent a couple weeks there, I found it was still a huge geo-arbitrage option for Americans used to our typical living expenses. Compared to mainland Honduras (much cheaper) it was well worth the minor premium because it is just a wonderful place to commune with nature. And it feels a lot safer too.

  33. Lyn

    Why not live in America? It’s cheaper than most places listed! Cambodia on $1,500 a month? PER PERSON!? We are a family of 8 that live on $300 a month in the USA!

    • Tim Leffel

      The average American family not covered by their employer is already paying more than $1,000 per month just for health care now. Then factor in rent, food, and utilities and it’s a rare family or couple that can get by on less than $1,500 per month. What I pay for just rent and healthcare in Tampa, FL would put you in the top 2% in Cambodia.

  34. Unlock Holidays

    I think India is a great country to live as the constitution allows huge freedom to its citizens. All religions are most welcomed by the constitution of India. East, west, north, and south; all regions are so different with their cultures and physical conditions that no other place has this quality across the world.

  35. Kim

    Love this article. I would like to see Ecuador. Heard many cool things about it.

  36. Bob West

    The author implies that folks in rural America aren’t accustomed to living alongside people from other countries. I’m not sure where he’s getting his information, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Except for the Native Americans, ALL of us are from somewhere else. I live in a small town near Dallas, where a large segment of the population consists of native Mexicans.

    • Tim Leffel

      Bob, you’re right – like most states on the Mexican border, Texas is quite diverse. For rural ones not on a the southern border though, it’s a different story–including Vermont and Maine.

      (And agree we’re all from somewhere else, so shutting the door behind us is downright rude. Not to mention most of our ancestors didn’t have to go through 6-10 years of applications to become a citizen.)

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