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Mexico Tops Other Latin American Countries for Quality of Life  

Street scene in Mexico City, Mexico
Credit: Kristina Bakrevski

A new report by Numbeo finds that Mexico tops other Latin American countries for quality of life, and ranks in the top 25 percent of countries with the lowest cost of living.

Numbeo, the world’s largest database of user contributed data on countries and cities, annually releases its index rankings for Quality of Life, based on 87 countries and Cost of Living, which includes 139 countries.

Not surprisingly for the expats who live here, Mexico ranks 47th on the Quality of Life index, which is based on an index derived from eight specific indices Numbeo tracks daily: Purchasing Power, Safety, Healthcare, Cost of Living, Property Price to Income Ratio, Traffic Commute Time, Pollution and Climate.

Just behind Mexico, ranking 50th on the index is Costa Rica, followed by Ecuador, which is 52nd. Venezuela has the worst Quality of Life ranking, 83rd, just ahead of the bottom of the barrel, which includes Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Iran and, last, Nigeria.

The usual suspects led the Quality of Life index: #1 Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland and Australia,

Mexico isn’t the champ when it comes to cost of living in Latin America, but it trails only Argentina, Brazil and Peru, ranking 100th out of 139 countries, which means there are 99 more expensive countries.

For its Cost of Living index, Numbeo looks at these indices: Rent, Cost of Living + Rent, Groceries, Restaurants and Local Purchasing Power.

The five most expensive Latin America cities in descending order are Panama, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Chile. But if you want the cheapest cost of living in the world, you had better be prepared for a very low quality of life in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Colombia and Algeria.

If you have the bank account to live a life of leisure in the priciest places on earth, you’ll need to start with Bermuda on your list, followed by Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Barbados and Jersey…Jersey? Yes, Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, between England and France. It’s a self-governing dependent of the United Kingdom.

Numbeo also reports on the cost of living in 576 cities and Mexico again scores well. Cancún is the most expensive city in Mexico on the index at 425th, but keep in mind there are only 151 cities that are cheaper and 424 more expensive.

Guadalajara is the least expensive of the cities in Mexico that Numbeo includes in its Cost of Living index, coming in at 480th. Other Mexican cities that receive a gold star for inexpensive living are: Monterrey (429th), Mexico City (443rd), Mérida (460th) and Querétaro (463rd). If your city is not on the list, it means Numbeo did not have enough user-contributed data for inclusion.

The least expensive places to live in the world, according to Numbeo, are: Rawalpindi, Pakistan; Karachi, Pakistan; Kanpur, India; Thrissur, India; and, Kabul, Afghanistan.

Hamilton, Bermuda is numero uno at the top of the most expensive cities in the world, followed by Zurich, Switzerland; Basel, Switzerland; Zug, Switzerland; and, Lugano, Switzerland. Now we know why all the banks are in Switzerland.

For all of you who love data and want to see more details, Numbeo has the numbers and all the individual indices for Qualify of Life and  Cost of Living.


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