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Here is an interesting website, NUMBEO, to compare the cost of living between cities.

Using this tool you can compare cost of living and it’s indicators (CPI, CPI Plus Rent, Groceries Index, Restaurants Index, Local Purchasing Power…) for two cities supported by our dataset.

Remember it is just a data point drawn from folks who live in different places.

In our example we compared the city of Toronto, Canada to San José (Costa Rica, not to be confused with the California city of the same name).

According to NUMBEO’s numbers you would need about ¢1.672.094 colones (US$3.047 dollars) in San José to maintain the same standard of like that you can have with US$4.700 in Toronto. The assumption is made based on renting in both cities.  (We used the US dollar as a default currency.)

The differences:  Click here to see the full results for this comparison.

  • Consumer Prices in San José are 26.96% lower than in Toronto
  • Consumer Prices Including Rent in San José are 35.17% lower than in Toronto
  • Rent Prices in San José are 50.33% lower than in Toronto
  • Restaurant Prices in San José are 25.70% lower than in Toronto
  • Groceries Prices in San José are 28.11% lower than in Toronto
  • Local Purchasing Power in San José is 62.38% lower than in Toronto

When comparing the cost of living in both cities we find that it will cost you one third (28.78%) less to eat a meal at an inexpensive restaurant in San José, than in Toronto. A domestic beer costs US$2.28 in San José, while US$5.15 in Toronto. A cappuccino is US$2.21,  US$3.27 in Toronto.

At the supermarket, a loaf of fresh white bread costs 50% less in San José. Local cheese, though we in Costa Rica see it as being expensive, it is still 41.28% less than local cheese in Toronto. Chicken breast (36.53%), tomato (67.57%), lettuce (47.24%) and eggs (8.87%), even though you won’t find them in the fridge, are all less in Costa Rica.

More expensive in San José is bottled water, 7.52% more for a 1.5 litre of bottled water, this despite Costa Rica has plenty of natural spring water sources.

Taking a taxi in San José is 72.29% less than in Toronto and 74.04% less for a local bus, but in Costa Rica we pay 14.35% more for gasoline and 35.43% on the price of a new car (Volkswagen Golf is used in the comparison).

Basic utilicites (electricity, heating, water, garbage) for a 85 m2 apartment is 64.15% less in San José, yet the cost of internet is 45.97% more.

Monthly rents are between 34.26% and 60.61% cheaper in San José than similar apartments in Toronto. If you are looking to buy, purchasse prices for a city apartment is 82.57% lower in San José.

When it comes to earning, you are better off in Toronto, where the average monthly disposable salary (after tax) is 75.61% less in Costa Rica, and where you also pay 311.51% more in mortgage interest rates. While the average yearly mortgage rate in Toronto is 3.4%, in Costa Rica it is 14%.

numbeo_h70pxClick here to compare Your city with San José (or any other city).


About NUMBEO
In Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide. Numbeo provides current and timely information on world living conditions including cost of living, housing indicators, health care, traffic, crime and pollution.

Numbeo is a collection of Web pages containing numerical and other itemizable data about cities and countries, designed to enable anyone to contribute or modify content. Numbeo uses the wisdom of the crowd to obtain the most reliable information possible. Numbeo then provides you with a statistical analysis of the data collected. In addition, Numbeo provides a variety of systematic research opportunities for its readers with its compilation of worldwide information.

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QCOSTARICA.com has no financial interest in NUMBEO or the results of the comparison above. This is NOT a paid advertising, nor is QCOSTARICA.com suggesting you move to Costa Rica based on these results. This post is for your FYI only!


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