Global Living Index - Utility Bidder

Global Living Index

It is no secret that everybody loves a bargain. From your favourite chocolate bar to business electricity rates, the cost of everything is inflating which means that it is more important than ever to save money where you can.

In 2021, the gross national income per capita across the world was £13,207 compared to £34,899 for OECD member countries - showing just how much the cost of living can differ between locations.

If you could save money by relocating to another country, would you? To help you decide, we have compiled a list of the most affordable countries based on factors including electricity and gas prices, property costs and the average monthly salary.

With a score of 8.71 /10, the United States has been crowned the most affordable country to live in

There are so many factors that can be taken into consideration when it comes to determining the affordability of living in a country. Looking at electricity, gas, property prices, and gross national income, we have determined which countries are the most affordable to live in - here’s what we found.

1.

United States

Taking the top spot, with an overall affordability score of 8.71 /10, is the United States. As one of the largest countries by area, you will find a lot of variation when it comes to the cost of living. Having said this, the US has a high gross national income of £56,035 ($70,930 | €63,837) and a low property price-to-income ratio of 4.5 which suggests that, on average, this country is more affordable to live in than any other on this list.

Overall affordability score:

8.71 /10
2.

Canada

Canada has an overall affordability score of 7.32 /10 which is the second highest of any country in this list. As the second North American country in this top three, it appears that this continent is superior in terms of the overall affordability of living. Some of the factors that have contributed to Canada’s position on this ranking are the low household natural gas price of £0.035 ($0.044 | €0.040) per kWh, and household electricity price of £0.09 ($0.12 | €0.11) per kWh.

Overall affordability score:

7.32/10
3.

Australia

Completing this top three list of the overall most affordable countries to live in is Australia with a score of 7.23 /10. Whilst some expenses in this country have skyrocketed in price, it appears that Australia is one of the most affordable places to live when it comes to the price of household bills, evidenced by the £0.069 ($0.085 | €0.079) price of natural gas per kWh, and a 7.5 property price-to-income ratio.

Overall affordability score:

7.23/10
KEY: Household electricity price per kWh Household natural gas price per kWh Property price-to-income ratio Gross national income per capita Overall score /10

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Country

Continent

Argentina has a lower household electricity price than any other country, totalling £0.03 ($0.04 | €0.03) per kWh

As well as revealing the overall most affordable countries, we have also split each factor down into its own ranking. From business energy suppliers to a couple wanting to start a new family, everyone is keen to find the best deals on their electricity bills. Below is a list of the countries with the lowest household electricity prices as of 2022.

1.

Argentina

If you work from home and are conscious of eating into your electricity bill, it appears that you won’t find a country with more affordable electricity prices than Argentina. This South American country has a household electricity price of £0.03 ($0.04 | €0.03) per kWh, which is lower than every other country in this Global Living Index.

Household electricity price per kWh:

£0.03
$0.04
€0.03
2.

Malaysia

Up next in this list of countries with the most affordable household electricity prices is Malaysia. If you live in this country, you should expect to pay around £0.04 ($0.05 | €0.05) per kWh for electricity which is just about as affordable as you can get!

Household electricity price per kWh:

£0.04
$0.05
€0.05
3.

Belarus

The third and final entry in this top three is Belarus which has a household electricity price of £0.07 ($0.09 | €0.08) per kWh. Even though the price between the first and third spot in this ranking is a matter of pennies, this cost soon builds up, and the difference in price will become apparent over the course of a month.

Household electricity price per kWh:

£0.07
$0.09
€0.08
KEY: Household electricity price per kWh

Country

Continent

With a household price of £0.004 ($0.006 | €0.005) per kWh, Argentina has the most affordable natural gas cost

As we strive towards becoming environmentally friendly, more and more alternatives to gas boilers are being adopted. Despite this, a large percentage of households still use natural gas, but which countries have the most affordable gas prices? Here’s what we found.

1.

Argentina

After topping the list of countries with the lowest electricity prices, it may come as no surprise that Argentina is also featured first in the ranking here. As gas is one of the fuels used to generate electricity, the two prices often go hand-in-hand. Luckily for the residents of Argentina, these prices are the lowest of every country on this list, totalling just £0.004 ($0.005 | €0.005) per kWh.

Household natural gas price per kWh:

£0.004
$0.005
€0.005
2.

Belarus

Belarus takes second place in this ranking with a household natural gas price of £0.006 ($0.008 | €0.007) per kWh. This country has managed to sustain a low gas price amidst the neverending price increases that have been happening across Europe in recent years.

Household natural gas price per kWh:

£0.006
$0.008
€0.007
3.

Malaysia

Completing this top three, with a household natural gas price of £0.021 ($0.026 | €0.024) per kWh, is Malaysia. Natural gas is used to generate a large proportion of the electricity in this country and this demand also provides a plethora of jobs for its residents.

Household natural gas price per kWh:

£0.021
$0.026
€0.024
KEY: Household Natural Gas Price per kWh

Country

Continent

The United States has a property price-to-income ratio of 4.5 - lower than any other country

One of the biggest monthly bills for any household is the rent/mortgage. Because of this, we thought it was important to include a factor relating to the property prices in each country. Below is a list of the countries with the lowest property price-to-income ratio which is made up of the median apartment prices and median familial disposable income.

1.

United States

Making its second appearance in this Global Living Index, with a property price-to-income ratio of 4.5, is the United States. If you are considering moving to this country then it seems that you won’t find anywhere with more affordable house prices for your income. Having said this, you may have to shop around, as cities, such as Los Angeles, are notorious for selling properties with multimillion price tags.

Property price-to-income ratio:

4.5
2.

Belgium

Despite the fact that Belgium has seen an increase in property prices over recent years, this country has the second lowest property price-to-income ratio of all the entries in this ranking - totalling just 6.5. Having said this, the residents of Belgium have one of the highest tax loads in the world which will take a big chunk out of your income!

Property price-to-income ratio:

6.5
3.

Denmark

When comparing a family’s disposable income to the average property prices in Denmark, this country comes out as the third most affordable in this list. Denmark’s property price-to-income ratio of 6.6 is just shy of its European counterpart, Belgium. This indicates that, although property prices are high in this country, a family’s disposable income is of a similar grade.

Property price-to-income ratio:

6.6
KEY: Property price-to-income ratio

Country

Continent

Ireland has the highest gross national income of any country in the research - totalling £60,127 ($76,110 | €68,499)

All of the prices we have considered in this Global Living Index would be futile without having an income to spend on bills. Bearing this in mind, we have compiled a list of the countries with the highest gross national incomes per capita.

1.

Ireland

As of 2021, the country with the highest gross national income is Ireland - totalling £60,127 ($76,110 | €68,499) per capita. This country has bounced back after facing some economic uncertainty, and inflation is predicted to lessen in the upcoming years. Also, a recent increase in tourism has opened up more job opportunities for the residents here which has contributed to the low levels of unemployment in Ireland.

Gross mational income per capita:

£60,127
$76,110
€68,499
2.

United States

Taking the second spot in this list is the United States which has a gross national income of £56,035 ($70,930 | €63,837). As one of the economic giants of the world, this country has faced a lot of challenges over the years. Despite this, the United States has the second highest gross national income of all the countries in this list which means that the residents here are earning more money than most.

Gross mational income per capita:

£56,035
$70,930
€63,837
3.

Denmark

Making another appearance in this Global Living Index is Denmark, this time completing the top three list of countries with the highest gross national income. Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen, is regarded as one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in. With this in mind, the residents here will value the £53,957 ($68,300 | €61,470) income per capita!

Gross mational income per capita:

£53,957
$68,300
€61,470
KEY: Gross national income per capita

Country

Continent

Methodology

We took a list of the most developed countries in the world, giving us a total of 66 countries. However, we had to remove any countries for which we were unable to get all the data, leaving us with a total of 29 countries in the final index.

We used Global Petrol Prices to find the price of electricity for households, as well as the natural gas price for households in each country as of 2022.

We used Numbeo to find the property price-to-income ratio for each country as of 2023.

We used The World Bank to find the gross national income of each country in 2021.

We used the affordability factors (household electricity and gas prices, property price-to-income ratio, gross national income) and normalised each factor out of 10 before taking an average of those scores to get our overall ‘affordability score’.

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