2024's Top 12 Most Expensive Countries for Residency

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The world's top 12 most expensive countries to reside in 2024
The world's top 12 most expensive countries to reside in 2024

Choosing a country to settle down in can be a daunting task, and there are several factors to consider, including visa policies, climate, and job opportunities. However, for many people, the most crucial consideration is the cost of living. In this article, we will list the 12 most expensive countries to live in the world in 2024, according to their median to high monthly cost of living.

Although there are different ways to rank the most expensive countries, we chose to rank them solely based on their average monthly costs. Determining the cost of living for an entire country is a complicated process, as it varies from region to region. For instance, countries like the USA are considered expensive, but the rates of inflation are higher in states like New York, California, and Hawaii, and not in all its 50 states. Therefore, we chose smaller and densely populated countries to rank. It's important to note that offshore territories like Bermuda and micro city principalities like Monaco will not be mentioned in this article.

So, without further ado, here are the 12 most expensive countries to live in 2024:

12. Japan


Known for its innovations, tantalizing cuisines, and high standard of living, Japan has one of the highest costs of living in Asia. Its cities are among the most densely populated in the world, and monthly expenditures have skyrocketed over the last couple of years. In fact, Tokyo, its capital city, is ranked as the ninth most expensive city to live in the world. The bare minimum cost of living for a single person per month is approximately $1,500, while the average cost of living to live comfortably is about $2,600.

11. Qatar


Qatar made its way into the limelight in 2022 as it hosted the FIFA World Cup. The country has also received the highest number of visitors this year, and its cost of living has subsequently sparked up. Currently, a single individual requires at least $1,600 to reside adequately outside of its main city of Doha, while the average cost of living to reside comfortably in all its areas is around $2,800. The major contributor to its monthly cost is rent, with the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in its main city of Doha costing $1,200.

10. United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The UK is a melting pot of people with all types of backgrounds and offers tons of career and education opportunities. Living here, particularly in London, England, is expensive compared to Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Nonetheless, its cost of living has been rising ever since the pandemic, and due to the current political uncertainties, it's still facing high rates of inflation. The overall minimum cost of living for a single individual is about $1,800, and the average monthly spending to live comfortably in most parts of the country is estimated to be around $2,800.

9. Barbados


Barbados is a sovereign island nation in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, which is the Caribbean region of North America. It's the fourth most densely populated country in the Americas, and its capital city, Bridgetown, has approximately 120,000 people living in it. The average cost of living for a single person to comfortably reside in any part of this island ranges from $2,200 to $2,800. The main contributors to this high living cost are rent and groceries.

8. Luxembourg


Situated in the heart of Europe, Luxembourg is one of the smallest sovereign countries. It's brimming with multiculturalism, scenic landscapes, and a strong economy that perfectly pairs with a casual lifestyle. The country's housing shortage makes it one of the most expensive to live and buy property in the world. In fact, its namesake capital city is ranked as the fourth most expensive city to own property. Average rent here can vary between $1,300 to $2,500 a month. This makes the bare minimal cost of living for a single person in this country around $2,400, while if one chooses to reside in its main city, the median cost of living can rack up to $3,000 per month. Nevertheless, the purchasing power of its locals is quite high, with minimum pre-taxed salary for skilled workers ranging between $4,000 to $7,000 - one of the highest in the EU.

7. Singapore


Singapore is a sovereign island nation and is the most developed, as well as the most expensive, country in Asia at large. The modest spending to live on this island nation is about $2,500, but to live comfortably in the hub of its metropolitan city, one can expect to spend at least $3,200 monthly. Just like most of the countries listed in this article, accommodations take a large chunk of monthly costs, plus most of the housing comes in the form of high-rise condos or apartments. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment beyond the city center is estimated to cost an average of $1,500 compared to $2,400 within the city center. That being said, residents of Singapore can earn reasonable wages at an average of $4,000 to $5,000 per month, so their purchasing power is obviously on par.

6. Ireland


Ireland is experiencing a sudden surge in its inflation rate, and its cost of living is rising exorbitantly, especially in its capital city of Dublin. Many speculate the main reason for its high rate of inflation is due to a great influx of big tech and multinational companies moving their EU head office here. Plus, Ireland offers one of the lowest corporate tax rates, and this further encourages companies to invest here. Currently, the average cost of living in the country is around $2,800 to $3,600 per month. Most of this sum is contributed towards accommodation, but utilities also cost a lot here as the country imports around 90% of its power, and its average electricity prices are some of the highest in Europe.

5. Denmark


This European country is home to picturesque scenery, a magnificent work-life balance, incredible benefits, and is overall an excellent place to live. However, all of this comes with a hefty price tag. The Danes have an average monthly cost of living that ranges between $2,500 to $3,300 per person, making Denmark the fifth most expensive country to live in the world. The reasons for these high costs include some of the highest levels of taxation on income, goods, and services. Nevertheless, by and large, most Danes are happy to pay these high taxes because they're getting excellent social infrastructures, government services, and social security in return. Furthermore, the country offers some of the highest salaries in the world, which evidently makes up for the country's high cost of living. Considering all this, it isn't a bad place to live in, even if it's an expensive country. Many qualified expats and young students try to move here.

4. Norway


Norway is another Scandinavian country that has always ranked high on the list of most expensive countries to live in. Just like Denmark, the high cost of living in Norway is a result of its social welfare system, which relies on a value-added tax system and minimal variations between incomes among its citizens to sustain its unique economy and socio-economic structure. However, the social welfare system provided by the Norwegian government, as well as the low unemployment rate, are positive results of its pricey standard of living.

Generally, the majority of people can live a comfortable life in Norway on the monthly budget ranging from $2,600 to $3,600 a month. Although the cost of living in Norway may seem inopportune at first glance, there is no doubt that the local purchasing power is high, and the Norwegian social system provides exceptional benefits for its citizens.

3. Iceland


Iceland is famous for its breathtaking scenery, from volcanoes and canyons to geysers and hot springs, but there's a lot more to it than that. The country is known for being friendly and tolerant, with a low crime rate and a strong emphasis on family and community. While the cost of living may be high, the country makes up for it with affordable healthcare, high-quality education, and a healthy work-life balance.

To put into numbers, the average cost of living to live comfortably per month ranges between $2,800 to $3,600 a month. The main contributors to this high cost are daily goods and fresh produce. Because of its geography and climate, only about 6% of the island is suitable for agriculture, so that means that very little produce can be homegrown. And since Iceland is an island, the vast majority of its produce has to be imported by sea or air, which adds to the cost even more.

Another thing to consider is that despite Iceland's climate being very cold, heating costs are relatively low because of the extensive use of geothermal heating from the country's volcanic geology.

2. The Bahamas

The Bahamas

The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest countries in the West Indies. It comprises over 700 breathtaking islands that are part of the country, out of which only 30 are inhabited. The country has a reputation for being a tax haven, with high-income earners from around the world, as the country doesn't have income or capital gains taxes. The standard of living here is also quite high, but because it's an island country, everything must be imported, making it an expensive place to live in.

Aside from that, accommodation on this island is also very scarce, and most of the vacant ones available are considered luxurious. According to one of its local realtor websites, the average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,800 per month across the entire nation, while the overall cost of living for a single person stands at over $3,800 per month.

1. Switzerland


Switzerland has long been known as the most expensive country in the world, and it's not hard to see why. With its stunning Alpine landscapes, clear lakes, and high standard of living, Switzerland attracts people from all over the world with enticing employment packages. However, as with every destination, there are ups and downs to living in Switzerland.

Cities like Zurich and Geneva are often listed as two of the most expensive in the world, with rent for a mid-sized apartment ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $3,800 per month. The overall cost of living for a single person can range anywhere between $3,500 to $4,500. But despite this, most Swiss citizens enjoy a purchasing power that's almost 26% higher than their median cost of living. The catch here is that even though Switzerland is expensive, salaries are typically high and exceed these expenses.


When it comes to choosing a country to settle down in, there are several factors to consider, such as visa policies, climate, and job opportunities. However, for many people, the most important consideration is their cost of living. In this article, we've listed the 12 most expensive countries to live in the world.

It's worth noting that determining the cost of living for an entire country is a complicated process, and there are many ways to rank the most expensive countries. The countries listed here are ranked according to their median to high monthly cost of living, but other factors like the purchasing power of its citizens, social welfare programs, and tax structures may also be important to consider.

While living in these countries may come with a hefty price tag, many people choose to settle in these locations due to their high standard of living, excellent public facilities, and career opportunities. It's important to weigh the pros and cons of each location and consider your personal priorities before making the decision to relocate.