The Most Expensive Place On Earth To Live (And The Cheapest)

CEOWorld Magazine has just released their 2020 list of the most expensive countries to live in, with Switzerland once again taking the title of the most costly nation on Earth to call home.

Norway is the runner up, with Iceland, Japan, and Denmark rounding out the top 5.

However, there seems to be one glaring omission (or technicality, depending on how you look at it). A quick dive into additional sources indicates that Bermuda quite unenviably holds the crown for the most expensive location on earth to live. 



The reason it isn’t listed? It’s a British Territory, meaning it doesn’t qualify as a country. 

One would assume the territory’s stats are simply absorbed into England’s overall numbers, which only strengthens England’s argument for being one of the more affordable developed countries (coasting in at a respectable number 27, for the quality of life it offers).

When comparing these results against Vogue’s 2018 list, the noticeable climber is Norway. Natives seem to perceive this as a slide in stature, blaming the government for making poor decisions that have contributed to a decrease in Norwegian buying power over the past two years. 

However, Switzerland continues to hold the ‘cost-of-living’ mantle convincingly. A cross-reference with The Economists’ burgernomic tool ‘The Big Mac Index’ appears to concur, with Switzerland and Norway taking first and second respectively for countries where you’ll shell out the most for a ‘Mac’ at the golden arches.

So why is Switzerland so damn expensive? The Swiss Franc is overvalued. Not joining the EU has afforded the Swiss numerous benefits and unique perks, however, the Franc’s independence has created a unique economic situation that puts Switzerland at the top of the list.

If you’ve ever been there, you know the Swiss aren’t exactly doing it tough. Famous for their mouth-watering chocolate and cheese, most Swiss enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle nestled amongst their breathtaking alps, lakes, valleys, and forests. As a successfully neutral territory, they’ve avoided all involvement in war since 1815 and enjoy one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

For those wondering, Australia placed 16th on the list with New Zealand coming in at 17th. Most Kiwis are quick to argue that their country could likely make the top 5 if a deep dive was done on stats. With petrol currently sitting at around $2.50 per litre and a beer setting you back an average of $9, there’s definitely a case to be heard there.



For numbers nerds and stats lovers, Numbeo provides a fun tool to play with comparative metrics on country’s living expenses while the UK’s Telegraph has also been savvy enough to create a colour-coded map that will help you plan cheap escapes to exotic destinations without destroying the credit card.

Currently, the countries that scream value-for-money include Nepal (122), Colombia (116), Sri Lanka (112), Mexico (97) and Indonesia (93).

Then we’ve got the ultra-cheap options such as Pakistan (named cheapest country in the world to live in), followed by Afghanistan, India, Syria, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia and Venezuela.

It’s worth noting that these super-cheap locations generally come with a ‘buyer beware’ clause, that translates into a lack of safety and general quality of life. While you could fund a holiday to one of these countries for the price of a few Swiss happy meals, certain sketchy destinations that could end up costing you a whole lot more than you bargain for. 

However, if you feel like going camping in Afghanistan, we’ve got you covered.