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Most Expensive Countries

Name the world's most expensive countries, based on the ratio of prices levels to those of the United States.
For the year 2017, based on IMF data. Except for one country which uses the CIA World Factbook
Last updated: September 10, 2018
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Ratio
Country
1.34
Iceland
1.34
Liechtenstein
1.31
Switzerland
1.14
Denmark
1.11
Israel
1.11
Australia
1.08
Vanuatu
Ratio
Country
1.08
Palau
1.08
New Zealand
1.06
Marshall Islands
1.06
Finland
1.04
Norway
1.03
Sweden
1.02
Solomon Islands
Ratio
Country
1.00
United States
0.98
Luxembourg
0.98
Tuvalu
0.97
Bahamas
0.97
Ireland
0.97
Barbados
+2
level 52
Jun 27, 2016
Dammit Barbados.
+2
level 45
Jun 27, 2016
The day that it got featured there was also a blog post on it as well haha
+11
level 74
Jun 27, 2016
Wow that's crazy. Sort of like how Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig's Disease. What are the odds!??
+1
level 34
Jun 27, 2016
I hate Barbados..... Everything, but Barbados
+4
level 76
Jun 27, 2016
Barbados hates you too.
+1
level 18
Jul 2, 2016
I missed israel and barbados
+1
level 56
Nov 14, 2018
Same. Took me awhile to meander over to Oceania, but I got them at the buzzer.
+1
level 43
Jul 9, 2016
would never have thought of Barbados 19/20
+2
level 47
Feb 21, 2017
Me too - guessed Antigua, St. Kitts, Bahamas and then gave up on the Caribbean.
+1
level 21
Apr 11, 2017
No singapore
+4
level 43
Apr 11, 2017
I was thinking that it would be kind of hard to buy a country when I looked at the title...
+2
level 34
Oct 3, 2017
I question whether Australia is so much more expensive than NZ, being a kiwi we always hear Australia is cheaper living than NZ?
+1
level 66
Jan 28, 2018
That's only a furphy to get you to leave.
+1
level 65
Sep 29, 2018
it's cheaper living in Australia because i've heard wages there generally 30% higher than in NZ. That's a major reason why NZers leave.
+5
level 74
Jan 28, 2018
I paid 3x as much in Norway for a bunk bed in a hostel dormitory room as I was paying in Ukraine for a nice modern condo in a high-rise building adjacent to the beach with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Black Sea and free garage parking. Insanity. And for the cost of the bridge toll going from Malmo to Copenhagen I probably could live for a month in the Philippines if I was willing to give up certain comforts.
+1
level 66
Jan 28, 2018
Such as?
+2
level 74
Jun 27, 2018
I just mean if I rented a room or got a modest apartment somewhere. But if I really wanted to live for less than the cost of that bridge toll for a month then I'd have to give up mobile data on my phone, any kind of night out that cost money, girls, eating out and most of the variety in my diet. That, in addition to rent, is what I spend most of my money on when I'm in the Philippines as I am right now. I'd also have to stop rescuing stray kittens off the street and trying to find homes for them- as I typically end up paying for some food and vet bills. Done that 3x in the past month alone.
+6
level 67
Aug 24, 2018
Insanity. Insanity, that a country which has a low level of income also has low costs. You as a rich traveller come in and are comparatively richer in Ukraine so enjoy a good life amongst the poor but have a less good life in comparison to the Norwegians earning just as much as you. Actually it makes complete sense. The costs are relative to the amount they earn. It is really a non-observation that a person who has the luxury to travel can buy more where others around are poorer. The disparity is greater than you state in fact, as a one bedroom rental may cost $200 in Ukraine and the average wage is $360/m whereas in Norway renting the same space would be $950 and the wage may be around $3000 meaning the rent is 4.5 times higher but the wage is 9 times more. For the Norwegians then that rent is actually comparatively cheap. The problem you have is you are travelling around with your savings trying to buy into someone else's culture.
+3
level 74
Sep 29, 2018
wow. deep. That's so insightful and brilliant. Especially what you did there at the end. You've really got me figured out. One of the best comments I've ever read here. It makes perfect sense what you said and wasn't nonsensical Russell Brand style word salad at all. Lucid, clear, spot on. Bravo, Internet culture warrior. Keep fighting the good fight, comrade.
+5
level 69
Sep 29, 2018
It's always good seeing someone call out kalbahamut. He probably had to open a bottle of rare French wine and put on his designer slippers to cope with getting owned so hard.
+3
level 74
Sep 29, 2018
Nah. I'm saving up my money to buy into other people's culture. Because, you know, that's totally something that people do and very relevant to bring up when someone is observing the outrageous difference in cost of living from two countries not that far away. Incidentally I never drink wine and have never owned slippers and I live very modestly but given that you are responding positively to this comment I'm not surprised that these things escaped your powers of perception.
+2
level 54
Sep 29, 2018
Price differences are pretty insane if you compare some places. Obviously it will depend on wages, but in @kal's example it is pretty amazing to think the hotel in Ukraine was worth so much less just because it was in Ukraine. In Switzerland I once went to a restaurant that tried to charge CHF 9.00 (USD $9.20) for a litre of water. That was insane whatever way you look at it given that there were taps outside you could use for free. I think it kind of makes sense to charge a lot for the bridge though, because it must presumably have cost a lot to make and the people using it will by definition be international tourists and so they won't be able to tax them as easily to fund it.
+2
level 74
Sep 29, 2018
Remember these numbers are averages and prices can vary widely within a country. Where I live in Missouri prices are relatively cheap, but in Honolulu or Washington D.C for example, prices are much higher. A tourist visiting Boston would come away with a much different view of prices from that of a tourist visiting Memphis.
+1
level 54
Sep 29, 2018
Yes, there will of course be variation within a country as well, although I would imagine this variation would be less in smaller countries like Switzerland or Norway.
+1
level 74
Nov 12, 2018
I went to the coffee shop in St Mark's Square, Venice, which is supposedly one of the first places in Europe to ever serve coffee. I laughed and walked away when I saw that a can of Coke was going for $12.
+1
level 74
Jun 27, 2018
I don't remember if the rankings have changed significantly or entires have been added or taken away since the last time I took this; but I'm surprised that Germany shows up over some other places like Kuwait, the UAE, and some of those Pacific island nations. But the latter may be excluded due to the population restriction. I'm also surprised that Israel isn't higher in the rankings.
+1
level 35
Jun 27, 2018
i only missed barbados, wow i consider that a win
+1
level 38
Jun 27, 2018
Norway is probably on this because of their overpriced gasoline XD
+1
level ∞
Aug 23, 2018
The United States has gotten a lot more expensive than other countries recently due to the strong dollar.
+2
level 74
Sep 29, 2018
I guess I misread the instructions. I thought all the countries were in comparison to the US, therefore the US would not be among the answers and I didn't even try it.
+1
level 74
Aug 23, 2018
Huh. Only 58% get the United States, even though the quiz description says "based on the ratio of prices levels to those of the United States" and one of those ratios is 1.00.
+2
level 73
Aug 24, 2018
I wasn't actually looking at the ratios, and so almost missed it. Realised near the end though.
+5
level 67
Aug 24, 2018
I was one, I assumed that the US wouldn't be in a quiz that compares the prices in countries against those in ehh the US. I assumed the answer was a country with prices all but identical to the US. Clearly not.
+1
level 77
Aug 24, 2018
The Pacific islands make no sense here, unless you're considering the price of buying land as part of the deal.
+2
level 73
Aug 24, 2018
Countries that have to import everything and are very badly connected...makes perfect sense
+1
level 75
Aug 31, 2018
I agree, but do wonder why Malta isn't on the list. It is much more densely populated than most other micro-nations and so has to import virtually everything - maybe buying in bulk saves money??
+1
level 73
Sep 9, 2018
Malta has extensive and regular transport links small island nations in the Pacific lack. Makes a huge difference in price.
+1
level 74
Sep 29, 2018
Yeah being in the Caribbean is quite a bit different than being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Import costs make everything in Oceania expensive; makes sense.
+1
level 54
Sep 29, 2018
The Caribbean? Malta is in the Mediterranean Sea. A few Caribbean countries did make the list (unless I'm using the wrong definition of the Caribbean, which is possible as I think there is a technical definition excluding some North American island countries).
+1
level 74
Sep 29, 2018
Thank you I meant the Mediterranean. Though the Caribbean is also well connected to sea trade lanes, the Mediterranean is even more so.
+1
level 74
Sep 29, 2018
Quick someone find a corkscrew. There's going to be a party later to celebrate the fact that I made a typo. :)
+1
level 51
Aug 24, 2018
I'm surprised it was so easy for me to get them all quick. Also, I thought Canada and Monaco will be on the list.
+2
level ∞
Aug 24, 2018
The IMF doesn't have data for Monaco, but according to the CIA World Factbook they are less expensive then the U.S. I'm not sure why. Obviously, the price of land isn't being taken into account, just the price of goods.
+1
level ∞
Aug 24, 2018
Canada would have been on the list a few years ago but their currency has fallen hard. Traveling in Canada is great for an American nowadays. It's like the whole country is 20% off.
+1
level 71
Aug 25, 2018
The markup on those Vatican chasubles has to be outrageous, though!
+3
level 47
Aug 29, 2018
Something about this data must be wrong, How does Liechtenstein appear but Monaco don't???
+1
level ∞
Sep 29, 2018
Liechtenstein uses the Swiss Franc and Monaco uses the Euro.
+1
level 23
Sep 16, 2018
forgot ireland and israel
+1
level 74
Sep 29, 2018
I can't forget paying $800 a month in Israel to sleep in what was essentially a closet. Other stuff there wasn't so expensive, though. Just the housing prices were out of control.
+1
level 74
Sep 29, 2018
In my experience Norway was substantially more expensive than Sweden, which was substantially more expensive than Finland, but I might not have had to buy some of the things that they consider when analyzing this.
+1
level 66
Sep 29, 2018
Meaningless quiz really, to imagine that people of Vanuatu for example, can go and live far cheaper in Monaco is quite laughable. A typical Monegasque citizen would spend more on their dinner than an average Vanuatan family would spend in a week.The minimum wage in VANUATU is monthly (US$280), this is for a 44 hour week, that equates to $70 per week ($10 per day to spend with no savings) MONACO: minimum monthly salary is USD 2,168 ($542 per week ($77 per day)........... go figure:
+2
level ∞
Sep 29, 2018
It's not about wages, it's about prices.
+1
level 61
Sep 29, 2018
There must be no data for Monaco and San Marino (Andorra too, perhaps) otherwise they surely would be on the list
+1
level 71
Oct 8, 2018
Andorra has quite low taxes
+2
level 52
Sep 29, 2018
Surprised to see Denmark above Norway. Prices in Norwegian grocery stores are way, way higher than in Denmark?!?
+1
level 74
Sep 29, 2018
I saw a different list not long ago where Switzerland was ranked as the #1 most expensive country and Norway was ranked #2. That list seemed to be more accurate. I also think Kuwait should probably be above the United States.
+1
level 30
Sep 30, 2018
all the answers I missed were in Oceania.
+2
level 48
Oct 1, 2018
If prices are compared to the USA already, it is ridiculous for us to assume that the USA will be an answer in the quiz itself. You should remove this.
+1
level 46
Nov 19, 2018
"Name the world's most expensive countries, based on the ratio of prices levels to those of the United States." I really didn't expect to see the US in this list of answers, I confess. I was looking for another country with the exact same level of prices... I tried Canada 10 times...