Cost of Living

What is 'Cost of Living'

The amount of money needed to sustain a certain level of living, including basic expenses such as housing, food, taxes, and healthcare. Cost of living is often used when comparing how expensive it is to live in one city versus another.

BREAKING DOWN 'Cost of Living'

Cost of living can be a significant factor in personal wealth accumulation because a smaller salary can go further in a city where it doesn't cost a lot to get by, while a large salary can seem insufficient in an expensive city. According to Mercer's 2009 Cost of Living Survey, cities with a high cost of living as of 2009 included Tokyo, Osaka, Moscow, Geneva, Hong Kong, Zürich, Copenhagen and New York City. Other American cities with a high cost of living as of 2009 included Honolulu, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How is the cost of living index calculated?

    Discover how calculations for cost of living indexes are made based on the average prices of common goods and services between ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between the cost of living and the cost of inflation?

    Increases in the general price level is called inflation, whereas cost of living is an estimate of the cost of an average ... Read Answer >>
  3. Is the consumer price index (CPI) a cost of living index?

    Explore the consumer price index (CPI) and understand why it is not an actual cost of living index although it is often identified ... Read Answer >>
  4. Where is cost of living lowest in the world?

    Learn how the cost of living is the lowest in India based on numbers derived from the CPI and organizations like Expatistan ... Read Answer >>
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