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How Does Uruguay’s Cost of Living Compare to Other Countries?

The favorable cost of living in Uruguay is establishing this small nation as an inexpensive yet modern country for Americans to move to or to buy second vacation homes and timeshare condos.  Besides being a beautiful country with all the amenities of modern cities in the United States, Uruguay has a much lower cost of living.

Compare living in Montevideo, UY with living in Los Angeles, CA:
- Consumer prices in Montevideo are 34.68% lower than Los Angeles
- Rent in Montevideo is 68.20% cheaper than LA
- Restaurant prices in Montevideo are 24.44% less than LA
- Groceries in Montevideo are 50.28% cheaper than LA
- Overall local purchasing power in Montevideo is 68.92% less than LA

That’s an average of nearly 50% cheaper to live in Uruguay than in Los Angeles!

What Makes Living in Uruguay Affordable?

People who decide to move to Uruguay have discovered that they can live very comfortably on a fixed retirement income and social security.  Income that is generated outside of the country is not taxed by the Uruguay government.  The early part of this decade showed Uruguay’s previous economic growth of 5-8% annually was somewhat affected by the global economic crisis of 2008-09.  However, the country was able to restructure its debt and avoided a recession. 



The index is steadily increasing through wise government spending, a business-friendly environment and tax structure, as well as an active world-wide campaign to draw new businesses to the country.  While there are a few things that are more expensive, such as automobiles and electronics (other than computers), Uruguay is rapidly entering the “age of communication” with high-speed Internet and digital electronics and television.

Uruguay has excellent health care, and insurance for private hospitals runs about $50-$85 a month with public hospitals' insurance costing about $90-$260 per month.  Even care without insurance is less expensive than paying for US insurance premiums.

Groceries and restaurant prices are about one-third less than in the US as well.

Foreigners Have More Money to Spend

Generally, people from other countries who migrate to Uruguay to visit or to become residents have greater income than the local working population.  The average monthly earning of a Uruguayan is $600, whereas most expatriates earn far greater with social security and retirement pensions that they have brought with them. 

In addition, the Uruguay government does not tax anyone’s income unless it was generated within the country.  So those US incomes are not taxed again while living in Uruguay. Obtaining a visa or working permit is not difficult in Uruguay either.

Even though Uruguay could be considered an emerging nation, American expatriates can live in luxury accommodations, eat healthy foods, enjoy a variety of activities, have good health care, and have all the amenities they would expect in a modern, developed country.  All this, and they can still live on fixed incomes generated in the United States. 

Is it no wonder that Uruguay is listed among the top 10 nations in the world to live?


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