Cost of living in Spain Compared to the Rest of the World

Shreya

Updated on Dec 26 • 12 minute read

Of the several reasons to move to Spain, one of the most irresistable reasons is the cheap cost of living. You can enjoy a high quality of life in Spain with a relatively cheap cost of living compared to the rest of Europe. But how does Spain’s cost of living compare to your country?

In this article, we’ll explore how much rent, utilities, public transportation, groceries, and leisure cost in Spain compared to the USA, UK, Canada, India, Ireland, Portugal, and South Africa. After reading this, you’ll have a good idea if moving to Spain makes financial sense for you or not.

Understanding Spain’s cost of living in relation to the average salary

You can’t truly assess the cost of living without knowing the average salary. After all, the average salary that people receive is usually a good estimate of the cost of living.

The average salary in Spain in 2021 is €2,710. And depending on which city you plan to live in, the average salary can range from €3,130 in Barcelona to €2,690 in Bilbao.

To put it in global standards, the adjusted disposable income in Spain is $23,999 per year compared to the OECD average of $33,604 per year. But as you’ll see below, even though Spain’s average salary is lower than the global average, it’s still enough for living comfortably in Spain.

How much does it cost to live in Spain?

With an average salary of €2,710 per month, you’ll find that Spain is really as affordable as everyone says.

If you’re by yourself, you can live on €1000 per month in Spain. This includes room rent, groceries, health insurance, rare use of public transport, eating out a few times a month and shopping moderately.

If want to eat out regularly, shop frequently, and travel in or around the country, then a budget of €1700 is enough to live comfortably.

Families with children should budget €2,200 to €2,881 per month. This includes the cost of groceries, rent and utilities, public transport, shopping, education/pre-school, and insurances.

The average cost of living also depends on which Spanish city you decide to live in.

Now that you know the average cost of living in Spain per month, it’s time to see how it compares to the rest of the world.

Cost of living in Spain vs the USA

US citizens moving to Spain, either for work, study or retirement, are going to love the lower living expenses in Spain.

Even if you move from an expensive city such as New York or San Francisco to one of Spain’s more expensive cities such as Barcelona, you’ll have to pay a lot less for the same things. This is especially true if you’re planning to work remotely and earn in USD.

ItemAverage cost in Spain ($ USD)
Rent- 1 bedroom$642
Rent- Apartment$991
Utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet, phone)$188
Public Transport (1 way ticket)$1.64
Groceries (per week)$113
Meal for 2$45
Beer (0.5l)$3
Gym Membership$43
Haircut$13
Health Insurance (per month)$0 (public insurance)
Daycare$410

On average, the cost of living in Spain is 123% cheaper than in the USA. The biggest differences in cost are in rent, utilities, groceries, daycare, and health insurance.

Cost of living in Spain vs the UK

Spain has been and continues to be a relatively popular destination for the British. More and more Brits are planning to move to Spain after Brexit to enjoy the warmer temperatures, beautiful beaches and cheap cost of life.

ItemAverage cost in Spain (£)
Rent- 1 bedroom£480
Rent- Apartment£743
Utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet, phone)£142.60
Public Transport (1 way ticket)£1.30
Groceries (per week)£84
Meal for 2£32
Beer (0.5l)£2.50
Gym Membership£31
Haircut£9
Health Insurance (per month)£0 (public insurance)
Daycare£310

On average, the cost of living in Spain is 114% cheaper than in the UK. The biggest differences in cost are in cost in rent, utilities, and daycare.

Cost of living in Spain vs Canada

There’re a few similarities between Canada and Spain, such as beautiful nature, friendly people, and great healthcare. But perhaps what gives Spain an edge is its cheaper cost of living, access to healthier food, and warmer climate for those looking to get away from Canada’s winters.

ItemAverage cost in Spain ($ CAD)
Rent- 1 bedroom$750
Rent- Apartment$1271
Utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet, phone)$241
Public Transport (1 way ticket)$2.15
Groceries (per week)$145
Meal for 2$54
Beer (0.5l)$3.60
Gym Membership$53
Haircut$17
Health Insurance (per month)$0 (public insurance)
Daycare$530

On average, the cost of living in Spain is 59% cheaper than in Canada. Although gym memberships and utility bills can be slightly more expensive in Spain, you’ll find the biggest differences in cost in rent, groceries, alcoholic drinks, and daycare.

Cost of living in Spain vs India

Moving to Spain from India will initially feel heavy on your pocket. After all, the Euro is stronger than the Rupee. But as you’ve figured by now, Spain is one of the most cost-friendly European destinations to relocate to. And once you’re earning in Euros with your new job in Spain, you’ll stop converting Rupees to Euros every time you make a purchase.

ItemAverage cost in Spain (₹)
Rent- 1 bedroom₹48,000
Rent- Apartment₹74,504
Utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet, phone)₹14,206
Public Transport (1 way ticket)₹125
Groceries (per week)₹5,688
Meal for 2₹3,200
Beer (0.5l)₹220
Gym Membership₹3,200
Haircut₹990
Health Insurance (per month)₹0 (public insurance)
Daycare₹31,000

On average, the cost of living in Spain is 285% more expensive than in India. Both the average rental and utilities costs are approximately 275% more expensive in Spain than in India. Costs that don’t differ too much include the cost of beer and groceries.

Cost of living in Spain vs Ireland

Since Ireland uses 2 currencies, you can estimate the average cost of living in Spain depending on where you’re from. If you’re from Northern Ireland, you can have a look at the UK section to see how much the cost of living is in Pounds.

If you’re from the Republic of Ireland, you can compare the cost of living in Spain vs Ireland in Euros below. Luckily for you, living in Spain is going to be cheaper!

ItemAverage cost in Spain (€)
Rent- 1 bedroom€560
Rent- Apartment€875
Utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet, phone)€166
Public Transport (1 way ticket)€1.45
Groceries (per week)€67
Meal for 2€40
Beer (0.5l)€2.50
Gym Membership€37
Haircut€11
Health Insurance€0 (public insurance)
Daycare€360

On average, the cost of living in Spain is 106% cheaper than in Ireland.

Cost of living in Spain vs Portugal

Spain and Portugal have very similar cost of living. While Portugal tends to be on the cheaper side for most things, it’s also possible to have a cheaper cost of living in some Spanish cities.

ItemAverage cost in Spain (€)
Rent- 1 bedroom€560
Rent- Apartment€875
Utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet, phone)€166
Public Transport (1 way ticket)€1.45
Groceries (per week)€70
Meal for 2€40
Beer (0.5l)€2.50
Gym Membership€37
Haircut€11
Health Insurance€0 (public insurance)
Daycare€360

*Non-EU citizens residing temporarily in Portugal (e.g. non permanent resident visa holders) cannot get free coverage under the public health care system. If you belong to this category, the cost of health insurance is €30- €50 a month.

On average, the cost of living in Spain is 4.3% more expensive than in Portugal, with Spain being cheaper on average for public transport and grocery costs.

Cost of living in Spain vs South Africa

For those wishing to move to Spain from South Africa, you’ll find that the cost of living in Spain is higher. But this higher cost of living brings along a higher quality of life. You can expect to earn more, see lower unemployment, get better access to healthier food, have a longer life expectancy, have access to more coastlines, and much more.

ItemAverage cost in Spain (R)
Rent- 1 bedroomR10,040
Rent- ApartmentR15,500
Utilities (gas, water, electricity, internet, phone)R2,953
Public Transport (1 way ticket)R25.70
Groceries (per week)R1,178
Meal for 2R708
Beer (0.5l)R30
Gym MembershipR650
HaircutR193
Health InsuranceR0 (public insurance)
DaycareR6,380

On average, the cost of living in Spain is 32% more expensive than in South Africa; the cost of utilities, public transport, groceries, alcoholic drinks are relatively similar.

Cost of living in Spain compared to the world

If you're coming from a country where the cost of living is more expensive, you will certainly enjoy a cheaper cost of living in Spain. But keep in mind that if you're earning in Spain, your salary will (most likely) be lower than what you earned back home. But this shouldn't be a problem if you plan to spend most of your time and money in Spain. And for some people, quality of life matters more than how much they earn.

If you're coming from a country where the cost of living is cheaper than that of Spain's, it's normal to feel a bit overwhelmed initially. But once you start earning in Spain, you'll be able to enjoy life just like the locals. This includes access to some incredible services and places; Spain's worldclass free healthcare, a family and pet friendly country, a great variety of landscapes, and some of the best cities in the world.

And no matter which country you're from, you can take advantage of Spain's favourable tax laws for expats– Beckham Law and Dual taxation laws. By using these, you'll be able to save money on taxes and have a bit more spending power than the locals. What's not to love?

Please reach out to content@housinganywhere.com if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

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