Cost of Living in Chile
Expats will find the cost of living in Chile affordable and on par with that of a medium-sized USA city like Cleveland, or a European metropolis like Düsseldorf. While its political and economic stability means it's one of the more expensive South American countries, Chile still remains far cheaper than the continent's industrial giants of Brazil and Venezuela.
Expats moving to Chile's capital will find that the cost of living is reasonable but not particularly cheap. In Mercer's Cost of Living survey for 2016, Santiago was squarely in the middle of the pack with a ranking of 108 out of 209 countries. Still, Chile continues to boast one of the highest ratios of executive salary rates to cost of living. The latter factor is certainly a lure for expats but top management positions in multinational firms are especially coveted, so those planning to move to Chile shouldn't assume they'll be high-rolling all the way home.
Chile also claims one of the continent's largest wealth disparities, and while it's unlikely expats will ever toe the poverty line, it does mean that it's possible to pinch pennies if need be.
The purchasing power of foreign currencies like the US Dollar, Euro and British Pound is strong when compared to the Chilean Peso (CLP).
Cost of accommodation in Chile
Chile boasts a range of accommodation options and even top-quality housing tends to be affordable when compared to other global expat hotspots. Buying and renting prices in the country are among the cheapest in Latin America and a construction boom yielding sleek skyscrapers and an array of housing developments means that standards aren't sacrificed even in the face of lower costs.
There's also plenty of opportunity to negotiate incredibly cheap shared housing, either with a Chilean family or in a furnished space with other expats.
Cost of food in Chile
The cost of food in Chile registers as cheap on a global scale, but more expensive than in neighbouring South American countries like Peru and Argentina. Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables from the large central markets is a great way to save money and to sample the local flavour. Supermarket prices are slightly higher and buying typically Western, imported food items can be costly.
Cost of transport in Chile
Chile prides itself on its urban infrastructure and its systems of public transport are well connected and affordable. The country's main modes of transit are buses (micros) and the metro (in Santiago), both of which are efficient, safe and economical.
Taxis are more expensive and the drivers are notorious for ripping off foreigners. Fortunately, losing this small battle is a blip on the front of the larger cost-of-living war.
Cost of schooling in Chile
Cost of eating out and entertainment in Chile
Eating out is a popular pastime in Chile and won't necessarily run your bank balance dry. Many restaurants in Chile offer two-course set lunch menus at an appetisingly low price, and dinner in a moderately priced Chilean restaurant, including multiple courses and alcohol, also amounts to a manageable fare. Tickets for prime seats at the theatre cost about the same as eating out, while tickets to local cinema are much cheaper.
Cost of living in Chile chart
Prices may vary across Chile, depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Santiago in October 2017.
|Accommodation (monthly rent in good area)|
|One-bedroom apartment in the city center||280,000 CLP|
|One-bedroom apartment outside of the city center||300,000 CLP|
|Three-bedroom apartment in the city center||550,000 CLP|
|Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city center||470,000 CLP|
|Eggs (dozen)||CLP 2,000|
|Milk (1 litre)||CLP 750|
|Rice (1kg)||CLP 800|
|Loaf of white bread||CLP 900|
|Chicken breasts (1kg)||CLP 3,250|
|Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)||CLP 3,300|
|Big Mac Meal||CLP 3,800|
|Coca-Cola (330ml)||CLP 825|
|Bottle of local beer||CLP 1,500|
|Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant||CLP 28,000|
|Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)||CLP 95|
|Internet (per month)||CLP 23,000|
|Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)||CLP 100,000|
|Taxi rate (per kilometre)||CLP 650|
|Bus/train fare in the city center||CLP 700|
|Petrol/gasoline (per litre)||CLP 750|