Ever wondered how different your life would be if you were born in another country? Or how much it would change if you were to move halfway across the world or to a neighbouring country now?

As people, we are prone to thinking about "what-ifs" and "if only's". Particularly so are those who travel and come to see how different lives are lived on this planet. Or, perhaps, you have been offered a job overseas and had to estimate how much it would cost to maintain your current lifestyle there. Wouldn't it be just great if someone did the legwork and compiled a database you could tap into for practical purposes or out of mere curiosity?

Good news - some savvy folks out there have created a few websites that compare and contrast the country you live in with other countries around the globe as well as calculate how much your life would cost in another city. These tools might come in pretty handy to get the general lay of the land, but It goes without saying that these comparisons are only rough assessments that should not be taken at absolute face value.


An avid traveller and a developer, Jason Horsely created MyLifeElsewhere to provide unique and fun statistics that compare the country he lives in with others around the world. The website uses statistical data points from the CIA Factbook, among many other public domain data sources and visually compares countries on many categories, including unemployment, electricity use, and life expectancy.

MyLifeElsewhere offers a neat tool to see not only what your life would have been life had you been born in another country, but also what differentiates your country from others as far as a code of conduct in concerned. These stats are filed under 'Worldwide Etiquette'. Some of these norms and customs include appropriate greetings, tipping, table manners, and general dos and don’ts in the selected country.

As it turns out, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I ran a quick comparison of Thailand and the United Kingdom - two completely different countries in terms of pretty much everything. Whereas you are 90.3% less likely to be unemployed in Thailand than in the UK, you'd also have a shorter life (74.18 years vs 80.42 years).


IfItWereMyHome also into the lottery of birth. The page compares living conditions in two selected countries with regard to factors such as class divide, income, chances of getting murdered, to name a few. All in all, this website has a big overlap with MyLifeElsewhere, although it does include some new categories as well as a short summary of the history of the country and other trivia.

For the sake of curiosity, I decided to see if two neighbouring countries - in this case, Chile and Argentina - would be drastically different. Apart from chances of being in prison and infant mortality rates, the two appear to be somewhat similar.


The world’s largest database of user-contributed data, Numbeo provides information on over 6,400 cities across the planet. It offers an online tool to calculate current housing prices, health care, grocery prices, among other things, which makes it relevant both for expats and long-term travellers alike.

Take a look at the example above (click pictures to enlarge). According to the Numbeo's data, New York is quite expensive: you'd pay at least $2,000 for a 1-bedroom flat in the city centre, whereas a monthly public transport pass costs $116.50. The lifestyle that costs around $4,000 a month in New York would go at only at $1,300 in Prague, where rental prices are 423.91% lower.


Similar to Numbeo, Expatistan too compares the cost of living between cities around the world. What makes this calculator different is that it accounts for prices of a wider range of non-essential items such as tickets to the cinema, a cup of cappuccino in an expat area of the city or an hourly rate for cleaning help. Such details might give a better understanding of the standard of living of any city before you relocate there.

For instance, I compared Paris and Seoul. On average, the former is 24% more expensive, especially when it comes to housing and entertainment.


NomadMe is an iPhone platform (sorry, Android users) for people who combine work and travel. Whether you are an expat or a remote worker, this app analyses cities from an incomer's point of view and provides information such as cost of living, climate, safety, tolerance, and so on. If you a digital nomad, the platform is your perfect reference guide as locations are rated in terms of their suitability for this lifestyle: the average cost of co-working spaces, internet speed, and free WiFi availability are also taken into consideration.

If you are not working at the moment, there is a separate section with available remote jobs. It is an extensive list of current vacancies ranging from graphic design to product managers to web developers.

> Download: iOS

Moving to another city or country? Take a look at my 13 tips for how to get your life started in a new place in this post.

Happy travels! x

#livingabroad #research #statistics #planning #moving #pretravel

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