Mexico is a wonderfully geographically and culturally diverse country. From the gentle rolling waves of the Caribbean to the cliff-infused Pacific coast, the country is a dream for many – and one that is attainable for most. 

According to a statistical analysis conducted by Numbeo taking into account the cost of living, property & rental prices, quality of life, accessibility to food, and other parameters, Mexico is in the 108th position in terms of cost of life – out of 138 countries.

Expatistan, a database comparing the cost of living between countries, analyzes common indicators such as housing, clothes, transportation, and personal care. Each indicator is further divided into subcategories. For example, housing is divided into ownership and rental, and further rated as being in expensive, moderate, or in less fortunate areas.

When comparing statistics between Mexico and its neighbor to the north, the results are staggering. According to Expatistan, Mexico is on average 98% cheaper than the United States, with some indicators being a whopping 200% higher. The notable exceptions to this rule are gas prices per liter and whole fat milk, which both remain slightly cheaper in the United States.

Looking in more detail at each indicator, food is 62% more expensive in the United States. Not only food is more expensive, but, according to many, its traditional flavors are also less diverse. The gastronomic regional variety of Mexican cuisine, its street-level accessibility, and the easy availability of fresh products further contribute to painting a cheaper and qualitatively more satisfying gastronomy experience south of the border.

Housing in the United States is a staggering 181% more expensive on average than in Mexico. When analyzing rental markets, however, caution should be exercised. While on average US houses cost more, popular locations such as Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, and other tourism destinations, may exhibit comparable or higher prices than the rest of the country in relation to their popularity, location and beauty.

Clothes are “only” 27% more expensive in the United States. Costs for automobiles, SUVs, and trucks are generally 20-30% higher; public transportation, another indicator, is also far more expansive in the US than in Mexico (a staggering 168% difference) and widely more available. Personal care products, medicines, and prime necessities such as toothpaste and deodorants cement the difference between the two countries with a Mexican lead of 117% (less expensive).

While capturing the essence of what each country offers in terms of quality of life is a complex exercise not solely based on costs, these financial analyses showcase Mexico as a pointedly cost-effective destination, one where your dollar has approximately 1x to 2x more purchasing power which can impact dramatically on the quality of life and help bring early retirement a little closer to reality.