Cost of living in Bolivia, prices and what it is like to live for an Expat, quality of life / hardship, and compare cost of living for Expatriates as at April 2020. What is it like to live in Bolivia?
Bolivia is in Central South America, southwest of Brazil.
The climate varies with altitude from humid and tropical to cold and semi arid.
The official language is Spanish. Bolivian Spanish – which is generally spoken slowly and clearly – is considered one of the easiest Latin American accents to understand. The indigenous Quechua and Aymara languages are widely spoken outside business circles.
The main religion is Christianity.
The economy of Bolivia is characterised by the lowest GDP per capita in South America. However, the country is rich in natural resources and has the second largest natural gas reserves in South America. Bolivia is also estimated to have 50%-70% of the worlds lithium.
Bolivians are generally tolerant of expatriates, however xenophobic and openly racist sentiments are not uncommon. Formal expatriate dress code is the norm. Expatriate businesswomen are likely to be treated with consideration, however harassment of a sexual nature is not uncommon. The safety risk for expatriates in Bolivia is medium. Risks include opportunistic theft, car theft, burglaries, clashes between demonstrators and safety forces, as well as violent crime primarily in impoverished urban areas. Other risks include floods and landslides during the rainy season.
The currency of Bolivia is the Bolivian Boliviano (BOB). Banking facilities, including ATM's are good in all main cities.
Health care facilities in major cities are generally good and acceptable, however elsewhere facilities may not meet acceptable standards. Cases of Zika virus have been reported. Dengue Fever and Malaria is common.
The population is 11.2 Million (2019 est.), and the inflation rate (CPI) is 1.3% for Bolivia as at February 2020.
The Xpatulator Hypothetical Tax for Bolivia is based on the current personal income tax rate which is a flat rate of 13%.
Within Bolivia we also cover
Cost Of Living
What is the cost of living in Bolivia?
The cost of living for expatriates in Bolivia as at April 2020 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. We have collected prices for the same items, world wide, based on Expat spending norms, in or closest to the location, and converted them to $USD so that we can compare the cost of 13 different baskets in 780 global locations. For each basket, compared to New York, the equivalent cost in Bolivia is as follows:
1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$740. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$6.11, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$2.26, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$3.04 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$2.82. 2) Clothing: for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$650. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$52, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$73, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$64 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$42. 3) Communication: for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile service provider tariff and data costs. A basket costing USD$200 in New York costs USD$286. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$58, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.16 per minute. 4) Education: for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30000 in New York costs USD$20700. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$13,413 for Primary School, and USD$14,927 for High School. 5) Furniture & Appliances: for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2500 in New York costs USD$1600. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$627, and USD$538 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV. 6) Groceries: for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$490. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$2.48, 1 kg oranges USD$0.98, 1 head lettuce USD$0.66, 1 kg potatos USD$1.14, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$4.02, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$5.29, 1 dozen large eggs USD$1.79, 500g loaf white bread USD$1.59, 1 L full cream milk USD$1.20, and 1.5 L water USD$1.27. 7) Healthcare: for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$520. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$42, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,304. 8) Household Accommodation: for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5000 in New York costs USD$1000. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$1,247 in a central location, and USD$813 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities. 9) Miscellaneous: for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$230. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$4.50, while an international newspaper is USD$1.39. 10) Personal Care: for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$240. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$19, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$97. 11) Recreation & Culture: for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$285. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$8.46, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$57 per month. 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$410. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$3.06, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.05, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$6.58, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$22.56. 13) Transport: for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$480. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$0.56, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$15,907. How does the cost of living in Bolivia compare?
Bolivia is -34.4% cheaper than USA for groceries, -64.5% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 1.1% more expensive for transport costs than India.
What is the quality of life / hardship in Bolivia?
Bolivia is ranked as an extreme hardship location.The hardship premium for Bolivia for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Bolivia) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.
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