International Cost of Living Calculators

2021 International cost of living and hardship / quality of living data for 780 global locations.

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Latvia, All Areas

Latvia, All Areas

Cost of living in Latvia, prices and what it is like to live for an Expat, quality of life / hardship, and compare cost of living for Expatriates as at July 2021.

What is it like to live in Latvia?

Climate: The climate is maritime with wet, moderate winters.

Language: The official language is Latvian. Latvian and Russian are the main languages, while Russian and English are most commonly used in international business meetings. Some younger-generation Latvians, particularly in Riga, speak excellent English. German and French are also spoken. Visitors should be sensitive about using Russian and German, which can offend people because of memories of Latvia's occupation by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Use English first before venturing other languages.

Religion: Christianity.

Economy: The economy of Latvia was until the middle of 2008 the fastest growing economy in Europe. It has had high GDP growth since 2000. In 2003, GDP growth was 7.5% and inflation was 2.9%. Unemployment was 8.8% in 2003, almost unchanged compared to the previous two years. Privatization is mostly complete, except for some of the large state-owned utilities. In May 2004, Latvia joined the European Union.

Inflation: 3.7% for Latvia as at August 2021.

Money: The currency of Latvia is the Euro (EUR). All major credit cards are accepted and there are plenty of ATMs.

Tax: In Latvia is based on the current personal income tax rates which are progressive up to 31%.

Population: 1.9 Million (2020 est.)

Expat Life: Latvians are generally somewhat reserved, but hospitable. Expatriate dress code is conservative, comprising suits. Businesswomen are expected to dress conservatively. The safety risk for expatriates in Latvia is low. Risks include low levels of petty crime and car theft. Other risks include harassment, particularly of people belonging to visible ethnic and religious minority groups.

Health Care: Health care facilities are good, however the cost of treatment for expatriates from outside the EU can be high.

Latvia covers all areas within the country other than Riga.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Latvia?

The cost of living for expatriates in Latvia as at July 2021 is low in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 61.37 (New York =100). 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 Latvia is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is low for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$650. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$8.13, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$1.46, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$1.87 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$5.38.

2) Clothing: Cost is low for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$770. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$62, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$73, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$92 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$36.

3) Communication: Cost is high 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$262. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$17, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.10 per minute.

4) Education: Cost is high for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30,000 in New York costs USD$30000. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$19,476 for Primary School, and USD$21,673 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is very high for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2,500 in New York costs USD$2875. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$819, and USD$703 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is low for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$550. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$1.46, 1 kg oranges USD$1.92, 1 head lettuce USD$1.37, 1 kg potatos USD$0.61, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$7.23, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$9.05, 1 dozen large eggs USD$2.34, 500g loaf white bread USD$1.18, 1 L full cream milk USD$1.25, and 1.5 L water USD$0.86.

7) Healthcare: Cost is very low for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$430. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$35, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,064.

8) Household Accommodation: Cost is very low for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5,000 in New York costs USD$1300. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$1,142 in a central location, and USD$771 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is high for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$415. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$8.07, while an international newspaper is USD$2.48.

10) Personal Care: Cost is very low for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$215. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$17, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$86.

11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is very high for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$520. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$10.83, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$45 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is average for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$570. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$3.08, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.33, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$6.77, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$49.44.

13) Transport: Cost is average for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$820. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$1.33, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$19,200.

How does the cost of living in Latvia compare?

Latvia is -33.3% cheaper than USA for groceries, -62.8% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 57.5% more expensive for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Latvia?

Latvia is ranked as a high degree of hardship location.The hardship premium for Latvia for an expat from Australia, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Latvia) premium of 30% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.

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