The Cost of Living in Colombia vs. the United States

Dreaming of a vibrant new life with more bang for your buck? Then comparing the cost of living in Colombia and the United States might be on your mind. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:

Overall Picture:

  • Colombia: Generally 70% cheaper than the US, ranking 127th in global cost of living. Monthly expenses average $1,000-$2,000, offering a comfortable lifestyle for many.
  • United States: Ranked 6th in global cost of living, with an average monthly cost of $2,441. While salaries are generally higher, living expenses can feel quite demanding.

Let’s Dig Deeper:


  • Colombia: Renting an apartment in a major city like Medellín can cost $300-$600/month, while buying a house starts around $100,000. Affordability varies greatly depending on location and desired amenities.
  • United States: Renting a similar apartment in a major city like New York could cost $2,000-$4,000/month, while house prices typically start around $300,000+.

Food & Groceries:

  • Colombia: Fresh produce, local staples, and eating out are significantly cheaper in Colombia. Expect to pay $200-$400/month for groceries and dining out.
  • United States: Groceries and dining out can easily cost $500-$800/month, even without indulging in expensive restaurants.

Utilities & Transportation:

  • Colombia: Utilities like electricity, water, and internet are generally cheaper than in the US, averaging around $50-$80/month. Public transportation is affordable and efficient.
  • United States: Utility costs vary by location but can easily reach $100-$200/month. Owning a car adds significant expense for gas, insurance, and maintenance.


  • Colombia: Basic healthcare is affordable with public insurance options. Private insurance, offering wider coverage, comes at a moderate cost.
  • United States: Healthcare costs are notoriously high, often requiring expensive insurance plans, copays, and deductibles.

Here’s a table comparing the cost of living in Colombia vs. the United States:

CategoryColombiaUnited States
Rent (1-bedroom apartment in city center)$300 – $500$1,200 – $2,500
Utilities (electricity, heating, water, etc.)$50 – $100$150 – $300
Groceries$150 – $250$300 – $600
Eating Out (meal for two at a mid-range restaurant)$15 – $30$40 – $80
Transportation (monthly pass)$25 – $40$70 – $150
Gasoline (per gallon)$2.50 – $3.50$3.00 – $5.00
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data)$20 – $40$50 – $100
Healthcare (private insurance)$50 – $150$300 – $800
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter)$1.50 – $3.00$4.00 – $7.00
Cinema Ticket$3.00 – $6.00$10.00 – $15.00

Things to Consider:

  • Lifestyle: Your desired lifestyle significantly impacts costs. Living in a tourist hotspot or indulging in Western luxuries will raise your expenses in Colombia.
  • Salary: While your cost of living might be lower, so might your earning potential in Colombia compared to the US. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
  • Location: Costs vary greatly within both countries. Research specific cities and regions to get a more accurate picture.

Remember: This is just a general overview. Individual experiences can vary greatly. Research thoroughly, consider your priorities, and factor in your personal circumstances before making any decisions.

Additional Resources:

I hope this helps!

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