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This Country Has the Lowest Cost of Living in Europe — Making It Perfect for Retirees and Digital Nomads

Spain has the best cost of living compared to 13 other European destinations.

<p>Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images</p>

Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images

Everything doesn’t just feel more expensive these days. Everything, in fact, is actually more expensive. From food to housing, the cost of most goods in the U.S. is on the rise, and it’s a similar situation in the United Kingdom, which saw the annual rate of inflation reach 11.1 percent in 2022, marking a 41-year high. This all may make now the perfect time to take the leap and move abroad specifically, to this sunny country on the Iberian Peninsula, which was just revealed to have the lowest cost of living in Europe.

In January, Property Guides, a website dedicated to helping people purchase property abroad, released its Cost of Living Overseas Index, which, as the name implies, analyzed the cost of living across 13 countries compared to the United Kingdom. After looking at the data, Property Guides named Spain the top spot for those looking to live on less.

To come to this conclusion, the researchers compared “everyday living expenses” to give a realistic look at what “living,” not just “visiting,” a destination really costs. The team called this its “basket” of goods and services, which included everything from the cost of a liter of milk and a loaf of bread, along with the cost of setting up a new home, the cost of a house cleaner, local gas prices, and even the cost of a Netflix subscription in each nation, along with the cost of movie tickets to keep yourself occupied.

“We found Spain to have the lowest cost of living compared to the other countries analyzed,” the team wrote in the findings. “To put that into context for U.K. buyers, the same ‘basket of goods’ that cost £1,996 (about $2,500) in the UK costs just £1,295 (about $1,621) in Spain.”

The team also noted that food and pantry staples in Spain, including bread, butter, milk, apples, dog food, chocolate, and laundry detergent, are far cheaper than in the other nations it analyzed. “It probably comes as no surprise that the same basket of supermarket essentials costs 53 percent more in the U.K. than in Spain,” the team explained. “Most notably, dog food, gin, and dark chocolate are more than double the price in the U.K. compared to Spain.”

The team named Italy as the second cheapest place to live in terms of cost of living, followed by Portugal, Greece, and Germany rounding out the top 5.

See where all the nations analyzed fell and the full cost of living report at propertyguides.com

Related: The Best Time to Visit Spain for Great Weather and Famous Festivals

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