Cost of Living in Uruguay



In 2005, The Economist ranked Uruguay as the 6th Latin American nation with the highest quality of life. The media company also placed Uruguay on the 46th spot among 111 countries in the same survey. Expats in the country, especially Americans, enjoy a relatively low cost of living. The public transport system is safe and efficient, and local foods are organically grown and affordable.

The average monthly budget for a family of four is $1,791, based on 2013 prices. Groceries and other household essentials, such as cleaning products, cost $351. Transportation, communication and a cable television subscription cost $130 each month while the internet is for $30. The electricity consumption of a four-member household is for $160 per month. Monthly leisure expenses such as movie tickets, weekly visits to coffee shops and bars cost less than $400. Many expats hire household help for a monthly fee of $350. The full-time maid performs all-around-tasks including house cleaning, cooking and laundry.

A two-bedroom apartment may be rented out for $732 each month; the rate is lower outside the capital city of Montevideo. Foreigners are allowed to purchase real estate properties under Uruguayan laws. A brand new house in Montevideo may be acquired for $100,000 or less. The coastal areas offer beachfront property options for about $91 per square foot. A high-end apartment in Punta del Este, an upscale beach resort, costs about $186 per square foot. The beachfront city of Piriápolis, a half-hour away from Punta del Este, is an excellent alternative for buyers and tenants.

Health insurance plans in Uruguay are significantly cheaper compared with those in the US. In an interview with the Huffington Post, US expats Roger and Candy remarked that the Latin American nation is one of the world’s best places to live in. "Just to give you an idea, we pay $17,000 a year for health insurance in the States. In Uruguay we pay $1,700 a year and that's for an apples-to-apples comparison,” Roger said. The couple lauded the excellent health care and premium quality of life, at lower costs.

Aside from the high quality of life and low cost of living, Uruguay offers a wide range of job opportunities in construction, mining and energy. Despite widespread slowdown in the region, Uruguay’ unemployment rate is at a record low of 6.1%. The monthly salary is set at a minimum rate of $390 (7,920 pesos) while the hourly rate currently stands at $1.87 for a standard workweek of 48 hours.



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