Cost of Living in Brazil



With pristine beaches, a glorious sunrise to wake you and a gentle ocean breeze blowing in your face, Brazil can seem like a version of paradise for many expatriates.

Real Estate

Compared to many Western countries, property for sale in Brazil is priced reasonably, and Brazilian real estate laws protect both foreign and local owners. Foreign nationals can easily buy property in Brazil, as property process, taxes and maintenance costs are low. Expats will need to have a CPF number (Cadastro das Pessoas Físicas) which serves as a social security number for taxation purposes. To get the CPF number, simply visit the nearest Brazilian embassy in your home country and apply for one.

When looking for property, expats can look through real estate listings in the newspapers or the assistance of a realtor. Note that realtors registered under Conselho Federal de Corretores de Imoveis or COFECI can help you find the most suitable property.

Housing in big cities in Brazil can be expensive. Monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment with an attached bathroom costs R$45,300 to R$300 while monthly rent for a 2-bedroom furnished apartment costs R$125,214.00 to R$1878.21. Expats who want a 3-bedroom fully furnished apartment will find that it will cost R$262,949.40 to R$2184.98 in monthly rent.

Expats will need to note that renting an apartment will require payment of property taxes, utility bills, and a maintenance fee. The prices vary depending on the apartment and the location.


Contracts for apartments may include the cost of electricity, gas, and water in the monthly rent. The price for internet connection is high, costing R$59.90 to R$99.99, although the price can vary depending on the speed. Other monthly utilities to consider involve electricity usage, which costs an average of R$150.


Per month, expats should allocate R$450 for food. For an idea of food costs, one daily menu in the business district costs R$28 while a dinner for two in an Italian restaurant with wine and dessert costs R$213. Expats who want fast-food can order 1 Big Mac Meal for R$18 to R$22.

Dining in other kinds of restaurants can come with varying price ranges, from R$5 to R$50. Note that a service charge of 10% is added to your bill. A loaf of bread costs R$1.50, 5 kilogrammes of rice R$17.00, 1 kilogramme of potatoes R$2.48 and a dozen eggs can be bought for R$5.89. A 1.5 litre of bottled water costs R$2.50 and beers cost between R$1 and R$5.


The cities have a variety of public transportation methods available for all residents. A metered taxi costs R$3.50 per kilometre and a one-way bus ride is R$2.30. The cost of a monthly ticket for public transportation is R$171 while one inner city bus ticket costs R$2.75 to R$3.25

In Brazil, millions of residents use flex-fuel cars that run on either gasoline or ethanol (or a mixture of both). The cost of gas can range from R$ 2.95 to R$3.26. Gas can be more costly in some states due to a higher level of sales tax, which has resulted in some drivers switching back to gasoline.


Brazil has one of the highest tax rates in the world. Income tax rates are progressive from 7.5% to as high as 27.5% depending on income. For an annual income of over R$240,000 or USD$110,000, a 10% surtax is levied. Any income generated in Brazil or overseas is subject to taxation unless a Double Taxation Treaty is in place between Brazil and your home country. All income tax returns are filed in April. The 2009 corporate tax is 34%.

For affluent employees in Brazil, the annual income, is around 180,000 Brazilian Real to 1 million Real, while middle working class has an annual income of R$18,000 to R$180,000. Monthly, the average salary earned is R$10,923.



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