Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Minimum salary vs. cost and quality of living in the EU

Based on minimum EU salaries by Eurostat and FedEE, and Mercer’s Cost of Living and Quality of Living surveys, the following table compares them side-by-side so anyone considering a move to the EU can get a general idea of where a country stands. It is not an analysis of any kind.

Be aware that the rankings done by Mercer were based on hard factors that could be measured (garbage services, air quality, access to education, etc.) and considered the most comprehensive in the world. However, quality of living never takes into account an individual’s personal preference, as it is completely subjective and impossible to quantify. i.e. One man’s castle is another man’s ghetto.

*Article last updated July 1, 2013

How to read the table

Any country marked with an asterisk (*) had several cities present in both the cost of living and quality of living surveys, however I used the highest ranked city, so it may not be representative of overall cost. For example, Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but Lyon ranked high in quality of living but very low in cost — the complete opposite of Paris, even though it is also in France.

In the cost of living column, the first number represents the rank amongst the 27 EU countries only, followed by the actual rank worldwide in parentheses (#). Quality of living is expressed the same way. So if looking only at the EU, Italy and Greece are 3 spots apart in quality of living at 14 and 17, respectively; however, on a worldwide scale, there is actually a much wider margin with Italy placing #49 and Greece at #78.

* Post is based on a suggestion from DealsEnd

Minimum salary vs. Cost and Quality of living rankings

Country Salary Cost of living
Quality of Living
The “Big 15″
1. Denmark 1 2
(#6)
3
(#11)
2. Luxembourg 2 14
(#43)
6
(#18 )
3. Ireland 3 5
(#16)
8
(#27)
4. Sweden 4 8
(#20)
7
(#20)
5. UK * 5 1
(#2)
11
(#39)
6. Netherlands 6 9
(#25)
4
(#13)
7. Germany * 7 13
(#40)
2
(#5)
8. Belgium 8 15
(#44)
5
(#14)
9. France * 9 4
(#13)
10
(#33)
10. Finland 10 7
(#22)
9
(#30)
11. Austria 11
6
(#19)
1
(#3)
12. Italy * 12 3
(#11)
14
(#49)
13. Spain * 13 10
(#26)
12
(#41)
14. Greece 14 11
(#29)
17
(#78 )
15. Portugal 17 17
(#66)
13
(#47)
Newer members
16. Malta 15 No rank No rank
17. Slovenia 16 20
(#76)
18
(#80)
18. Cyprus 18 25
(#118 )
22
(#91)
19. Czech Republic 19 16
(#49)
15
(#72)
20. Hungary 20 18
(#70)
16
(#74)
21. Poland 21 No rank 20
(#85)
22. Estonia 22 21
(#90)
21
(#89)
23. Slovakia 23 12
(#31)
24
(#99)
24. Lithuania 24 24
(#116)
19
(#82)
25. Latvia 25 19
(#72)
23
(#92)
26. Romania 26 22
(#96)
25
(#108 )
27. Bulgaria 27 23
(#108 )
26
(#116)

*Croatia is an EU member state as of July 1, 2013.

Sourced from previous articles

“Minimum salaries in the EU
Quality of Living rankings” by Mercer
Cost of Living rankings” by Mercer

Author’s Note

Comparisons such as these are provided for the convenience of readers who may be interested. I myself do not compare countries as a general rule because I believe it is important to visit a country and match its conditions to what your personal priorities, circumstances and goals are now and in the future.

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