Few would disagree that Austria is one of the best places in the world to live in terms of quality of life – but at what cost? The World Bank's International Comparison Program offers some answers, showing that out of 179 countries, Austria is 40.6% above the average. Outside of Europe, only three countries are more expensive: Australia, Japan and Canada.
Statistics Austria analysed the cost of living in Austria, and found that one of the most significant aspects was the rising cost of food, which increased by 3.4% in 2013 – more than the rate of inflation at 3.2%.
Compounding the problem were increases in energy costs, with electricity increasing by 4.5% and heating by 4.2%. Rents kept pace with inflation, sitting at 3.2%.
Within Europe, Austria is – based on 2011 data – only slightly above the average. Switzerland costs 117.1 percent higher than the global average, followed by Norway with 108.5 percent and Denmark at 89.7 percent.
Also significantly more expensive than Austria is life in Sweden, which is 67.2 percent higher than the average international price levels, Luxembourg (64.1 percent), Finland (62.6 percent) and Ireland (57.8 percent).
A further interesting comparison looks at the world's top ten countries in terms of per capita expenditure, in which Germany edges Austria into 10th place. With measurements in US dollars, it's interesting to note that the three countries that spend the most are Bermuda, the USA and the Cayman Islands, with an annual expenditure more than 10,000 dollars higher than Austria's.
Top 10 countries ranked by consumption per capita
1. Bermuda $37,924
2. US $37,390
3. Cayman Island $34,020
4. Hong Kong $32,690
5. Luxembourg $32,000
6. Norway $31,014
7. Switzerland $29,465
8. UAE $29,463
9. Germany $28,478
10. Austria $27,677