Cost of Living Worldwide

Cost of Living Worldwide

The OECD defines a cost of living index (COLI) as an index that measures the change in the minimum expenditures that would be incurred by a utility-maximizing consumer, whose preferences or tastes remain unchanged, in order to maintaining a given level of utility (or standard of living or welfare).

Central bank

Bank of Japan

International Reserves

US$ 1.296 trillion (Source: IMF; Data updated: 2012)

Gross Domestic Product - GDP

US$ 5.981 trillion (2011 estimate)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

4.589 trillion of International dollars (2011 estimate)

Real GDP growth
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
0.2% 0.3% 1.4% 2.7% 1.9% 2% 2.4% -1%
2009 2010 2011 2012*        
-5.5% 4.4% -0.7% 2%        


GDP per capita - current prices

US$ 46,973 (2011 estimate)

GDP per capita - PPP

$36,040 International Dollars (2011 estimate)

GDP (PPP) - share of world total
1980 1990 2000 2010 2015**
9.17% 9.9% 7.63% 5.87% 5.13%


GDP - composition by sector

(Data released on February 2012)

  • agriculture: 1.4% 
  • industry: 24% 
  • services: 74.6% (2011 estimate)
Gross domestic expenditure on R&D; (% of GDP)

3.36% (2009)

(Data released on March 2012)

2009 2010 2011 2012*
-1.3%(2008) -0.7% -0.3% 0%


Unemployment rate
2009 2010 2011 2012*
5.1% 5.1% 4.5%(2009) 4.5%


Household saving rates

6.7% (Net saving; 2012 forecast)

(Data released on December 2011)

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012*
191.8% 210.2% 215.3% 229.8% 235.8%


Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)
2008 2009 2010 2011* 2012**
-4.1% -10.4% -9.4% -10.1% -10%

*Estimate    **Forecast

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: AA-

Moody's rating: Aa3

Moody's outlook: STA

(Foreign Currency Government Bond Ratings; Data last updated Dec 2011 and Nov 2012)

Market value of publicly traded shares
2009 2010 2011
US$3.378 trillion US$4.1 trillion US$3.541 trillion
Largest companies in Japan

Dentsu (Advertising ), Hakuhodo DY (Advertising ), All Nippon Airways (Airline), Fast Retailing (Apparel/Footwear Retail), Toyota Motor (Auto & Truck Manufacturers), Honda Motor (Auto & Truck Manufacturers), Nissan Motor (Auto & Truck Manufacturers), Suzuki Motor (Auto & Truck Manufacturers), Isuzu Motors (Auto & Truck Manufacturers), Fuji Heavy Industries (Auto & Truck Manufacturers), Mitsubishi Motors (Auto & Truck Manufacturers), Mazda Motor (Auto & Truck Manufacturers), Denso (Auto & Truck Parts), Bridgestone (Auto & Truck Parts), Sumitomo Electric (Auto & Truck Parts), Aisin Seiki (Auto & Truck Parts), Toyota Industries (Auto & Truck Parts), Jtekt (Auto & Truck Parts), Toyota Boshoku (Auto & Truck Parts), Asahi Group Holdings (Beverages), Kirin Holdings (Beverages), Sumitomo Rubber (Biotechs), Jupiter Telecomunications (Broadcasting & Cable), Sapporo Hokuyo (Broadcasting & Cable), Secom (Business & Personal Services), Canon (Business Products & Supplies),Ricoh (Business Products & Supplies), Seiko Epson (Business Products & Supplies), Yamada Denki (Computer & Electronics Retail), K's Holdings (Computer & Electronics Retail), Edion (Computer & Electronics Retail), Fujitsu (Computer Hardware), Asahi Glass (Construction Materials), Daikin Industries (Construction Materials), JS Group (Construction Materials), Taiheiyo Cement (Construction Materials), Nippon Sheet Glass (Construction Materials), Daiwa House Industry (Construction Service), Sekisui House (Construction Service), Daito Trust Construction (Construction Service), Kajima (Construction Service), Shimizu (Construction Service), Obayashi (Construction Service), Taisei (Construction Service), Sekisui Chemical (Construction Service), JGC (Construction Service), Panasonic (Consumer Electronics), Fujifilm Holdings (Consumer Electronics), Sony (Consumer Electronics), Nintendo (Consumer Electronics), Sharp (Consumer Electronics), Nikon (Consumer Electronics),Konica Minolta (Consumer Electronics), Olympus (Consumer Electronics), Orix (Consumer Financial Services), Orient (Consumer Financial Services), Jaccs (Consumer Financial Services), Credit Saison (Consumer Financial Services), Toyo Seikan Kaisha (Containers & Packaging), Aeon (Department Stores), Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings (Department Stores), J Front Retailing (Department Stores), Takashimaya (Department Stores), Daiei (Department Stores), Shin-Etsu Chemical (Diversified Chemicals), Mitsubishi Chemical (Diversified Chemicals), Toray Industries (Diversified Chemicals), Asahi Kasei (Diversified Chemicals), Sumitomo Chemical (Diversified Chemicals), Nitto Denko (Diversified Chemicals), Showa Denko (Diversified Chemicals), Teijin (Diversified Chemicals), Tosoh (Diversified Chemicals), DIC (Diversified Chemicals), Sumitomo Metal Mining (Diversified Metals & Mining), Mitsubishi Materials (Diversified Metals & Mining), Hanwa (Diversified Metals & Mining), Nippon Steel Trading (Diversified Metals & Mining), Kansai Electric Power (Electric Utilities), Chubu Electric Power (Electric Utilities), Kyushu Electric Power (Electric Utilities), Tokyo Electric Power (Electric Utilities), Tohoku Electric Power (Electric Utilities), Chugoku Electric Power (Electric Utilities), Shikoku Electric Power (Electric Utilities), Electric Power Development (Electric Utilities), Hokkaido Electric Power (Electric Utilities), Hokuriku Electric Power (Electric Utilities), Mitsubishi Electric (Electrical Equipment), Nidec (Electrical Equipment), Furukawa Electric (Electrical Equipment), Fuji Electric Holdings (Electrical Equipment), Hitachi (Electronics), Toshiba (Electronics), Kyocera (Electronics), Murata Manufacturing (Electronics), NEC (Electronics), TDK (Electronics), Hoya (Electronics), Keyence (Electronics), Nippon Electric Glass (Electronics), Omron (Electronics), Ajinomoto (Food Processing), Meiji Holdings (Food Processing), Yamazaki Baking (Food Processing), Nippon Meat Packers (Food Processing), Seven & I Holdings (Food Retail), Lawson (Food Retail), Komatsu (Heavy Equipment), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Heavy Equipment), Kubota (Heavy Equipment), Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Heavy Equipment), IHI (Heavy Equipment), Oriental Land (Hotels & Motels), Kao (Household/Personal Care), Uni-Charm (Household/Personal Care), Shiseido (Household/Personal Care), Rakuten (Internet & Catalog Retail), Nomura Holdings (Investment services), Daiwa Securities (Investment services), Japan Securities (Investment services), Nippon Steel (Iron & Steel), JFE Holdings (Iron & Steel), Kobe Steel (Iron & Steel), Sumitomo Metal Industries (Iron & Steel), Dai-ichi Life Insurance (Life & Health Insurance), T&D Holdings (Life & Health Insurance), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (Major Banks), Sumitomo Mitsui Financial (Major Banks), Mizuho Financial (Major Banks), Sumitomo Mitsui Trust (Major Banks), Bank of Yokohama (Major Banks), Chiba Bank (Major Banks), Aozora Bank (Major Banks), Terumo (Medical Equipment & Supplies), Tokyo Gas (Natural Gas Utilities), Osaka Gas (Natural Gas Utilities), JX Holdings (Oil & Gas Operations), Inpex (Oil & Gas Operations), Idemitsu Kosan (Oil & Gas Operations), Cosmo Oil (Oil & Gas Operations), Showa Shell Sekiyu (Oil & Gas Operations), San-Ai Oil (Oil & Gas Operations), Fanuc (Other Industrial Equipment), SMC (Other Industrial Equipment), NSK (Other Industrial Equipment), Sumitomo Heavy Industries (Other Industrial Equipment), Nippon Yusen (Other Transportation), Mitsui OSK Lines (Other Transportation), Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (Other Transportation), Oji Paper (Paper & Paper Products), Nippon Paper Group (Paper & Paper Products), Takeda Pharmaceutical (Pharmaceuticals), Otsuka Holding (Pharmaceuticals), Astellas Pharma (Pharmaceuticals), Daiichi Sankyo (Pharmaceuticals), Eisai (Pharmaceuticals), Medipal Holdings (Pharmaceuticals), Alfresa Holdings (Pharmaceuticals), Suzuken (Pharmaceuticals), Taisho Pharmaceutical (Pharmaceuticals), Toho Holdings (Pharmaceuticals), Dai Nippon Printing (Printing & Publishing), Toppan Printing (Printing & Publishing), Tokio Marine Holdings (Property & Casualty Insurance), MS&AD Insurance (Property & Casualty Insurance), NKSJ Holdings (Property & Casualty Insurance), East Japan Railway (Railroads), Central Japan Railway (Railroads), West Japan Railway (Railroads), Tokyu (Railroads), Kintetsu (Railroads), Hankyu Hanshin (Railroads), Odakyu Electric Railway (Railroads), Tobu Railway (Railroads), Nagoya Railroad (Railroads), Mitsubishi Estate (Real Estate), Mitsui Fudosan (Real Estate), Sumitomo Realty & Dev (Real Estate), Tokyu Land (Real Estate), Yamaha Motor (Recreational Products), Sega Sammy Holdings (Recreational Products), Resona Holdings (Regional Banks), Shizuoka Bank (Regional Banks), Shinsei Bank (Regional Banks), Nishi-Nippon City Bank (Regional Banks), Tomony Holdings (Regional Banks), Fukuoka Financial Group (Regional Banks), Hokuhoku Financial Group (Regional Banks), Yamaguchi Financial Group (Regional Banks), Joyo Bank (Regional Banks), Bank of Kyoto (Regional Banks), Hachijuni Bank (Regional Banks), Hiroshima Bank (Regional Banks), Gunma Bank (Regional Banks), Chugoku Bank (Regional Banks), 77 Bank (Regional Banks), Iyo Bank (Regional Banks), Juroku Bank (Regional Banks), Senshu Ikeda Holdings (Regional Banks), Daishi Bank (Regional Banks), Nanto Bank (Regional Banks), Shiga Bank (Regional Banks), Hyakugo Bank (Regional Banks), Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank (Regional Banks), San-In Godo Bank (Regional Banks), Higo Bank (Regional Banks), Hyakujushi Bank (Regional Banks), Kiyo Holdings (Regional Banks), Musashino Bank (Regional Banks), Keiyo Bank (Regional Banks), Kagoshima Bank (Regional Banks), Suruga Bank (Regional Banks), Hokkoku Bank (Regional Banks), Toho Bank (Regional Banks), Fuyo General Lease (Rental & Leasing), Bank of Nagoya (Regional Banks), Awa Bank (Regional Banks), Yamanashi Chuo Bank (Regional Banks), Oita Bank (Regional Banks), Aichi Bank (Regional Banks), Bank of Iwate (Regional Banks), Shikoku Bank (Regional Banks), Tokyo Tomin Bank (Regional Banks), Akita Bank (Regional Banks), Tochigi Bank (Regional Banks), Eighteenth Bank (Regional Banks), Aomori Bank (Regional Banks), Hokuetsu Bank (Regional Banks), Chiba Kogyo Bank (Regional Banks), Fidea Holdings (Regional Banks), Fukui Bank (Regional Banks), Tsukuba Bank (Regional Banks), Yachiyo Bank (Regional Banks), Miyazaki Bank (Regional Banks), Yamagata Bank (Regional Banks), Bank of Saga (Regional Banks), Mitsubishi UFJ Lease (Rental & Leasing), Century Tokyo Leasing (Rental & Leasing), Tokyo Electron (Semiconductors), Renesas Electronics (Semiconductors), Mitsui Chemicals (Specialized Chemicals), Kuraray (Specialized Chemicals), UNY (Specialty Stores), Nippon Telegraph & Tel (Telecommunications Services), Softbank (Telecommunications Services), KDDI (Telecommunications Services), Hudson City Bancorp (Thrifts & Mortgage Finance), Japan Tobacco (Tobacco), Mitsubishi Corp (Trading Companies), Mitsui & Co (Trading Companies), Sumitomo Corp (Trading Companies), Itochu (Trading Companies), Marubeni (Trading Companies), Toyota Tsusho (Trading Companies), Sojitz (Trading Companies), Kanematsu (Trading Companies), Yamato Holdings (Trucking), Nippon Express (Trucking) (2012)

Current account balance

US$ 130 billion (2011 estimate)(After 2008)

Current account balance by percentage of GDP

2.2% of GDP (2011 estimate)(2009)

Exports as percent of GDP(Exports of goods and services)

15.2% (2010)

(Data released on April 2012)

Shares in world total merchandising export


(Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2011)

Shares in world total commercial services export

3.42% (2011)(2007)

(Data were released in 2012)

Total exports

US$792.9 billion (2012 estimate) 

Export commodities

motor vehicles 13.6%; semiconductors 6.2%; iron and steel products 5.5%; auto parts 4.6%; plastic materials 3.5%; power generating machinery 3.5%

Total imports

US$856.9 billion (2012 estimate) 

Import commodities

petroleum 15.5%; liquid natural gas 5.7%; clothing 3.9%; semiconductors 3.5%; coal 3.5%; audio and visual apparatus 2.7%

Exports - major partners

China 19.7%, US 15.5%, South Korea 8%, Hong Kong 5.2%, Thailand 4.6% (2011)

Imports - major partners

China 21.5%, US 8.9%, Australia 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.9%, UAE 5%, South Korea 4.7% (2011)

FDI inflows
2009 2010 2011
US$11,938 million US$-1,252 million(2009) US$-1,758 million(2009)
FDI outflows
2009 2010 2011  
US$74,699 million US$56,263 million US$114,353 million  
Value of cross-border M&A;, by country of purchaser
2008 2009 2010 2011
US$56,379 million US$17,440 million(2009) US$31,183 million(2009) US$62,687 million
Cross-border M&A; deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2010(Acquiring company, Acquired company, Country of the acquired company, Value of the deal)

KDDI Corp, Liberty Global Inc, United States, $4 billion
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp, Dimension Data Holdings PLC, South Africa, $3.1 billion

(for a monthly update on M&A; click here )

Cross-border M&A; deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2011(Acquiring company, Acquired company, Country of the acquired company, Value of the deal)

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Nycomed Intl Mgmt GmbH, Switzerland, $13.7 billion
Mitsubishi UFJ Finl Grp Inc, Morgan Stanley, United States, $7.8 billion
Mitsubishi Corp, Anglo American PLC, United Kingdom, $5.4 billion(2008 estimate)

(for a monthly update on M&A; click here )

Best countries for doing business World Bank/IFC Doing Business Project (Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1 - 185. A high ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.)

Overall ranking: 24 out of 185 countries(2009) (2013)


Starting a business: 114 out of 185 countries(2009)

Enforcing Contracts: 35 out of 185 countries

Registering Property: 64 out of 185 countries

Getting credit: 23 out of 185 countries

Protecting investors: 19 out of 185 countries

Trading across border: 19 out of 185 countries

Paying Taxes: 127 out of 185 countries

Dealing with Construction Permits: 72 out of 185 countries

Getting Electricity: 27 out of 185 countries

Resolving Insolvency: 1 out of 185 countries


Global competitiveness ranking(ranking by country on a basis of 144, the first is the best)





Index of Economic FreedomWSJ and Heritage Foundation

Ranking: 22 Score: 71.6 (Mostly Free) (2009)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed )

Total area

377,915 km2 (2006)


Tokyo (2009)


yen (JPY) (2009)

Government type

constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government (2009)




Shintoism 83.9%, Buddhism 71.4%, Christianity 2%, other 7.8%

Total population
1980 1990 2000 2012* 2017**
116.77 million 123.44 million 126.83 million 127.61 million 125.91 million

*Estimate    **Forecast

Urban population as % of total population
1960 1980 2000 2011
43.1% 59.6% 65.2% 91.1%
Population median age

45 years (2010)

Population growth rate

0.3% (2011)

Life expectancy

83 years (2010)

% of population living on less than $2 a day


Inequality of wealth distribution (Gini index)

24.85 (1993)

(Data were released in 2011, 0=perfect equality, 100=absolute inequality)

Freedom House rating

Political Rights:1
Civil Liberties:2 (2011)

(1 represents the most free, 7 the least free)

Total telephone subscribers as % of population

153.73% (2011)

(sum of fixed telephone lines and mobile cellular subscribers)

Internet users as % of total population

79.53% (Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2011)

Cost of living - Mercer index(ranking by city on a basis of 214; the 1st is the most expensive and the 214th is the least expensive)

Tokyo: 2nd (2011)

CO2 emissions(Metric tons of CO2 per capita)

8.7011 (Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2009)

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