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

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Washington)

International Reserves

US$ 141.679 billion (Source: IMF; Data updated: 2014)

Gross Domestic Product - GDP

US$ 17.528 trillion (2014 estimate)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

17.528 trillion of International dollars (2014 estimate)

Real GDP growth


2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
2.5% 3.6% 3.4% 2.7% 1.8% -0.3% -2.8% 2.5%
2011 2012 2013 2014*        
1.8% 2.8% 1.9% 2.8%        


GDP per capita - current prices

US$ 54,980 (2014 estimate)

GDP per capita - PPP

$54,980 International Dollars (2014 estimate)

GDP (PPP) - share of world total
1980 1990 2000 2010 2014*
24.94% 25.11% 24.00% 19.92% 19.24%


GDP - composition by sector

(Data released 2014)

  • agriculture: 1.1% 
  • industry: 19.5% 
  • services: 79.4% (2013 estimate)
Gross domestic expenditure on R&D; (% of GDP)

2.8% (2011)

(Data released on March 2012)

2011 2012 2013 2014*
3.1% 2.1% 1.5% 1.4%


Unemployment rate
2011 2012 2013 2014*
8.9% 8.1% 7.4% 6.4%


Household saving rates

4.1% (Net saving; 2014 forecast)

(Data released on December 2011)

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014*
94.8% 99.0% 102.4% 104.5% 105.7%


Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014*
-12.5% -11.0% -9.7% -7.3% -6.4%


Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: AA+

Moody's rating: Aaa

Moody's outlook: STA

(Foreign Currency Government Bond Ratings; Data last updated Sept 2014)

Market value of publicly traded shares
2010* 2011 2012**
US$17.14 trillion US$15.64 trillion US$18.67 trillion

*2010 Estimate   **2012 Estimate

Largest companies in The United States

JPMorgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Apple, Citigroup, Chevron, Wal-Mart Stores, AT&T, Verizon Communications, Microsoft, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, American International Group, Pfizer, Ford Motor, Google, Comcast, Goldman Sachs Group, General Motors, MetLife, ConocoPhillips, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Coca-Cola, Cisco Systems, Boeing, UnitedHealth Group, United Technologies, PepsiCo, Oracle, CVS Caremark, Merck & Co, Walt Disney, American Express, Morgan Stanley, Schlumberger, Caterpillar, US Bancorp, Dow Chemical, Home Depot, Phillips 66, Capital One Financial, Mondelēz International, Occidental Petroleum, Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., Qualcomm, Time Warner, Philip Morris International, Express Scripts, Honeywell International, United Parcel Service, PNC Financial Services, Duke Energy, Delta Air Lines, Amgen, EI du Pont de Nemours, Walgreen, Valero Energy, Travelers Cos, Deere & Co, Union Pacific, McDonald’s, WellPoint, Aflac, 3M, Allstate, Lockheed Martin, Target, Bank of New York Mellon, EMC, Costco Wholesale, Eli Lilly & Co, Lowe's Cos, Freeport-McMoRan, Copper, Abbott Laboratories, Aetna, Altria Group, BlackRock, Exelon, Archer Daniels Midland, McKesson, Hess, eBay, Time Warner Cable, General Dynamics, AbbVie Medtronic, Bristol-Myers Squibb, FedEx, Halliburton, Danaher, Apache, Marathon Petroleum, Southern Co, NextEra Energy, Visa, Cigna, National Oilwell Varco, Directv, State Street, Kroger, Johnson Controls, Emerson Electric, Dominion Resources, BB&T, NIKE, Kinder Morgan, EOG Resources, Monsanto, Raytheon, Chubb, American Electric, HCA Holdings, Northrop Grumman, Kraft Foods Group, Discover Financial Services, Fannie Mae, Las Vegas Sands, Baxter International, Anadarko Petroleum, Ameriprise Financial, International Paper, Gilead Sciences, Kimberly-Clark, CBS, Marathon Oil, Carnival, Freddie Mac, General Mills, Viacom, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Baker Hughes, Automatic Data, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Lincoln National, Macy’s, SunTrust Banks, PG&E, Illinois Tool Works, HumanaTexas Instruments, Colgate-Palmolive, PPL, Prudential Financial, Praxair, Edison International, PPG Industries, Fifth Third Bancorp, United Continental Holdings, Chesapeake Energy,, Paccar, Xerox, Loews, TJX Cos, Charles Schwab, Principal Financial Group, Sempra Energy, Corning, Consolidated Edison, Micron Technology Progressive, Cummins, Ecolab, Public Service Enterprise, Precision Castparts, MasterCard, Kellogg, Facebook, Sysco, DISH Network, Safeway, Omnicom Group, Cardinal Health, Marsh & McLennan, Xcel Energy, Franklin Resources, Hartford Financial Services, Simon Property Group, Regions Financial, Southwest Airlines, Western Digital, Air Products & Chemicals, Entergy, SLM, ConAgra Foods, Reynolds American, Unum Group, Mosaic, Stryker, Spectra Energy, Tyson Foods, FirstEnergy, Biogen Idec, M&T Bank, Murphy Oil, Celgene, Dollar General, Parker-Hannifin, Whirlpool, Liberty Media, Kohl’s, Genworth Financial,, Annaly Capital, Management, VF, CME Group, CenturyLink, Yum Brands, AmerisourceBergen, DTE Energy, Northeast Utilities, Liberty Interactive, Nucor, Hilton WorldwideHoldings, Gap, KeyCorp, DaVita, Yahoo, Northern Trust, American Airlines Group, Williams Cos, Devon Energy, Becton Dickinson, Alcoa, Thomson Reuters, Best Buy, Allergan, TRW Automotive Holdings, Bunge, Motorola Solutions, Noble Energy, Cognizant Technology, Estée Lauder Cos, L-3 Communications, Leucadia National, VMware, Eastman Chemical, Cameron International, Discovery Communications, Republic Services, Goodyear, AES, Fluor, Weyerhaeuser, Mylan, HollyFrontier, Stanley Black & Decker, Bed Bath & Beyond, Dover Waste Management, Invesco, American Capital Agency, Hertz Global Holdings, AutoZone Symantec, Nielsen Holdings, L Brands, Sherwin-Williams, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Constellation Brands, SanDisk, Applied Materials, Whole Foods Market, HCP, TD Ameritrade Holding, Marriott International, Genuine Parts, Ross Stores, Agilent Technologies, Textron, Staples, WW Grainger, American Tower, Computer Sciences, CF Industries Holdings, Hershey, CIT Group, Nordstrom, Boston Properties, Starbucks, News Corp, Tesoro, NRG Energy, CarMax, Huntington Bancshares, NiSource, Comerica, Oneok, Reinsurance Group of America, MGM Resorts, Broadcom, Fidelity National Information, St Jude Medical, Public Storage, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Rockwell Automation, Avnet, Ralph Lauren, Lorillard, Continental Resources CA, Wynn Resorts Intercontinental Exchange, Mattel, Rock-Tenn, CenterPoint Energy, Harley-Davidson, Ventas, O'Reilly Automotive, Newmont Mining, McGraw-Hill Cos, Assurant, BorgWarner, Ashland, Ambac Financial Group, Hormel Foods, Prologis, Celanese, Alleghany, Arrow Electronics, Boston Scientific PulteGroup, T Rowe Price, Quest Diagnostics, CMS Energy, Zimmer Holdings, General Growth Properties, Charter Communications, NetApp, Starwood Hotels, Coach, New York Community, Campbell Soup, Dollar Tree, Western Union, First Republic Bank, Fiserv, Wisconsin Energy, Molson Coors Brewing, Sears Holdings, Alliance Data Systems, FMC Technologies, Intuit, Henry Schein Lear, Ameren, Fidelity National Financial, American Financial Group, WR Berkley, Moody’s, Jacobs Engineering, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Cincinnati Financial, Crown Castle International, Lennar, Equity Residential, Intuitive Surgical, CH Robinson Worldwide, Ingram Micro, Avalonbay Communities, Host Hotels & Resorts, Brown-Forman, JM Smucker, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Analog Devices, Clorox, Amphenol, Southwestern Energy, Raymond James Financial, Health Care, REIT, AutoNation, CONSOL Energy, Zions Bancorp, Vornado Realty, Juniper Networks, Universal Health, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Keurig Green Mountain, Torchmark, Paychex, Catamaran, CNO Financial Group, Zoetis, Helmerich & Payne, Xilinx, Rockwell Collins LabCorp, Family Dollar Stores, Protective Life, PVH, Calpine, DR Horton, AGCO, Rite Aid, Mohawk Industries, CR Bard, SCANA, Manpower, Ball Flowserve, Markel, Roper Industries, Wyndham Worldwide, Community Health Sys, Advance Auto Parts, Adobe Systems, Pioneer Natural Resources, Starwood, Property Trust Cerner United Rentals Caesars Entertainment EQT Ametek, Level 3 Communications, Aramark, US Steel, E-Trade Financial, KLA-Tencor, Fastenal, Interpublic Group, Quanta Services, Old Republic International, Visteon, CBRE Group, Cimarex Energy, Scripps Networks Interactive, American Water Works, Tenet Healthcare, Petsmart, Sigma-Aldrich Newell, Rubbermaid,, Foot Locker, Westlake Chemical, Rockwood Holdings, Darden Restaurants, Two Harbors Investment, World Fuel Services, Altera, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Linear Technology, Beam, Avis Budget Group, Jarden, Harbinger Group, NVIDIA, Harris, Forest Laboratories, Expeditors International, Eastman Kodak, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Tech Data, Tractor Supply, Crown Holdings, Cliffs Natural Resources, Alaska Air Group, JB Hunt Transport, NCR, Masco, Twitter, First Niagara Financial, Netflix, JC Penney, Tesla Motors, Huntsman, Waters, SL Green Realty, WABCO Holdings, Affiliated Managers Group, LinkedIn, PBF Energy, Reliance Steel, Pinnacle West, BOK Financial, Hudson City Bancorp, Realogy Holdings, Kansas City Southern, McCormick & Co, Dick's Sporting Goods, Jabil Circuit, Murphy USA, Varian Medical Systems, MeadWestvaco, VeriSign, CVR Energy, Monster Beverage, East West Bancorp, Gannett, Illumina, Nelnet, SVB Financial Group, Church & Dwight, Maxim Integrated Products, AGL Resources, Supervalu, Avon Products, Airgas, GameStop Corp., American Equity Investment, UGI, Citrix Systems, Polaris Industries, Signature Bank, NASDAQ, OMX Group, Interactive BrokersGroup, Cablevision Systems Corporation, Cheniere Energy, Cabot Oil & Gas, Workday, Inc., Erie Indemnity, Verisk Analytics, Sealed Air, B/E Aerospace, Dean Foods, Penske Automotive, Antero Resources, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Peabody Energy, LKQ, Whiting Petroleum, Denbury Resources, Concho Resources, OGE Energy, People's United Financial, Microchip Technology, CareFusion, CC Media Holdings, Integrys Energy Group, Alliant Energy, Ingredion, Symetra Financial, City National, CST Brands, Edwards Lifesciences, New Media Investment Group, Pall, Amdocs, Frontier Communications, Packaging Corp of America, Brunswick, Hanesbrands, Akamai Technologies, Towers Watson & Co., Stericycle, Range Resources, Western Refining, Joy Global, Oceaneering International, American Natl Ins, TripAdvisor, Windstream, Teradata, URS, FMC, Oshkosh, Synovus Financial, Equifax

Current account balance

US$ -509.9 billion (2011 estimate)(After 2008)

Current account balance by percentage of GDP

-3.3% of GDP (2011 estimate)(2009)

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

12.6% (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

13.93% (2011)(2007)

(Data were released in 2012)

Total exports

US$1.612 trillion (2012 estimate) 

Export commodities

agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0%

Total imports

US$2.357 trillion (2012 estimate) 

Import commodities

agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys)

Exports - major partners

Canada 19%, Mexico 13.3%, China 7%, Japan 4.5% (2011)

Imports - major partners

China 18.4%, Canada 14.2%, Mexico 11.7%, Japan 5.8%, Germany 4.4% (2011)

FDI inflows
2009 2010 2011
US$143,604 million US$197,905 million(2009) US$226,937 million(2009)
FDI outflows
2009 2010 2011  
US$266,955 million US$304,399 million US$396,656 million  
Value of cross-border M&A;, by country of purchaser
2008 2009 2010 2011
US$70,173 million US$23,760 million(2009) US$87,353 million(2009) US$130,210 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)

Kraft Foods Inc, Cadbury PLC, United Kingdom, $18.8 billion
PPL Corp, E.ON US LLC, United States, $7.6 billion
Abbott Laboratories, Solvay Pharmaceuticals SA, Belgium, $7.6 billion
Sheffield Acquisition Corp, Sybase Inc, United States, $6 billion
Liberty Media Corp, Unitymedia GmbH, Germany, $5.2 billion
Ruby Acquisition Inc, OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc, United States, $4 billion
Abbott Laboratories, Piramal Healthcare Ltd, India, $3.7 billion
Cisco Systems Inc, Tandberg ASA, Norway, $3.4 billion
Interactive Data Corp SPV, Interactive Data Corp, United States, $3.3 billion
Apache Corp, BP PLC, Canada, $3.3 billion
Phillips-Van Heusen Corp, Tommy Hilfiger Corp, Netherlands, $3.2 billion
Apache Corp, BP PLC-Permian Basin Assets, United States, $3.1 billion
Investor group, RBS WorldPay, United Kingdom, $3 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)

Blackstone Group LP, CNPR Ltd, Australia, $9.4 billion
Microsoft Corp, Skype Global Sarl, Luxembourg, $8.5 billion
DuPont, Danisco A/S, Denmark, $7.2 billion
PPL Corp, E ON AG, Germany, $6.5 billion
Peabody Energy Corp, Macarthur Coal Ltd, Australia, $4.9 billion
Prudential Financial Inc, AIG, United States, $4.8 billion
Liberty Global Inc, EQT Partners BV, Sweden, $4.5 billion
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, Consolidated Thompson Iron, Canada, $4.4 billion
PepsiCo Inc, VBD PP, Russian Federation, $3.8 billion
GE, Vivendi SA, France, $3.8 billion
Citigroup Inc, Terra Firma Capital Partners, United Kingdom, $3.5 billion
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, Cinven Ltd, United Kingdom, $3.5 billion
Investor Group, EQT Partners BV, Sweden, $3.4 billion
GE, Converteam Group SAS, France, $3.2 billion
Investor Group, SPIE SA, France, $3 billion
Level 3 Communications Inc, Singapore Technologies Pte Ltd, Singapore, $3 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: 4 out of 185 countries(2009) (2013)


Starting a business: 13 out of 185 countries(2009)

Enforcing Contracts: 6 out of 185 countries

Registering Property: 25 out of 185 countries

Getting credit: 4 out of 185 countries

Protecting investors: 6 out of 185 countries

Trading across border: 22 out of 185 countries

Paying Taxes: 69 out of 185 countries

Dealing with Construction Permits: 17 out of 185 countries

Getting Electricity: 19 out of 185 countries

Resolving Insolvency: 16 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: 10 Score: 76.3 (Mostly Free) (2009)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed )

Time zone

UTC-5 (Eastern Standard Time - EST)
UTC-6 (Central Standard Time - CST)
UTC-7 (Mountain Standard Time - MST)
UTC-8 (Pacific Standard Time - PST)


Total area

9,629,091 km2 (2006)


Washington, DC (2009)


US Dollar (USD) (2009)

Government type

Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition (2009)


English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7% (2000 census)


Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 estimate)

Total population
1980 1990 2000 2012* 2017**
227.62 million 250.05 million 282.29 million 314.31 million 329.55 million

*Estimate    **Forecast

Urban population as % of total population
1960 1980 2000 2011
70% 73.7% 79.1% 82.4%
Population median age

37 years (2010)

Population growth rate

0.7% (2011)

Life expectancy

78 years (2010)

% of population living on less than $2 a day


Inequality of wealth distribution (Gini index)

40.81 (2000)

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

Freedom House rating

Political Rights:1
Civil Liberties:1 (2011)

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

Total telephone subscribers as % of population

153.82% (2011)

(sum of fixed telephone lines and mobile cellular subscribers)

Internet users as % of total population

77.86% (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)

Washington, DC: 108th (2011)

CO2 emissions(Metric tons of CO2 per capita)

17.2239 (Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2009)

World's Best Developed & Emerging Markets Banks

World's Best Islamic Financial Institutions

World’s Best Treasury & Cash Management Providers

World's Best Internet Banks

Best Risk Management Providers - Insurance & Derivatives

World’s Best Investment Banks

World's Best Subcustodian Banks

World's Safest

World's Best Banks By Region

World’s Best Foreign Exchange Providers

World's Best Banks

Best of…

World’s Best Trade Finance Banks

World's Biggest Banks

Additional Awards