Cost of Living in Buenos Aires


Oct 25, 2005
The Economist Intelligence Unit has just come out with a new table for the cost of living in the world's major cities. Oslo is now in top place, followed by Tokyo, and then a number of other European cities. New York in 27th. But I digress. For the Mercosur cities:
Santiago de Chile stands in position 84, followed by Sao Paulo and Rio do Janeiro, 87; Montevideo, Uruguay 100; Lima, Peru, 107; Caracas, Venezuela, 112; Buenos Aires 117 and Asunción, Paraguay, 124. However the biggest two jumps are in Brazil with Rio and Sao Paulo climbing 22 places compared to the previous rating, pushed by a 25% rise in the currency and consumer prices.
(The above taken from:
Since only 130 cities were considered, BsAs is close to the bottom in cost of living.
One would need to take a look at the basket of goods and services the EIU looked at; I suspect it's heavily biased towards the international business traveller or the corporate relo (executives who get relocated every year or so). The paradox is that consumption of some Western style goods and services can often be more costly than in the West itself. In essence, the cost of living may be even less than the EIU makes out provided one is prepared to live like a local.
"nashorama" said:
This is just an aside regarding the cost of living in MERCOSUR countries from an Argentine perspective. Porteños often refer to a relation or criminal living in Paraguay as being "en lujoso country [sic] Paraguay." For example, "La policia encontró Bellini en un lujoso country paraguayo." The general myth being that life in Paraguay must be luxurious because it costs nothing to live there. The use of the English word "country" instead of "pais" remains a mystery to me, as does the use of words such "shopping" and sala de "living." Linguistic hegemony? Regardless, you'll often see the descriptive phrase "en lujoso country Paraguay" used in news snippets in Clarín and La Nación whenever the information is less than flattering.

Point of fact, the cost of stuff that does not fall into the categories of durables, air travel, and tourism is substantially less than in BsAs. Then again, there's not much to do and see in Asunción, and the country is still very much agrarian. Pretty, though. Sort of a subtropical version of Kansas.
lol, Nash -- this is an amusing one -- I double checked with my Spanish teacher just to make sure, but "country" as used above doesn't refer to pais -- it refers to a country home or mansion, a ranch house etc.
Very amusing though, since no Argentine I know would ever be jealous of the luxuries of Paraguay! What they meant was that the relation is living in a nice home there. They're not being facetious, just talking about the home.
Yo! Syngirl:

I must concede that you are correct! I, too, queried a friend today who is a native Argentine and a linguist about the use of "country" and why Paraguay was so "lujoso." His explanation was exactly the same as your language instrutor's, including that it didn't necessarily need to be Paraguay that is so lujoso. However, he added that Paraguay shows up in this context more often than other countries because it is commonly perceived as a place where it is easy to launder money and hide wealth.

Here's to walking judiciously through the jungle of localisms that define Argentina -- especially Buenos Aires.

Chau for now