Cost of Living in Argentina
Argentina is a popular expat destination. The South American country is welcoming to foreigners and offers a rich culture, temperate climate, and gorgeous, diverse scenery.
Another of Argentina’s draws is its low cost of living. According to database Numbeo, the cost of living in Argentina is around 53% lower than in the UK. They estimate that a family of four will need around £1,240 per month, excluding rent, and a single person will find their monthly costs amount to around £350, without rent.
Below, we break down the cost of living in Argentina.
Argentina is South America’s second-largest country and was once one of the world’s wealthiest nations due to its educated population and agricultural and mineral resources. However, it also has a long history of political and economic disruption.
During the 2000s, the ruling Government instated policies that cut the country off from international trade, which caused economic stagnation. However, when Mauricio Macri became president in 2015, the government pursued a reformist agenda to reintegrate Argentina onto the world platform and help develop its economy.
Even with obstacles from the opposition-controlled Congress, the Argentine economy is now on a much sounder footing. However, many structural and institutional reforms need to be introduced to restore Argentina’s economy to its former levels of freedom and prosperity. Even so, it has recently seen year-on-year growth and is forecast to continue growing in the coming years.
Currency in Argentina
The Argentine peso is the official currency of Argentina and represented as $ or ARS. Each peso is divided into 100 centavos.
The Argentine peso is available in the following denominations:
- Notes: 10, 20, 50 and 100 ARS
- Coins: 1 ARS and 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos
The peso has experienced severe inflation and even hyperinflation over the decades. In February 2023, the peso reached 102.5% year-on-year inflation. At current exchange rates, 1 GPB is equal to 345 ARS. Often there are different exchange rates offered depending on the purpose of trade.
Cost of Accommodation in Argentina
Expats are welcome to both rent and buy in Argentina. Due to the country’s economic issues, many expats find their money stretches further when finding a property in the country. There is a wide range of homes to choose from and there is little issue when it comes to the budget.
Many well-off expats in Argentina choose to live in the gated private communities also favoured by wealthy nationals. Families enjoy the villas, Swiss-style chalets and sprawling country homes available in the suburbs and outside of the cities. However, the townhouses and apartments in the likes of Buenos Aires are equally as popular with professionals and younger expats.
According to Numbeo, rent in Argentina is 76% lower than in the UK. A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will cost around £209 per month and the same size apartment outside of the city will cost £148 per month. A larger three-bedroom home in the city will cost around £384 per month and the same size property outside of the city will cost £286 per month.
To buy property, it will cost around £1,676 per square meter for a home in the city. For property outside of the city, it will cost around £1,234 per square meter.
Cost of Healthcare in Argentina
Argentina provides free public healthcare to all residents, including expats. The country offers good levels of healthcare compared to other South American countries; however, long waiting times can be exasperating. Most expats choose to get international health insurance to utilise private healthcare, which provides shorter wait times and better quality facilities.
Cost of Education in Argentina
Argentina is one of the strongest educational countries in South America and it has a high literacy rate. Public school is free for children up to the age of 13 for both local and expat children. However, all lessons in public schools are taught in Spanish. This is ideal for younger expat children who will be living in Argentina for the foreseeable future and need to pick up the local language.
Some private schools may offer lessons in English, but not all do. International schools are favoured by expats as they teach either the curriculum of their home country or the International Baccalaureate. Many of these schools are bi-lingual, such as English and Spanish or French and Spanish. This can help children to learn the local language while also keeping up with their studies.
International schools can be more expensive than other education in Argentina, but relatively cheaper than compared to some other countries. International school fees in Argentina can range from around £12,000 to £14,000 per year.
Jobs in Argentina for Expats
Like many countries around the world, a large number of expats find themselves teaching English in Argentina. Expats will find that the most job opportunities open to expats seek highlight qualified immigrants such as engineers, managers and executives.
Most employers hiring foreign staff look for at least a basic level of Spanish and a willingness to learn. Fluency in English and any experience with Portuguese is also a real benefit.
The average salary in Argentina is $45,200 ARS or £130 per month. However, it can range depending on your role. An electrical engineer, for example, could expect to earn $9,938,104 ARS per year, which equals £28,765. While this might seem low, the low cost of living in Argentina can balance things out so expats still enjoy a great quality of life.
Cost of Living in Argentina Compared to The UK
Using data from Numbeo, the tables below provide an overview of the differences in costs between Argentina and the UK. In the vast majority of categories, Argentina comes out cheaper than the UK.
Please note that all Argentine prices have been converted into British pounds.
|Groceries||UK Price (£)||Argentine Price (£)||Cheaper Country?|
|White bread (500g)||£1.07||£0.86||Argentina|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||£6.11||£4.77||Argentina|
|Transport||UK Price (£)||Argentine Price (£)||Cheaper Country?|
|Utilities (Monthly)||UK Price (£)||Argentine Price (£)||Cheaper Country?|
|Electricity/Heating/Water for 85m2 apartment||£207.21||£34.26||Argentina|
|Mobile Phone Monthly Plan (with calls and 10GB+ data)||£11.66||£18.65||UK|
|Internet (60+ Mbps, unlimited data, cable/ADSL)||£30.22||£15.42||Argentina|
|Clothing||UK Price (£)||Argentine Price (£)||Cheaper Country?|
|Jeans (Levi or similar)||£61.19||£51.35||Argentina|
|Dress (chain store)||£30.14||£40.45||UK|
|Nike Running Shoe||£66.12||£82.55||UK|
|Leather Business Shoes||£66.42||£70.94||UK|
|Eating Out||UK Price (£)||Argentine Price (£)||Cheaper Country?|
|Fast Food Meal||£6.00||£3.86||Argentina|
|Mid-Range Meal (3 courses for 2 people)||£60.00||£19.31||Argentina|
Expatriate Group offers a number of flexible expat health insurance policies designed for living abroad, to help keep you protected overseas. Get a quote for your international health insurance today.