Is it Expensive to Live in Brazil?

corcovado rio de janeiro

Wonderful sunny beaches, palm trees, fine golden sands, refreshing sea waves, colorful carnivals and beautiful girls everywhere – this is probably the first association to appear in your mind when it comes to Brazil.

But this image couldn’t describe everything because Brazil, with its 209,129,000 people, is one of the largest and most diverse countries in the world.

The paths of many people at one point or another of their lives send them to Brazil.

The reasons could be very different – business, career, education, marriage or buying property.

Regardless of the reason to visit or to move to the 5th largest country in the world, one of the first questions to find the answer of is how much you do actually need to live there and is it really as expensive as people say.

How much do you need per month to live in Brazil?

fountain and rainbow
Fountain and Rainbow by Yacine Petitprez

We will try to find the answer in this article so you will be able to more easily find out the exact amount of money you need to feel comfortable there.

Relatively reasonable prices of consumer goods and services

Although one of the world’s largest economies, consumer goods and services prices in Brazil are much lower than in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan or Russia.

This means that if you have, for example, a budget of $ 2000, in Brazil you will be able to buy a lot more goods and services than in any of the countries we have mentioned above.

As a result, you will be able to lead a much more satisfying standard of living.

Of course, there are cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, where prices are much higher than the average in the country, and the reason for this is the great interest of tourists and the large number of people willing to live and work in there.

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Food is really cheap

rio restaurant
Rio Restaurant by PortoBay Events

Unless you eat constantly in restaurants, the food in Brazil is extremely cheap.

Brazil is the home of a really great variety of fruits and vegetables.

The North of the country, on the other side, is the place with some of the largest animal farms in the world.

Even if you eat only a really high-quality food in a big city such as Rio de Janeiro, € 400 is should be more than enough for a person.

Extremely contrasting prices on the property market

Brazil is a country where property prices could vary within such a wide range that we can hardly imagine.

Generally, in most cities, prices are comparable with those in Europe.

The property markets of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are very impressive.

In the two largest and most expensive Brazilian cities, prices are extremely high, and those in Rio de Janeiro could be easily compared to the big cities of the richest and most developed European countries as well as with places such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago in USA.

If you decide to invest and buy a small apartment between 40 and 50 square meters with a bedroom in a good neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro then you should expect something like 250,000 euros or more.

What about if you decide to rent an apartment

corcovado rio de janeiro
Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro by Robert Cutts

If you decide to rent an apartment, you will definitely spend less than buying a property.

Compared to food costs and household bills, however, rents are much higher here.

In Rio de Janeiro, for example, you will hardly find a good one-bedroom apartment at a price lower than 300 euros, at least, if you are looking for a decent residential area.

This clearly suggests that rental costs can easily become the most important item in your budget.

Taxes in Brazil

Taxes in Brazil are rather a complicated question.

If you are considering to move to Brazil and to start your own business there, you have to keep in mind that they are quite high, especially against the background of the taxes in Europe, for example.

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They could be easily compared, and even surpass those of the Scandinavian countries, but without achieving the same results and the same social justice.

If you are thinking of starting a business in Brazil, keep in mind that your taxes may exceed 40% of your income, which nowadays scares a lot of potential investors.

What is the average salary in Brazil

boa viagem beach
Boa Viagem Beach by A. Duarte

In 2018, the average wage of a well-educated person with a good job in some of the big Brazilian cities is estimated at about $ 48,000, and approximately $ 46,000 in Sao Paulo.

The surprise comes from Rio de Janeiro, where the average salary reaches $ 69,000.

With such a good yearly income, one should be able to afford a really good standard of living in any of the major cities of the country.

This includes paying rent, household bills, food, clothes and entertainment, without the person experiences any limitation.

Expensive and less expensive cities

othon palace copacabana
Othon Palace, Copacabana by ANNE LOTTE

Brazil is a big country, and the budget you have available has a different value in the different parts of the country.

Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, for example, are the most expensive cities in Brazil.

The prices of most of the goods and services are higher in Sao Paulo, while property prices and rents, on the other side, are higher in Rio de Janeiro.

After 2010, Rio de Janeiro has regularly topped the list of the most expensive cities in North and South America.

There are also very nice cities in Brazil that are not so expensive.

A good example is Florianopolis.

It has a nice infrastructure, and the city is among the least problematic places in Brazil with the lowest levels of poverty and crime.

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The city is located in the state of Santa Catarina, in the southernmost parts of Brazil.

This is a good place to live and to invest in real estate.

There are extremely great prospects in front of Florianopolis, despite the city is still very far from the fame and glory of Rio de Janeiro.

Expensive neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro

ipanema rio de janeiro
Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro by Skellig2008

As one of the most desirable cities in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is known for attracting many wealthy people.

Here you will find a number of expensive neighborhoods, most of which are located by the sea.

This is not surprising considering that the golden beaches are the reason why Rio is so popular.

And while some neighborhoods enjoy world fame, others are as attractive as unknown.

Among the more popular are Leblon, Copacabana and Ipanema.

Leblon is considered the most expensive part of the city, with real estate prices here being the highest in the city.

At the same time, Barra da Tijuca is relatively less known for people who haven’t lived here.

This, however, does not prevent the neighborhood from becoming the most attractive place to live in Brazil.

The Truth About Poverty in Brazil

rio de janeiro mansion for sale
Rio de Janeiro Mansion for Sale by Taylor White

Poverty in Brazil is a very serious problem that is particularly evident in the large cities.

In Rio de Janeiro, for example, there is a large number of ghettos, called favelas.

They are located in different parts of the city and are very often in close proximity to the expensive neighborhoods.

The living conditions in these favelas are a real nightmare.

In these areas are missing the most basic facilities, and hygiene is below the acceptable minimum.

In Brazil it is extremely difficult to move from one social level to another.

Those born in extreme poverty can not afford a good education, which makes them unemployable or, at best, low-paid for the rest of their life.