What is Cost of Living?
Cost of living is the average calculation of what it takes financially to live in a given society. It could be a town, a district, a county, a city or even a country.
Many people all over the world use cities’ and countries’ cost of living to calculate how economical it might be to move from their current locations to the desired locations.
Please note that cost of living alone is not enough to make a decision of relocating or not. You must also consider standard of living, accessibility to healthcare, your earnings in the proposed new community and a host of other factors. Cost of living is however a very important indicator.
In this post we will be taking a look at the cost of living in Nigeria and the USA, but let’s first answer the question:
How Important is it To Research Cost of Living Before Moving?
One of the most pertinent factors to consider whenever you intend visiting a place as a tourist or relocating as a residence is ‘cost of living’.
Coming into a country or city without an iota of the cost of living is a mistake one should never make as it could lead to a financial mess better imagined than experienced.
It has been discovered that a lot of people while relocating place their budget/ scheduled expenditures on assumptions or unreliable sources rather than factual context.
These set of people more often than not end up stranded and left to bask under financial circumstances beyond their control.
Nigeria: A good Place to Move To?
Nigeria is a West African country notable as not just the most populous African country but also the country with the highest number of black populace in the entire world.
An oil rich Nation with over 250 ethnic groups and a pleasant and awe-inspiring natural geographical status, Nigeria is definitely an ideal location for tourists, local/foreign investors and individuals to stay.
The USA: The Giants are Still Awake!
The United States of America is a North American country and arguably the most powerful country in the world. It is the fourth largest country in the world and ranked third most populous nation in the world.
It is one of the countries everyone dreams of visiting at least, once in a lifetime due to its diverse and multi-racial populace, technological advancement and well-structured governance.
Cost of Living In Nigeria versus Cost of Living In The USA
For one to arrive at a constructive and valid comparison of the cost of living in Nigeria and the United States, some basic factors need to be taken into cognizance.
These include; Accommodation, food, transportation, utilities, education etc. These factors are very imperative to know irrespective of your being a tourist, investor, expatriate or native resident.
Cost of Accommodation in Nigeria versus The USA
The cost of purchasing or renting an apartment varies from place to place. However, in the context of our comparison, two major cities of Nigeria considered the economic powerhouses of the country, Abuja and Lagos will be used as points of references.
A one bedroom apartment in Nigeria is within an average of 371,062 Naira (1023.62 dollars) and 467,576.76 Naira (1,289.87 dollars).
|Apartment Type||Cost of Apartment in the US||Cost of Apartment in Nigeria|
|3 Bedroom Apartment (Metropolitan Areas)||759,255.89 Naira (2,094.50 Dollars)||662,161.45 Naira (1,826.65 Dollars)|
|3 Bedroom Apartment (Outside Metropolitan Areas)||559,170.25 Naira (1,639.09 Dollars)||328,426.72 Naira (906.00 Dollars)|
|1 Bedroom Apartment (Metropolitan Areas)||467,576.76 Naira (1,289.87 Dollars)||219,750.00 Naira (606.21 Dollars)|
|1 Bedroom outside the metropolis.||371,062 (1,023.62 dollars)||123,794 Naira (341 Dollars)|
From the table above one can deduce that when it comes to accommodation in Nigeria and the United States of America, accommodation is exponentially higher in the US than in Nigeria.
A one-bedroom apartment in an American metropolis, for example, costs 247,826 Naira more than the same apartment in the Nigeria!
That’s a phenomenal difference between both countries but the question is does this statistic across board? Let’s now turn our attention to the cost of clothing to find out.
Cost Of Clothing in Nigeria and America: A Comparison
For this index of cost of living, it is a little bit difficult as people’s way of dressing differs from country to country, but we will try to compare items of clothing that are worn by people in both countries.
|Clothing||Cost of Clothing in the US||Cost of Clothing in Nigeria|
|1 Female Summer Dress bought at a store (H&M, Zara)||15,605 Naira (43.5 Dollars)||6,279.07 Naira (17.32 Dollars)|
|A pair of men’s business shoes (leather)||34,166.45 Naira (94.25 Dollars||23,787.50 Naira (65.62 Dollars)|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levi)||15,605.64 Naira (43.05 Dollars)||6,279.07 Naira (17.32 Dollars)|
|1 pair of mid-range Nike Running Shoes||26,770.34 Naira (73.85 Dollars)||19,166.67 Naira (52.87 Dollars)|
We can also see from the analysis above that the cost of clothing items in the US still trumps that Nigeria. Cost of all clothing items sampled are significantly more expensive in the USA than in Nigeria which is surprising to say the least.
Most of the clothing items sampled are made in the US so it is actually ruffling that they are cheaper in Nigeria. Maybe different markets, different prices?
Cost of Utilities/Bills: Nigeria Vs. USA
Now, let’s take a look at how much Nigerians and Americans are paying for their daily/weekly/monthly utility bills.
|Monthly Utility||Utility Expense In US||Utility Expense in Nigeria|
|Internet connectivity (Unlimited data, cable/ADSL||22,843.23 Naira (63.02 Dollars)||14,012.12 Naira (38.65 Dollars)|
|Basic Utility (Electricity, Water, Waste Disposal) 85m2 Apartment||54,957.35 Naira (151.61 Dollars)||8,900.00 Naira (24.55 Dollars)|
|1 Minute of Prepaid Mobile Tariff (Local)||44.91 Naira (0.12 Dollars)||18.62 Naira (0.05 Dollars)|
Again in this aspect of life, the Americans are paying much more than the Nigerians. One might argue that for some of these utilities, the Americans enjoy better service than the Nigerians but as demonstrated above, the gaps are too far away from each other.
Cost of Transportation in Nigeria and the USA
We expect that this index should be a little closer in margin than the other ones that we discussed. This is because the US has a thriving Auto Market that produces thousands of car. The difference is that Nigeria has no recognisable Auto industry, so they have to ship vehicles from the West.
|Transportation Type||Transportation Cost in the US||Transportation Cost in Nigeria|
|Taxi (Normal Tariff)||1,268.75 Naira (3.50 Dollars)||500 Naira (1.38 Dollars)|
|Taxi (1 Km)||619.43 Naira (1.71 Dollars)||120 Naira (0.33 Dollars)|
|Petrol (1 Litre)||265.38 Naira ( 0.73 Dollars)||145 Naira (0.40 Dollars)|
|Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90||7,975,000.00 Naira (22,000 Dollars)||7,000,000.00 Naira (19,310.34 Dollars)|
|Toyota Corolla 1.61 97kW Comfort||7,508,38.06 Naira (20,713.21 Dollars)||10,175,000.00 Naira (28,068.97 Dollars)|
From the above table, we can conclude that the cost of buying vehicles in the US is considerably lower than the cost of buying vehicles In Nigeria. This is due in part to the fact the vehicles used in Nigeria are most times important from the western world (US inclusive).
However, this difference does not automatically mean that the US has a more affordable transportation system than Nigeria. If one takes a cursory look at the table above, you will note that Nigeria pay less for petrol (gasoline) and taxi fares.
Sport and Leisure: Nigeria or USA?
You can’t over the cost of playing sports and leisure event when you are looking at the affordability of a city or a country. As a matter of fact, leisure should be an integral part of your plans for a new city/country when you are traveling. This is because it is at these events that you will probably make friends and settle into the community.
|Sport/Leisure||Cost In The USA||Cost In Nigeria|
|Cinema, Box Office Release (Single seat)||4,350 Naira (12 Dollars)||2,000 Naira (5.52 Dollars)|
|Tennis Court Rent Per Hour (Weekend)||5,489 Naira (15.14 Dollars)||2,954.17 Naira (8.15 Dollars)|
|Fitness Club (Monthly Fee)||13,076.66 Naira (36.07 Dollars)||12,702,13 Naira (35.04 Dollars)|
You will definitely pay less for sports and leisure when in Nigeria. But kindly note these prices are average prices and that there are facilities that definitely charge more.
Education in Nigeria versus the US
Education is a very important index for calculating the cost of living of any given society. This is due to the fact there are only a few parents walking the earth that will not want to give their children a good education.
For expatriates coming to Nigeria, you have to kindly note that it is near impossible for your children to attend public schools in Nigeria so the option for you is definitely a Private School. The Private Schools have different prices and all so you have to take the next table with a pinch of salt as it is the average cost and not a definitive cost.
|Cost In The USA||Cost In Nigeria|
|Preparatory/Kindergarten, Full day (Monthly)||325,892.95 Naira (899.02 Dollars)||34,837.37 Naira (96.10 Dollars)|
|Primary School (Yearly)||5,841,950.79 Naira (16,115.73 Dollars)||554,102.56 Naira (1,528 Dollars)|
Education is more affordable in Nigeria but good parts of the population are not able to afford the more prestigious private schools, so they have to settle for public education which is sometimes below par.
Cost of Food in Nigeria and the USA
Food is one of the most important indexes of living cost if not the most important therein. If you are moving to a new city/country, the last thing you want is to have problems with feeding. Therefore, the cost should be prioritized as an important index determinant.
|Food (Market Price)||Cost of Food Items in the US||Cost of Food Items in Nigeria|
|Loaf of Fresh Bread (500g)||946.48 Naira (2.61 Dollars)||333.35 Naira (0.92 Dollars)|
|Eggs (regular size) (1 Dozen)||824.52 Naira (2.27 Dollars)||494.85 Naira (1.37 Dollars)|
|Apples (1kg)||1,615.69 Naira (4.46 Dollars)||1,011.76 Naira (2.79 Dollars)|
|Chicken Breasts (1kg)||3,094.04 Naira (8.54 Dollars)||1,380.36 Naira (3.81 Dollars)|
|Potato (1kg)||932.41 Naira (2.57 Dollars)||628.82 Naira (1.73 Dollars)|
|White Rice (1kg)||1,393.62 Naira (3.84 Dollars)||673.00 Naira (1.86 Dollars)|
|Water (150cl bottle)||646.95 Naira (1.78 Dollars)||165.38 Naira (0.46 Dollars)|
|Banana (1kg)||548.91 Naira (1.51 Dollars)||523.53 Naira (1.44 Dollars)|
|1 Litre of Milk||297.76 Naira (0.82 Dollars)||824.93 Naira (2.28 Dollars)|
|Onion (1kg)||935.76 Naira (2.58 Dollars)||389.94 Naira (1.08 Dollars)|
|Oranges (1kg)||1,4539.98 Naira (3.97 Dollars)||605.29 Naira (1.67 Dollars)|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||3,779.44 Naira (10.43 Dollars)||1,237.69 Naira (3.41 Dollars)|
|Beef (1kg) (or Its Equivalence-Red Meat)||4,180.57 Naira (11.53 Dollars)||1,427 Naira (1.66 Dollars)|
|Local Beer (50cl/0.5 litre bottle)||776.38 Naira (2.14 Dollars)||309.60 Naira (0.85 Dollars)|
|Imported Beer (33cl/ 0.33 litre bottle)||1,032.22 Naira (2.85 Dollars)||533.33 Naira (1.47 Dollars)|
|Tomato (1kg)||1,458.24 Naira (4.02 Dollars)||602.78 Naira (1.66 Dollars)|
|Lettuce (1 head)||568.95 Naira (1.57 Dollars)||291.67 Naira (0.80 Dollars)|
|Coke/Pepsi (33cl/ 0.33 litre bottle)||656.89 Naira (1.81 Dollars)||122.50 Naira (0.34 Dollars)|
According to the table above, you pay more for food/beverages when you are in America than in Nigeria. Milk, an essential diet for children’s growth does cost more in Nigeria than the US though.
How Do I Make A Decision?
Please note that the cost of living alone should not be the single deciding factor when you are moving to a new place. You should also take into account the amounts of money you are are going to be earning in relation to the cost of living.
In the United States for example, the average monthly salary after tax is 3,206.02 cents which amounts to a whopping 1,162,201 million approximately.
Workers in Nigeria on the other hand take home an average miserly cheque of 208.66 Dollars which amounts to just 75,634 Naira. There’s a huge difference.
With the difference in wages, you can be assured that in America, you will have no problems paying for different essentials while in Nigeria; one might struggle to make ends meet even with the considerable lower prices.
The Way Forward
If you are coming to Nigeria on an expatriate salary, it should not be a difficult decision to make as the cost of living is monumentally lower in the African nation.