Cost of Living in Puerto Rico vs. Cost of Living in the US - Relocate to Puerto Rico with Act 20 & Act 22

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Cost of Living in Puerto Rico vs. Cost of Living in the US

For a large number of Americans, Puerto Rico is a cheaper alternative to living in the US. This beautiful Caribbean island offers a low cost of living while still providing comforts such as top of the line healthcare, high-speed internet, and international cuisine. 

Since becoming a US territory in 1893, Puerto Rico has developed its own economy and laws. These differences have shifted how the cost of living on the island compares to the average cost of living in the mainland United States.

How much does life cost in Puerto Rico?

It is estimated that the average cost of living in mainland US is 21% higher than in Puerto Rico. Prices vary throughout the island depending on the region, but are overall more affordable than the average of US state:

  • Even though some food items are more expensive because they are imported, grocery shopping is still about 14% cheaper in Puerto Rico.
  • Dining out in Puerto Rico will cost you, on average, about 18% less.
  • Housing costs are 47% less when compared to US prices. The island offers miles of low-cost ocean front property outside of San Juan, but some expensive bubbles do exist depending on the area.
  • Transportation is 16% cheaper. Gas prices are about the same as the US, but public transit is inexpensive when compared to other US locations. If you plan to import a vehicle, taxes and fees should be researched and taken into consideration.
  • Puerto Rico schooling and childcare costs 60% less.
  • Entertainment will cost about 12% less than in the US.
Cost of living in Puerto Rico vs. US
CategoryItemPR Price ($)US Price ($)
FoodMeal for 2 in standard restaurant$10.05$13.75
Meal for 2 in fast food chain (Burger King, etc.)$6.88$7.10
Pepsi (0.33 L)$1.06$1.75
Water (0.33 L)$1.07$1.45
Bread (1 loaf)$2.54$5.46
Cheese (500 grams)$2.86$0.85
Eggs (1 dozen)$2.68$2.44
Milk (1 L)$1.63$0.85
Boneless Chicken (1 kg)$6.92$8.73
Tomatoes (1 kg)$3.16$4.12
Onions (1 kg)$2.43$2.63
Housing1 BR apt. in city center (cities vary)$532.12$1,075.75
1 BR apt. Away from city center (cities vary)$414.66$904.61
Internet$55.87$59.63
Utilities for 2$137.40$117.33
TransportationFuel (1 L)$0.66$0.66
One-month public transport pass $27.00$62.79
Taxi (~8 km)$15.93$16.85
New vehicle ( Volkswagen Golf 1.4)$25,180.45$21,580.91
ChildcareOne month of preschool for 1 child $359.27$819.53
Cost of preschool for 1 child (two semesters)$6,444.85$17,485.40
ClothesJeans $38.38$41.53
Shoes$81.73$73.30
Dress$37.88$34.62
EntertainmentGym membership (monthly)$36.08$36.42
Movie ticket$7.23$11.00
Local beer$1.84$4.08

Source: Numbeo

It’s cheaper to live in Puerto Rico than in the US

Overall, even with a poor economy and production issues related to the 2017 hurricanes, the cost of living in Puerto Rico is lower than in the US.

Along with being easily accessible and great weather year round, Puerto Rico’s cost of living is one of the most popular reasons people are lured into living on the island. While select San Juan and tourist spots compare to cities such as Miami, the true cost of living in Puerto Rico is less than other US states.

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