Cost of living: France VS the USA – Where is it cheaper to live?

Living in France vs USA

If you’re planning to create a company in another country, it’s worth comparing the cost of living between the two. Indeed, not only will this affect your personal life and how you’re going to spend your money, but it also has consequences of the purchasing power of your potential customers. As such, it’s worth wondering: where is the cost of living higher? In the US or in France?

US and France as a whole

If you just look at the prices of goods, it’s tempting to say that the US is cheaper than France. Whether it’s the prices of groceries, restaurant, or overall consumer prices, all of them are about 7% lower in the US than France.
However, that would be forgetting one very important aspect of life: rent. With rent prices in the US being more than 40% higher than in France, just taking them into account is enough to make overall consumer prices be lower in France.

Comparing specific cities

But that’s not all; however. Because the US is so large and is divided into 50 different states, there are already huge differences within the US itself. Instead, let’s focus on comparing Paris and New York, which are arguably the economic capitals of these two countries.
If we do, there’s only one possible conclusion: basically, everything is cheaper in Paris. Consumer prices, groceries, restaurants… everything is more expensive in New York, especially rent prices which are more than double the prices in France.

As such, you would need more than 6 600 € in New York to enjoy the standard of life you would have in Paris with only 4 500 €.


If you compare the two whole countries, it’d be possible to argue that the US is cheaper than France; though this would mean ignoring the incredibly high rent prices, and it wouldn’t even be much of a comparison considering how diverse the US is. However, if you just compare Paris and New York, little doubt is possible: living in Paris is easier.