Compared to its North American neighbours, Mexico is more affordable and prices are generally lower. For this reason, along with the relaxed and high-quality lifestyle, the country has become an increasingly popular destination for foreign retirees, who find that their pension stretches a lot further in Mexico than it would back home.

The cost of living in Mexico varies substantially depending on where an expat lives. It is possible to live inexpensively in the country's rural areas, but life in the cities is considerably more costly.

Cost of accommodation in Mexico

Expats living in Mexico will likely find accommodation to be their greatest monthly expense. This naturally depends on where they live in Mexico as property prices and rentals can vary considerably. In general, expats will find good value for money when it comes to renting or purchasing property, particularly in the more rural areas. Cities, resort towns and beachfront locations tend to be more expensive.

Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation are available and houses and apartments often come with fully-equipped kitchens, which may help expats save on start-up costs.

Cost of transport in Mexico

Mexico has an extensive public transport system which is affordable and reliable. Buses travel between most towns so travelling around the country is easily done without a car. 

Many towns are easily navigable on foot or bicycle, but driving does give more freedom and many expats prefer this and must budget for purchasing, maintenance and fuel costs.

Cost of schools in Mexico

While public schooling in Mexico is free with expenses only for school supplies and textbooks, the standard of private and international schools is preferred by expats. Expats can select from a range of private schools that provide can bilingual education and a familiar curriculum to help ease the transition process for their children and secure a quality education. International schools provide a multicultural space for children from all over the globe to get to know each other and the costs are high but are generally worth it. School fees range between institutions.

Cost of healthcare in Mexico

Some public healthcare facilities in Mexico are excellent, providing a high standard of care, but many expats prefer private hospitals and these come at a heavier fee. Expats must be sure that their insurance covers for the specific hospital they visit if they have international medical schemes. Healthcare expenses quickly add up with check-ups, medication and additional support so it is important to research the best insurance companies.

Cost of living in Mexico chart

(Note that prices may vary depending on location and service provider and the table below is based on average prices for Mexico City in May 2020)

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

MXN 12,000 - 16, 000

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

MXN 6,000 - 8, 000

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

MXN 24, 000 - 30, 000

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

MXN 12, 000 - 18, 000

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

MXN 32

Milk (1 litre)

MXN 20

Rice (1kg)

MXN 21

Loaf of white bread

MXN 32

Chicken breasts (1kg)

MXN 95

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

MXN 57

Eating out

Big Mac meal

MXN 120


MXN 16


MXN 46

Bottle of beer (local)    

MXN 40

Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant

MXN 310

Utilities/household (monthly)

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

MXN 1.50

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

MXN 400

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

MXN 700


Taxi rate/km 

MXN 5.20

Bus fare in the city centre       


Gasoline/petrol (per litre)

MXN 20.40