This Canadian city has found the sweet spot between low cost of living and high quality of life

microsoft, this canadian city has found the sweet spot between low cost of living and high quality of life

Montreal, Canada. Alph Tran/Shutterstock

  • Many Americans are struggling to afford a fun lifestyle amid the high cost of living. 
  • But just north of the border, Montreal offers residents a balance between high quality of life and low prices. 
  • Only a handful of major cities have found that sweet spot, according to consulting firm Mercer.

Many of the world's most exciting and beautiful cities are also the priciest to live in.

But one Canadian city has found the perfect balance between offering its residents a great quality of life for a relatively low cost, according to Mercer's 2024 cost of living report.

The study compared 226 cities worldwide according to their cost of housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Montreal ranked 118th in the world for its overall cost of living but came in 20th for quality of life, giving it the best overall score.

While Hong Kong, Singapore, and Zurich ranked as the three most expensive cities, they did not perform as well on quality of living.

Montreal is Canada's second-largest by population size, with 1.78 million residents.

Sitting close to the border of the US state of Vermont, it is known for its vibrant cultural scene, great food, tree-lined streets, and providing high-quality education and healthcare.

"It's extremely cultural, great food scene, safe, bilingualism is an asset," one US expat who relocated from Texas to Montreal previously told Business Insider.

The cost of living in Montreal is cheaper than in 74% of cities in North America, according to comparison site Expatistan.

Estimated monthly costs for a single person living in Montreal add up to $2,374. Compare that to New York, where a single person can expect to pay $5,412 a month on average, according to Expatistan data.

Mercer found that only seven other cities in the world achieve a similar balance to Montreal — Warsaw, Budapest, Ljubljana, Kuala Lumpur, Zagreb, Panama City, and Santiago.

"This list of eight cities should be of interest to families looking for a better lifestyle, remote working/digital nomads, and companies looking for locations that will be attractive to top talent," Mercer noted in its report.

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