Difference Between Cost of Living and Standard of Living

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Cost of Living and Standard of Living

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Living a fulfilling life is the ultimate goal of every individual in existence. A life that caters to the basic needs (food, shelter, and clothing) and other needs is a necessity for each person. The cost of living and standard of living together represents the quality of living of the individual. Cost of living and Standard of living are two fundamental economic concepts that provide you with a thought of the overall cost level in an area and the level of riches and extravagances that a specific gathering enjoys, separately. This for sure assists them with carrying on with a calculated life. It predominantly discusses the expense, quality of life, and personal satisfaction. This indeed supports them for living a calculated life.

Cost of Living vs. Standard of Living

The main difference between the cost of living and standard of living is that the Cost of living is the amount of money required to support a specific way of life by bearing the cost of expenses like lodging, taxes, food, and medical care, whereas the Standard of living is firmly associated with the quality of life. It incorporates factors like income, (GDP), national economic growth, financial and political security, ecological quality, environment, safety, climate, and wellbeing. The way of life is firmly connected with personal satisfaction.

Difference between Cost of living and Standard of living in tabular form

Parameters of comparison Cost of living Standard of living
Definition Cost of living infers the overall degree of costs of the goods and services which an average person can afford, for his basic requirements. Standard of living alludes to the degree of money and prosperity, that individuals enjoy in a specific country.
Measurement It is a comparison of costs to survive in space. How costly it is to survive in a spot, in contrast with another. It is the level of individuals' living without comparing their necessities. How well do individuals of a specific class live, without undermining their wants and needs.
Estimation It is estimated by the Index of the Cost of Living, and the Purchasing Power Parity. It is estimated through numerous pointers that all in all give a solitary induction.
Location It can differ and be measured within areas, districts, states, and nations. It is only estimated and decided distinctly in every country.


Sources It can be construed from a micro-economy or macro-economy. It can only be construed from a macro-economy.
Dependence factor It relies upon an individual's income. It relies upon the material personal satisfaction an individual wants to lead.
Association Wages and income. Quality of life.

What is the Cost of Living?

The cost of living implies how much money is required to cover essential expenses like lodging, food, taxes, and medical services in a specific place and period. The cost of living is a proportion of how much money is required to carry on with a fairly average personal satisfaction, and quality of life. Financial analysts measure the cost of living by adding the costs of goods and services that individuals need to carry on with a normal life-food, lodging, transport, energy, and medical care and assessments. The cost of living is frequently used to contrast how costly it is to live in one city versus another. The typical cost for many everyday items is linked to wages.

The average cost of living can be a critical component in privately invested money-gathering because a salary can give a better quality of residing in a city where day to day costs, for example, house rents, entertainment, and food are less. Interestingly, a significant salary can appear to be inadequate in a costly city like Tokyo. In a 2018 review, Mercer, a worldwide HR firm, observes the urban areas with the greatest expense of living to incorporate Hong Kong; Luanda, the capital of Angola; Tokyo; Zurich, and Singapore, in a specific order. New York City was positioned as the costliest city in the United States followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, and Boston.

The cost of living records additionally doesn't see what services are accommodated free by the public authority, communities, or networks. For example, access to sanitation and clean water, access to social and artistic expression, access to educational and financial institutions, and other government schemes and policies. So however it's a helpful measure, cost of living is just looking at the genuine expense of our day according to the purchaser's point of view. The sort of things individuals purchase across the world changes a great deal based on contrasts in culture - so it's challenging to evaluate what costs ought to be contrasted with to get an average of the normal cost for most everyday items across various nations. To get a full picture of prosperity in one country versus another, more data is required.


The Economic Policy Institute refreshed its Family Budget Calculator in March 2018. The calculator assists families with deciding how much compensation they should take care of the expense of living in 3,142 provinces in each of the 611 metro regions. The calculator views San Francisco as the most costly city and a two-parent family with two children would require a complete payment of $148,439 with an essential financial plan for costs. The most affordable metro region was Brownsville, Texas where a similar family would require an average pay of $32,203.

What is the Standard of Living?

Standard of living refers to minimum requirements, solaces, or extravagances held fundamental for keeping an individual or gathering in standard or appropriate status or conditions. It tells how well individuals live in a town, locale, country, or bigger region of the planet, including the entire globe. It counts how much labor and products are created and accessible for purchase by an individual, family, gathering, or country.

The two most well-known ways of estimating the standard of living are Real GDP per capita and Gross National Income per capita. Gross domestic product estimates all exchanges inside a nation's limit, while GNI incorporates the individuals who live abroad.

Real GDP per capita eliminates the impacts of inflation or cost increments. Real GDP is a superior proportion of the standard of living than nominal GDP. A country that delivers a great deal will want to pay higher wages. That implies its occupants can bear to purchase a greater amount of its plentiful creation. However, the GDP per capita estimation expects that creation, and its prizes, are distributed equally among everybody. That is because it's normal and overlooks pay disparity. It can report an exclusive expectation of residing for a nation where a couple of individuals at the top partake in the abundance.

Standard of living just measures the abundance of material things its residents have, but not the personal satisfaction and living quality. These estimations don't represent angles like natural expenses, non-financial contributing assignments, or pay imbalance. Since the U.N. looks at GDP between nations, it utilizes buying power equality. That adapts to contrasts in exchange rates.

The other three parts of GDP are business speculation, government spending, and net products. Business speculation incorporates new plants and hardware, land, goods, services, and items. Assuming organizations are contributing, the economy gets to the next level. GNI per capita can increase a nation's standard of living. That is because numerous residents live in different nations to land better positions. They likewise dispatch a piece of their wages back to their families at home.

The equivalent is valid for government spending. Whenever legislatures build streets, bridges, and public travel, its residents benefit from a better quality of living. That is particularly valid for direct installments, like Social Security and Medicare. Individuals' lives are better as a result of these advantages.

Net commodities further develop a country's standard of living in more subtle ways. If a nation trades more than it imports, it makes occupations.

Numerous financial, wellbeing and financial elements make up this estimation of a standard of living, including Gross domestic product per capita, admittance to instruction, complete recreation time partook in every year, public wellbeing, levels of framework, admittance to medical care administrations, scholastic levels, predominance and occurrence of sicknesses, future, individual flexibility, political dependability, education rates, and, natural quality.

The term can have various implications for various individuals, contingent upon whether you are a financial specialist, social scientist, medical care master, layman, and so on.

Main differences between the cost of living and standard of living in points

  • The cost of living is the expense that keeps a given degree of living in a specific topographical region, whereas the standard of living again is a country's sign of general solace, necessities, and, riches and material properties.
  • Cost of living is estimated country by country, place by place, state by state, whereas the standard of living is simply restricted to correlation per country.
  • Cost of living is to a great extent reliant upon the singular's pay, whereas the standard of living is significantly a contribution from the state.
  • Cost of living is a greater amount of the buying force of the monetary forms, whereas the standard of living shows the neediness level of a bunch of individuals.
  • The cost of living is more critical in issues about privately invested money accumulation. A little compensation can be enough while living in a city that doesn't cost a ton to live in. then again, an enormous compensation can appear to be inconsequential against the necessities that show up with living in a costly city. Whereas, the standard of living is utilized to think about how geological regions flourish financially. Contrasting explicit times in a given geological area is additionally utilized. The way of life can be utilized to examine how a nation faired before, and how it is faring at present.
  • The cost of living demonstrates the purchase power equality and typical cost for most everyday items index, whereas the way of life represents the poverty rate and pay of an individual.
  • The cost of living is an examination of costs to get by in space, whereas the way of life is the degree of individuals living without compromising their requirements.
  • Cost of living is linked with wages and income and can be interpreted from the micro or macro-economy, whereas the standard of living is linked with the quality of life and can be interpreted only from the macro-economy.


Both of these financial ideas revolve around an average person's life. The cost of living gives the thought regarding the required money to keep up with the way of life by satisfying the important requirements. These two ideas are interrelated in the consumption esteem. Spending power demonstrates the development of an individual, standard of living assists with increasing the standards of a family as well. Thoughtfully, dream large accomplish hugely.

The connection between the cost of living and standard of living should be visible when individuals decide to burn through cash they don't have to achieve or keep a way of life to which they accept they are entitled.

Additionally, the standard a place represents is likewise a direct result of the public authority strategies. Vital areas for organizations can without much of a stretch work on expectations for everyday comforts there. Cost of living appropriately helps in working out the way of life that can be kept up with. Standard of living is the benchmark set in an area. Standard of living is counterfeit and is predetermined or set by specialists or government as a proportion of living greatly. Setting a way of life permits the public authority to survey its formative targets and to intermittently assess the level of the populace that meets the objective.

The cost of living can't be constrained by any interventions that come from the public authority since it is essentially subject to the assets' interest and supply, inside a geological region, whereas, drives can be taken by world associations and legislatures, to work on the standard of living in nations, or even on the planet.



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"Difference Between Cost of Living and Standard of Living." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sat. 11 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-cost-of-living-and-standard-21>.

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