Cost of living in Brazil: 2024 guide

Gabriela Peratello

If you’re thinking of moving to Brazil you’re probably wondering about the cost of living in Brazil vs USA so you can start to plan your budget and lifestyle.

Join us as we walk through the cost of living in Brazil in US dollars across key categories and locations.

We’ll cover the cost of living in Brazil per month and the average cost of living in Brazil based on the city you pick to live in.

Moving to Brazil? Check out the digital multi-currency accounts and international transfer services from global money transmitter Wise, for easy ways to manage your money across borders.

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Brazil currency

If you’re traveling to Brazil — or planning a longer term move there — it’s important to know about the currency you’ll need to use.

The official Brazilian currency is the Brazilian real. Each real is divided into 100 centavos, and the official currency code to watch out for is BRL. You’ll see this on currency exchange stores and online when using a currency conversion tool.

Banking in Brazil

Brazil has a large financial sector, and you’ll find it relatively easy to open a bank account if you’re a legal resident there with a residence visa with at least 12 months duration on it.

To open a bank account in Brazil you’ll also need a CPF tax ID number, proof of ID and proof of a Brazilian address. You sometimes also need proof of income although this varies based on the account type and the specific bank.

Once you have a Brazilian bank account open, it’s easy to send money to other people in Brazil using a Pix payment — all you need is a phone number of similar Pix alias, to make an instant transfer in BRL. You’ll also be able to send money overseas, and access a payment card for spending and withdrawals in BRL.

You’ll usually find it tricky to open a Brazilian bank account before you arrive in the country — or if you’re not planning a full time move. As an alternative check out Wise. Wise isn’t a bank, it’s a licensed money transmitter — but a Wise account can be used to hold and exchange BRL alongside USD and 40+ other currencies, with a linked Wise debit card for easy spending and withdrawals.

You can open a Wise account from the US before you travel, to hit the ground running once you land in Brazil.


Comparing the cost of living in Brazil vs the USA

The amount you need for daily life does vary enormously based on your lifestyle and the specific place you live in any given country. One great resource to start to build a picture is, which aggregates cost of living data from around the world, to show live average costs across key items.

According to Numbeo, at the time of writing (24th July 2024), the costs of key daily items in Brazil vs USA are as follows¹:

ItemCost in BrazilCost in US
Meal — inexpensive restaurant5.65 USD

20 USD

Meal for 2, 3 courses, mid-range restaurant

29.30 USD

75 USD

Cappuccino1.72 USD4.78 USD
Coke (12 oz bottle)1.12 USD2.34 USD
Water (12 oz bottle)0.69 USD1.85 USD

Can US citizens live in Brazil?

US citizens and passport holders can travel to Brazil with no visa if traveling as a tourist².

However, if you want to live in Brazil longer term, you’ll need an appropriate residence visa. It’s also worth noting that the visa requirements for US citizens entering Brazil as a tourist are set to change in the 3rd quarter of 2023, so you’ll need to double check all the rules before you travel.

Different visas might suit you depending on your situation, so check out the options online before you make plans.

What are the average monthly expenses in Brazil?

To give a sense of the cost of living in Brazil vs USA, the averages from Numbeo are as follows³:

Brazil averageUS average
Family of 4 cost of living without rent2025 USD4,019 USD
Single person cost of living without rent571 USD1,127 USD

We’ll dig into the details a little more in a moment, but as you can see, costs of living in Brazil are on average in the region of half of the costs of living in the USA.

In fact, consumer prices without rent are 97.8% higher in the US than Brazil, and once you include rent, that rises to 157.1% higher. Rent on its own is some 400%+ more expensive on average in the US than in Brazil.

What’s the average wage in Brazil?

Average wages in Brazil vary widely based on the type of work and the location. One good resource to look at is Teleport, which has salary averages for different job types across many major global cities, which you can review to see what you may earn if you moved overseas.

For example, here’s the live Teleport data (24th July 2023) for some select jobs in São Paulo, looking at median salary available⁴:

RoleAnnual salary
Finance manager65,931 USD
Project manager46,568 USD
Attorney40,644 USD
Accountant35,774 USD
Software engineer31,749 USD

How much do you need to earn to live comfortably in Brazil?

The amount you need to earn to live comfortably in Brazil varies enormously based on the type of lifestyle you have and what you enjoy doing.

Where in Brazil you base yourself is also important, as regional cost differences can make a big impact. Read on for some cost of living in Brazil data for a few different locations to help you work out your budget based on where you want to live.

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How expensive is living in Brazil?

The costs of living in Brazil vary a lot based on location. We’ll dive into some more details about each city we’ve profiled in just a moment.

To get a basic idea, let’s look at a few key costs for different popular cities in Brazil:

Cost/citySão Paulo⁵Rio de Janeiro⁶Brasília⁷Belo Horizonte⁸
Meal for 2, 3 courses, mid-range restaurant41.86 USD31.39 USD37.67 USD31.39 USD
Rent 1 bedroom, city center604.68 USD425.37 USD400.36 USD333.45 USD
Utilities (915 sq ft apartment)72.99 USD111.54 USD86.11 USD81.35 USD
1 way local transport ticket0.94 USD1.03 USD1.15 USD0.94 USD
1 mile in a taxi1.35 USD1.85 USD1.60 USD2.19 USD
International primary school, 1 year per child12,718 USD7,444 USD9,884 USD3,859 USD

It’s also worth considering the impact of Brazilian taxes on your income opportunity. Non-residents are taxed a flat rate on all Brazil earned income, of 25% with no deductions⁹.

Once you’re a Brazilian resident you may find you’re eligible for some deductions, and your income will be taxed on a progressive scale from 0% to 27.5% depending on the amount you earn.

Other taxes will also apply, so do get professional advice before you move so you’re clear on your obligations in Brazil and back in the US.

Cost of living in São Paulo, Brazil


São Paulo is pretty consistently ranked as the most expensive city in Brazil to live in. The cost of living in São Paulo Brazil according to Numbeo, means that you’d need around 676 USD as a single person per month (excluding rent) to cover your living expenses.

Numbeo calculates the average monthly net income after tax in São Paulo to be 491.12 USD, but expats earning in foreign currencies are able to have a comfortable lifestyle, particularly when working for international employers.

São Paulo is a good choice for expats as there’s already a lively expat community, with strong infrastructure, health care and international school options.

Cost of living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Rio de Janeiro works out at around 616 USD as a single person per month (excluding rent). Numbeo calculates the average monthly net income after tax in Rio to be 407.38 USD.

Rio is a hugely popular place for tourists and expats alike, thanks to the beaches and easy access to beautiful natural scenery, as well as the vibrant cultural life, festivals and activities to get involved in.

Cost of living in Brasília, Brazil


The cost of living in Brasília, Brazil, is around 674 USD as a single person per month (excluding rent) — somewhat higher than the cities we’ve looked at so far. However,

Numbeo calculates the average monthly net income after tax in Brasília to also be higher than elsewhere, at around 688.44 USD.

Brasília is known to be a wealthy and safe city with friendly people, making it a good place for expats. There are established expat districts and a large and active expat community, plus good and inexpensive international schools.

Cost of living in Belo Horizonte, Brazil


The cost of living in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, is significantly lower than in other famous Brazilian cities, at 566 USD as a single person per month (excluding rent).

As you’d expect, average earning is also on the low side — Numbeo calculates the average monthly net income after tax in Belo Horizonte to be 376.20USD.

Belo Horizonte is considered to be a relatively safe city, with parks and places to relax, plus a decent dining and cultural scene.

If you’re starting to plan a move to Brazil it’s important to budget in advance so you know how far your money will go in BRL.

Use this guide and the resources in it, to start building your budget — and don’t forget to check out Wise when it’s time to work out how to manage your money day to day across both USD and BRL.


  1. Numbeo cost of living Brazil vs USA
  2. US State Dept Brazil country guide
  3. Numbeo - cost of living Brazil
  4. Teleport - salaries São Paulo
  5. Numbeo - cost of living São Paulo
  6. Numbeo - cost of living Rio de Janeiro
  7. Numbeo - cost of living Brasília
  8. Numbeo - cost of living Belo Horizonte
  9. PWC - tax on income Brazil

Sources checked on 07.25.2023

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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