El Salvador, San Salvador – Cost of Living

The economy of El Salvador has been hampered by natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes, but El Salvador currently has a steadily growing economy. The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 64%, followed by the industrial sector at 25%. Agriculture represents only 11% of GDP.

San Salvador is the capital and largest city of the nation of El Salvador.San Salvador is home to one-half of El Salvador’s wealth. The city offers the widest boulevards in Central America and is served by a railroad that connects to other cities.

San Salvador has an overall cost of living index which equates it with low cost of living locations. The overall cost of living index is comprised of the prices for defined quantities of the same goods and services across all 13 Basket Groups.

The latest cost of living rank for each of the 13 Basket Groups is now available.

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About Xpatulator

Xpatulator.com is a website that provides international cost of living information and calculators that can help you determine cost of living indexes, cost of living allowances, salary purchasing power and international assignment packages to compensate for cost of living, hardship, and exchange rate differences.
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4 Responses to El Salvador, San Salvador – Cost of Living

  1. where does this cost of living index come from, who calculates it, and how is it done? I live in El Salvador and it is not cheap to live here for people who live on a Salvadoran salary. COL is only cheap for people who bring foreign money into the country or receive iti n the form of remittances.

    Looking forward do your response.

  2. OK. I saw this another page, which answers my question and makes it more clear – the intended audience for your cost of living estimates is not the indigenous pp of the country but expats looking for a cheap place to live, per your 2010 Cost of Living page: “Our calculators make use of the cost of living indexes, based on your input and Xpatulator’s data” .

    In El Salvador, my husband and I live on $1000 a month, $350 of which is for rent (a house, 30 min from downtown San Salvador, with very large yard). That is for a hunkered down lifestyle, NOT going out much at all – no restaurants/bars, no sightseeing, etc. A more typical lifestyle would be $1500 or more. We have a car. Gas is always 20% more here than avg price of gas in the U.S (using a state with average pricing) – $4.60 right now versus 3.85 in Massachusetts.

    • stevenxp says:

      YEs, this information pertains mainly to Expats or people moving from one city to another who want to compare what they need to be earning in the new location that they are moving to, in order to have the same level of spending power in the new location and as a result a similar standard of living.

      We use a wide range of data. One type is actual prices for items direct from “the store”, however the way we collect these prices varies. We also use data collected by third parties such as agencies responsible for the collection of data to determine local consumer price indexes as well as global data collection agencies within the UN and World Bank. We do not send our own staff to remote locations, we prefer to collect prices remotely mostly using the web and email. Users also provide data in return for free reports. We combine directly collected data together with data collected via third parties. As a result for any one location, we have multiple independent data inputs.

      We update the data on a continual basis, however we upload the quality assured indexes once a quarter. The 3 month cycle involves closing off input and then conducting a rigorous quality assurance process before publishing the updated indexes. The indexes are influenced by both the actual prices as well as the exchange rates. Statistical fluctuations also occur particularly as a result of old data dropping out and new data coming into the database. The maximum time between gathering prices and producing an updated index is 12 months. Data dated older than 12 months is dropped from the database.

      • Steven, thanks for getting back to me. After reading more on this blog and your response, it looks like you are putting together very valuable information for expats. The standard of living info on this website is probably very useful for people from Western nations thinking of retiring abroad, also. Here in El Salvador we don’t see that many retirees yet, but I have hopes they will build a strong community here one day. I’ve been in E.S. since 2009 and staying just a few more months. If there is something you’d like research in El Salvador requiring someone to validate or view physically, give me a holler.

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