This is a great article from Expatistan – the relative cost of living in a number of different cities around the world. We went to a seminar while we were considering moving to Vancouver, and one of the speakers explained this concept. The cost of living is not the same as the cost of buying stuff when on holiday, because you have to take into account your earning potential and all the other boring sundry stuff that comes with living somewhere. At the seminar, the comparison was made between the Big 4 (most popular destinations for emigrants from the UK) – Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and this article seems to back up what was said then, 5 years ago, and what we have found since we moved. Vancouver is far less expensive than London, and a bit less than Manchester and a bit more than Nottingham – actually around the same as our previous life around a number of small towns in the south and centre of England.
Of course, everyone’s experience is different, but the general idea is, if you get a comparable job and live in a comparable way, this index will show if you are going to be better or worse off.