Brazilian neighborhoods can be very expensive, but there are also some places where the cost of living can be more affordable and the quality of life quite acceptable. Find in this article what are the Brazilian state capitals where it is possible to live well without spending too much.
Cheap doesn’t mean bad quality
Living in Brazil can be expensive, especially in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the two main destinations for foreigners coming to the country. What is often forgotten is that Brazil is a very large country, with several other state capitals where it is possible to live with a good quality of life.
Some Brazilian state capitals offer an affordable cost of living with a good quality of life. Here are six suggestions of cities with a decent infrastructure and range of services and where it is also possible to find a decent job.
Salvador – BA
Salvador is the largest city in the Brazilian Northeast, with a metropolitan region that has ranked the 8th position among the most densely populated ones in Latin America.
In Salvador, it is possible to rent a two-bedroom apartment in an upscale neighborhood per BRL 1265,75 a month and the same apartment per BRL 631,52 in a more affordable area of the city. Tourism still remains as the major economic activity in the city, but it is also where Odebrecht, the major construction and petrochemical conglomerate in Latin America is located. Also, Petrobras is a good option for foreigners looking for a job in the area.
The ICMS rate for Bahia state ranges from 7% to 38%. The average cost of a cesta básica is of BRL 227,12 and educational costs go from BRL 661,11 (preschool) to BRL 806,47 (college monthly tuition).
Vitória is the capital of the Brazilian state Espírito Santo. The city is one of the major in Brazil, with the 3rd HDI in the country. Its economy is greatly related to port activities, commerce, industry, services and business tourism. Two of the major ports in Brazil are located in Vitória and the city also hosts Vale, one of the major mining companies in the country.
A two-bedroom apartment in an upscale neighborhood costs, in average, BRL 1.142,25, while an apartment in a more affordable area would cost BRL 706,36. Educational costs range from monthly BRL 340,00 (preschool) to BRL 713,64 (college monthly tuition).
The average cesta básica cost is of BRL 295,31 and the ICMS rate for Espírito Santo state ranges from 12% to 27%.
Goiânia – GO
Goiânia is the capital of Goiás state, located in the Central-west area of Brazil. The city is an important economic hub, being considered as a strategic center for industry, medicine and fashion. It is the Brazilian city with the higher rate of green area per inhabitant in Brazil. However, it suffers from typical problems faced by major cities such as traffic, high criminality rate and pollution.
Despite the problems related to urban life, Goiânia still remains as a referent in terms of quality of life. The average rental price for a two-bedroom apartment in an upscale neighborhood is of BRL 948,71 and of BRL 549,23 in a more affordable area.
Educational costs range from BRL 205,19 (pre-school) to BRL 710,45 (college monthly tuition). The average cesta básica costs BRL 237,92 and the general ICMS rate for Goiás state ranges from 7% to 12%.
Aracaju – SE
Aracaju is the capital of Sergipe state, located in the Northeast of Brazil. It is considered to be the Brazilian city with the lowest rates of social inequality, with healthiest habits and the lowest rate of smokers, according to the Health Ministry. Also, just like Salvador and Vitória, Aracaju is a coastal city with some nice and pleasant beaches. If you have always wanted to live by the sea, this is a good option.
The average price for a two-bedroom apartment in an upscale neighborhood is of BRL 1.058,00 and of BRL 463,04 in a more affordable area. The average price for a cesta básica in Aracaju is of BRL 205,63, the lowest one in Brazil. Just to give an idea, a cesta básica in São Paulo city costs BRL 299,26.
Expenses related to education range from BRL 264,29 (junior high) to BRL 570,00 (preschool). The average price for a monthly college tuition fee is of BRL 462,50. The ICMS rate in the state ranges from 7% to 12%.
João Pessoa – PB
João Pessoa is the capital of Paraíba state, located in the Northeast of Brazil. The city was considered by the organization “International Living” as one of the best cities in the world to enjoy retirement. Differently from major metropolitan areas from the Southeast, João Pessoa offers a great quality of life and is also a coastal city, with beautiful beaches and green areas. Its economy is mostly concentrated in touristic activities, but the city also houses an industrial hub operating in different sectors such as automobile, beverage, cement, leather, chemistry, textiles and IT.
The average price for a two-bedroom apartment in an upscale neighborhood is of BRL 1.044,12 and of BRL 515,38 in a more affordable area. The average price for a cesta básica in João Pessoa is of BRL 235,85.
Expenses related to education range from BRL 261,25 (preschool) to BRL 406,25 (monthly college tuition). The ICMS rate in the state ranges from 4% to 28%.
Important: Despite its quality of life, João Pessoa has a high criminality rate, with an average of 81.1 homicides per 100.000 inhabitants. Collective robbery, kidnapping and armed robbery is common everywhere in the city, including upscale neighborhoods.
Fortaleza – CE
Fortaleza is the capital of Ceará state, located in the Brazilian Northeast. The city has the third urban network in Brazil, only behind São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. With the second highest GDP in the Northeast, Fortaleza is an important industrial and commercial center, having the seventh purchasing power in Brazil. In terms of tourism, the city is one of the major destinations in Brazil.
The average price for a two-bedroom apartment in an upscale neighborhood is of BRL 1.199,43 and of BRL 457,88 in a more affordable area. The average price for a cesta básica in Fortaleza is of BRL 244,55.
Expenses related to education range from BRL 398,46 (preschool) to BRL 745,39 (monthly college tuition). The ICMS rate in the state ranges from 12% to 25%.