What Is The Cost Of Living In Fiji Vs. USA?

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone

An archipelago of over 300 islands, Fiji is an island country in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. In Fiji, rainforests, waterfalls, rugged landscapes, and secluded beaches are all a part of the daily culture. Moving to this island nation is a popular option among Americans looking to leave the United States. Fiji is very appealing due to its affordability, breathtaking scenery, phenomenal sea life, and its reputation of having some of the friendliest people on the planet. So, if you’re considering living on island time in Fiji, we don’t blame you.

Understanding the cost of living in Fiji can help you prepare and budget accordingly. Cost of living is a major factor that people often use to determine whether they want to live in one place versus another. So, when it comes to Fiji vs. the United States, how do these two countries stack up in terms of cost of living? Since cost of living varies quite a bit based on where you live in either country, it can be difficult to do an accurate comparison.

Depending on the lifestyle you choose, Fiji can be cheap or expensive. However, the consensus is that Fiji is about 36% cheaper than the United States. The cost of living index in Fiji is 44.93, while the cost of living index in the United States is 70.55. Estimated monthly costs for a family of four in Fiji is $2,382, compared to $4,750 in the U.S. Whereas, the estimated monthly costs for a single individual in Fiji is $1,052, but it’s $3,335 in the United States.

With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at how the cost of living compares in Fiji vs. USA.

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Real Estate in Fiji vs. USA

Generally speaking, there are three types of land available to buy in Fiji. The type of Fijian property that is most similar to the American system is called “freehold,” which involves you purchasing full rights for the land that you can then pass on to your children and grandchildren. Only about 8% of all the land in Fiji is freehold. The second category of real estate in Fiji is known as “native lease,” which is tribally owned but can be owned or rented for a specific amount of time.

The third type of land is called a “crown lease,” which is owned by the government but is available for short-term use. Home prices in Fiji vary based on where you live. For instance, you can enjoy a lifestyle (and price range) similar to New York City in Suva, Fiji’s capital. Or, settle in one of the smaller towns of Viti Levu or on one of the many remote islands and enjoy an even lower cost of living. Overall, you’re looking at the following property prices in Fiji, based on square footage:

  • Low End: (FJD) $1,500 to $2,000 per square meter
  • Mid-Range: (FJD) $2,000 to $3,000 per square meter
  • High End: (FJD) $3,000 to $4,000+ per square meter

In the United States, the average sales price of a new home in 2020 was $389,400, climbing to $408,800 in 2021. Though, like Fiji, real estate prices vary substantially based on where you live in the country.

To help put things in perspective, the following table outlines the typical price of a single-family home in all 50 states across the U.S.

StateTypical Home Price (2021)
District of Columbia$691,997
New Hampshire$366,129
New Jersey$408,517
New Mexico$248,670
New York$371,880
North Carolina$248,950
North Dakota$246,588
Rhode Island$372,809
South Carolina$225,406
South Dakota$242,923
West Virginia$117,768

Rent in Fiji vs. USA

In Fiji, it’s very common to find fully furnished rental units and rent estimations tend to be based on the Suva market. Overall, rent is typically more affordable outside of Suva, meaning you can expect to spend around 30% less for similar accommodations in Nadi. Additionally, rent in older buildings and sharehouses is usually lower than in more modern apartments or homes (advertised as ‘executive’ accommodations).

The following table outlines the average monthly rent for an apartment in Fiji vs. USA, based on proximity to the city center.

One bedroom apartment in city center$544.69$1,342.01
One bedroom apartment outside of city center$333.63$1,094.62
Three bedroom apartment in city center$1,227.08$2,188.05
Three bedroom apartment outside of city center$643.29$1,775.60

With these averages in mind, rental prices in Fiji are approximately 43.24% lower than in the United States. Though, it’s important to keep in mind that prices can vary considerably depending on where you live in either country.

Monthly Utilities in Fiji vs. USA

When planning to relocate, it’s important that you plan your monthly budget around utility bills for electricity, heating, gas, water, internet, and cable. Utilities play a major role in the overall cost of living in a particular location.

The table below provides a comparison for the average monthly utilities you can expect in the Fiji vs. USA. Though, again, prices will vary depending on where you specifically live in Fiji or the United States.

Basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 915 sq. ft. apartment$66.14 (USD)$167.52 (USD)
Internet plan (60 Mbps+ 1 month unlimited)$29.04 (USD)$66.17 (USD)

Based on the aforementioned data, overall, utilities tend to be more expensive in the United States than in Fiji.

Taxes in Fiji vs. USA

Though considered a tax haven, in Fiji, residents are liable to tax on taxable income that is accrued in or derived from the country itself or elsewhere. Non-residents, however, are only taxed on their Fijian income. In addition to income tax, social responsibility tax (SRT) and environment and climate adaptation levy (ECAL) are imposed on taxable income.

Though, there are no local taxes on income, gift taxes, estate or inheritance taxes, stamp duties, and property taxes at the national level in Fiji. The table below displays a more detailed look at the personal income tax rates for Fiji residents:

Taxable Income (FJD or Fiji Dollar)Income Tax Payable SRT PayableECAL Payable
0 to 30,000000
30,000 to 50,00018% of excess over FJD 30,00000
50,000 to 270,000FJD 3,600 plus 20% of excess over FJD 50,00000
270,000 to 300,000FJD 47,600 plus 20% of excess over FJD 270,00013% of excess over FJD 270,0005% of excess over FJD 270,000
300,000 to 350,000FJD 53,600 plus 20% of excess over FJD 300,000FJD 3,900 plus 14% of excess over FJD 300,0005% of excess over FJD 270,000
350,000 to 400,000FJD 63,600 plus 20% of excess over FJD 350,000FJD 10,900 plus 15% of excess over FJD 350,0005% of excess over FJD 270,000
400,000 to 450,000FJD 73,600 plus 20% of excess over FJD 400,000FJD 18,400 plus 16% of excess over FJD 400,0005% of excess over FJD 270,000
450,000 to 500,000FJD 83,600 plus 20% of excess over FJD 450,000FJD 26,400 plus 17% of excess over FJD 450,0005% of excess over FJD 270,000
500,000 to 1,000,000FJD 93,600 plus 20% of excess over FJD 500,000FJD 34,900 plus 18% of excess over FJD 500,0005% of excess over FJD 270,000
1,000,000+FJD 193,600 plus 20% of excess over FJD 1,000,000FJD 124,900 plus 19% of excess over FJD 1,000,0005% of excess over FJD 270,000

In the United States, however, taxes are levied on income, payroll, sales, capital gains, property, imports, dividends, estates and gifts, in addition to a variety of fees.

Grocery Expenses in Fiji vs. USA

As food and groceries are expenses that people encounter on a daily basis, the overall grocery and food index is another factor that impacts the cost of living in a particular location. The grocery index in Fiji is 49.74, while the grocery index in the United States is 69.87.

This means that you’d enjoy a savings of about 28.8% on groceries if you live in Fiji instead of the United States. Refer to the following table for a more detailed look at the average prices of groceries in Fiji vs. USA.

Food ItemFijiUSA
Bread (one loaf)$0.93$2.71
Gallon of milk$4.40$3.22
Dozen eggs$2.99$2.30
Local cheese (8 oz)$7.49$5.56
Boneless chicken breast (1 lb.)$2.98$4.18
White rice (1 lb.)$0.52$1.80
Apples (1 lb.)$0.99$2.07
Tomatoes (1 lb.)$1.70$1.94
Bananas (1 lb.)$0.82$0.75
Potatoes (1 lb.)$0.53$1.24
Onions (1 lb.)$0.46$1.25
Bottle of water (11 fl. oz)$0.78$1.53

Transportation Costs in Fiji vs. USA

Whether you choose to live in Fiji or the United States, you must also consider transportation costs in order to accurately calculate the overall cost of living in both countries. These costs include expenses like gas prices, vehicle purchase costs, bus fares, monthly transit fees, and other public transportation expenses.

Fuel, which is a major import item in Fiji, tends to be pretty expensive. In most cases, this results in an increase in everything from bus fares to airplane tickets. Though, surprisingly, expats find that public transportation, such as taxi rides and even monthly public transit passes, are relatively affordable.

Based on the following table, you’d pay about 60% more on transportation if you lived in the United States instead of Fiji.

Cost FactorFijiUSA
Gallon of gas$4.65$2.62
Monthly public transit pass$39.58$63.05
Taxi trip in downtown (approx. five miles)$5.62$16.83
One-way ticket (local transport)$0.55$2.25
New Volkswagen Golf$19,314$23,189

Entertainment & Miscellaneous Costs in Fiji vs. USA

Cost FactorAverage Price in FijiAverage Price in USA
Monthly local gym membership$22.44$39.67
Movie ticket$4.46$11.58
Pack of cigarettes$8.64$7.90
Domestic beer (1 pint)$2.90$4.52
Cappuccino (mid-range area)$2.72$4.18
Pair of running shoes$77.77$75.54
Fast food combo meal$7.76$7.75
Basic meal with drink (inexpensive restaurant)$4.40$14.25

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Fiji vs. USA: Which is More Expensive?

As previously stated, it can be difficult to compare the cost of living between two countries when it varies so much based on where you live in either country. However, the USD is worth more than twice the value of the Fiji dollar, which makes living in Fiji considerably cheaper than living in the United States.

More specifically, when you consider overall cost of living index, the United States is nearly 60% more expensive than Fiji.

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Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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