Steve DiGioia

Budgeting Across Borders: Analyzing Cost of Living in Ireland versus the United States


Examining the Cost of Living in Ireland vs the United States from a comparative perspective highlights the intricacies of these two distinct economic landscapes.

Explore the nuanced factors that impact everyday expenses, including housing, healthcare, food, and transportation.

If you’re considering relocation or have a curiosity about global economic dynamics, this book delves into the fundamental distinctions between Ireland and the United States, shedding light on the financial aspects that set each region apart.

Cost of Living: Ireland vs. USA

According to experts, the cost of living in Ireland is approximately 10% lower compared to the United States.

This list includes essential topics like shelter and food. As you go through it, keep in mind the current exchange rate between the US dollar and the euro.

As an illustration, $500 in the United States is equivalent to slightly over $459 in euros.


BALLINA, IRELAND – APRIL 14: A row of United States and Irish flags is displayed on a bridge over the River Moy prior to the arrival of US President Joe Biden for a celebration event outside St Muredach’s Cathedral, on April 14, 2023 in Ballina, Ireland. US President Joe Biden has travelled to Northern Ireland and Ireland with his sister Valerie Biden Owens and son Hunter Biden to explore his family’s Irish heritage and mark the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Peace Agreement.
  • The average mortgage interest rate in Ireland is currently 4.25%.
  • The average mortgage interest rate in the US is 6.94%.

Housing significantly impacts cost-of-living assessments for many individuals. Recent years have witnessed notable increases in housing prices both in Ireland and the United States.

In the U.S., prices have surged past $495,000, while in Ireland, they have climbed to $351,000. Furthermore, American mortgage borrowers face higher interest rates.

For those not contemplating property ownership, rental costs merit careful consideration, particularly in major urban centers.

In New York City, average apartment rents stand at $3,661, exceeding Dublin’s average by over $1,000.

Prospective tenants in various cities should anticipate elevated expenses, particularly in affluent neighborhoods where monthly rents may surpass $10,000.

For individuals seeking the most economical rental options, exploring locales beyond city boundaries is advisable.

In rural regions like Donegal, Irish renters can expect monthly costs ranging from $1,100 to $1,500.

In contrast, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the U.S. stands at $1,317, with rural properties often commanding substantially lower rates.


  • Running a family car in Ireland comes with a price tag of €10,691.
  • Running a family car in the US comes with a price tag of $10,728.

Transportation serves as a critical link between the United States and Ireland. On average, Irish citizens expand upwards of $11,000 annually on acquiring and maintaining a family vehicle, a figure slightly exceeding that of their American counterparts.

In both countries, car ownership proves indispensable in numerous rural and small communities, where limited public transit infrastructure exists.

While Ireland’s TFI Public Transport Network caters to smaller locales, a significant portion of rural inhabitants rely on personal vehicles for mobility.

Conversely, in major urban centers such as Dublin and New York City, robust public transit systems comprising buses, subways, and taxis play a pivotal role.

Costs associated with public transportation are relatively comparable between the two cities.

For instance, a monthly pass in Dublin can amount to $150, while a 30-day MetroCard in New York is priced at $132.


  • Public health coverage in Ireland is available to the entire population, with a significant portion of it being fully free.
  • Lack of public health coverage in the US
  • Private insurance in Ireland costs an average of €160 per month.
  • The average cost of private insurance in the US is $450 per month.

In the United States, healthcare and insurance are contentious issues due to the lack of universal coverage.

Insurance can be obtained through government marketplaces or private providers, but costs are often burdensome, exceeding $500 monthly for many individuals.

Factors like health status, age, and lifestyle contribute to premium variations.

While some qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, others rely on employer-sponsored plans for more affordable coverage.

In contrast, Ireland offers government-funded public healthcare to all citizens either free or at reduced rates.

Many supplement this with private insurance, which averages $175 monthly, enhancing benefits and reducing out-of-pocket expenses.

Aside from insurance differences, healthcare expenses vary significantly between the two countries.

A typical doctor’s visit in Ireland costs around $65, while consultations with general practitioners in the US range from $300 to $600, highlighting the substantial gap in healthcare affordability.

Groceries and Dining Out

  • Weekly grocery expenses in Ireland amount to approximately €105.85 on average.
  • The average weekly grocery bill in the US is $270.21.
  • Cost of dining out in Ireland: €15 to €50 per person
  • Spending on dining out in the US can range from $11 to $40 per person.

Groceries constitute a significant expense for individuals regardless of nationality.

While the average weekly grocery expenditure in the United States may surpass that of Ireland, actual costs hinge on specific purchases.

In Ireland, thrifty shoppers can economize by opting for local products like cattle, which offer substantial food yields at lower prices.

Both nations exhibit comparable prices for their priciest supermarket items. In the US, diverse consumer demands drive costs for goods such as chocolate, meat, eggs, and select vegetables like oranges and peaches.

Similarly, Irish consumers contend with elevated prices for imported foods from Europe or the US.

For those preferring prepared meals, prices remain consistent irrespective of location.

Both Ireland and the US feature numerous casual dining venues offering burgers, sandwiches, or fish and chips for $15 or less.

Additionally, upscale dining establishments provide luxurious culinary experiences, with per-person expenses surpassing $100 in both countries.

Compensation for Employees

  • The average annual salary in Ireland is €44,202.
  • The average annual salary in the US is $59,428.
  • Latest update on the national minimum wage in Ireland: €12.70 per hour
  • National minimum salary in the US: $7.25 per hour

One notable discrepancy between Ireland and the United States lies in their average pay rates.

In Ireland, the average annual wage stands at approximately $48,017, while in the US, it’s just under $60,000.

With a difference of around $1,000 per month, the higher average wage in the US may appear more enticing for starting a career.

However, there’s a caveat for American workers.

While salaried employees may enjoy higher earnings compared to their Irish counterparts, it’s important to acknowledge the disparity in minimum wage rates.

In Ireland, the legal requirement mandates a minimum hourly wage of $13.80 for non-salaried workers, significantly higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 in the US.

Read Also: Insights into Living Expenses: Canada Vs. US – Top 5 Facts

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