The cost of living in Puerto Rico is, on the whole, significantly lower than that of the US. However, it's still by no means cheap. In Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2022, San Juan ranked 72nd out of 227 countries, placing it on par with large cities worldwide such as Edinburgh and Barcelona.

Cost of accommodation in Puerto Rico

Expats will find that a large portion of their salary goes towards accommodation in Puerto Rico. Apartments are the most common and are cheaper than freestanding houses. As with most places, housing is priciest in city centres and tends to be lower in outlying suburbs. In addition, smaller cities outside of San Juan are generally cheaper than living in the capital.

Cost of transport in Puerto Rico

There is a metro transport system that services parts of San Juan, and a bus route that services the rest of the capital. Where available, these forms of public transport are cheap and reasonably effective. With the use of these and taxis or ride-hailing services, expats can get around the capital without a car. Outside of San Juan, expats generally drive cars. Buying a car in Puerto Rico is expensive, though, and can be perilous; road conditions and adherence to traffic laws can be spotty.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Puerto Rico

Restaurant prices in Puerto Rico will typically be higher than in the US, especially in tourist areas. PR's delicious and ubiquitous street food, available from food trucks and kioskos, is tasty and cost-effective.

Cost of groceries in Puerto Rico

Many foodstuffs available in supermarkets are imported from mainland USA and go for more than what expats might expect. The price of milk, eggs and similar local goods is regulated but high. Price-conscious expats should shop from local markets to get the most bang for their buck.

Cost of healthcare in Puerto Rico

Most expats opt to use private healthcare in Puerto Rico. The cost of this is much less than one would expect, though it's important to be properly insured. Health insurance in Puerto Rico is well known for being affordable but comprehensive. 

Cost of education in Puerto Rico

The cost of education in Puerto Rico will vary greatly depending on whether parents send their child to a public or private school. Public schools are free to attend, but the language barrier can be difficult to overcome for non-Spanish-speaking families. Private schools are more likely to teach bilingually or in English. Tuition at these schools is pricey, though.

Cost of living in Puerto Rico chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for San Juan in October 2022.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

2,720 USD

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

2,080 USD

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

2,110 USD

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

1,480 USD


Eggs (dozen)

4.87 USD

Milk (1 litre)

2.99 USD

Rice (1kg)

1.99 USD

Loaf of white bread

2.82 USD

Chicken breasts (1kg)

10.56 USD

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

12 USD

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

13 USD

Coca-Cola (330ml)

1.71 USD


3.19 USD

Bottle of local beer


Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

60 USD


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

0.42 USD

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

44 USD

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

200 USD


Taxi rate (per kilometre)


Bus/train fare in the city centre

1.50 USD

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

1.35 USD