The Cheapest English-Speaking Countries in the World, Ranked

Like each and every single one of us, you’ve definitely thought about quitting your job on the spot, selling your possessions, and moving to a country where life is so cheap that you might not even have to work another day in your life. Ever. You think this is too far fetched? Not at all, when you know the cheapest English speaking countries out there!

Cheapest english speaking countries
Foreign language skills are awesome and beneficial — but some people just don’t have time for that.

You don’t have to wait until you hit the lottery jackpot to move abroad, or to travel the world. There is a big misconception that one has to be rich to live abroad, when in reality there are countless cheap places to live in the world (that speak English, nonetheless!).

Cheap is also very objective and it means different things to different people and their lifestyle, but in many of these places you can live like a king for under $2000 per month. Of course, if you’re living like a tourist, it can become expensive, so try to live like a local, and get settled in at least for a few years and explore your host country to its fullest.

What are these cheapest English speaking countries we keep talking about, you wonder? Well check out our list and decide for yourself which country you might see yourself living in.

Related: 7 Best Places to Retire in the World on a Budget 

8 Cheapest English-speaking countries

Editor’s note: In light of recent COVID-19 developments, we strongly recommend that you heed all CDC warnings on any of the following locations to avoid localized outbreaks. 

1. India

Cheapest english speaking countries
You’ll love the magic (and affordable cost of living) of India.

India is hands down the cheapest English speaking country to live in, to travel, or to retire, and it claims to be the world’s second largest English speaking country. Living in a city apartment in cities like Bangalore or Delhi can cost you anywhere from $150 to $600 per month, or you can rent a room in a smaller city for as little as $2 per night. 

Internally-produced goods and local market goods are incredibly fresh and affordable, as is eating out. An entire meal won’t have you spend more than $5, with a cup of cappuccino for $1.50, a beer for $1.40, or just $0.07 to $0.20 for a samosa from a street vendor. The conversion rate is definitely an advantage when you don’t want to blow your budget too quick. 

2. Philippines 

Who wouldn’t want to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, to lay on the beach enjoying a Halo-Halo, to go on inexpensive adventure travels, all without having to deal with a language barrier? Most Filipinos speak English as a second language fluently, except for some members of older generations here and there. That’s great news for English-speaking travelers who don’t have time to grasp Tagalog prior to flying over.

Depending on the type of accommodation you prefer, as well as the location, rent can cost you between $100 to $400 per month. You can live on $10 per day (or less) if you shop at the local markets or dine on street food. A meal in a restaurant can be $5, or $3 for a McDonald’s meal. You can definitely live your dream life in the Philippines on a budget and you won’t even notice.

3. Thailand

Cheapest english speaking countries
Thailand, one of the cheapest English speaking countries to live in, also has some of the world’s best cuisine!

Thailand is one of the world’s best known tropical paradises, where life feels like heaven, and the cost of living remains low. This has attracted a flourishing expat community, with people from all over the world who come here to work and travel. You’ll find affordable rent for as little as $200, and you can eat a complete, delicious local meal for $3.

Although the official percentage of English speaking people in Thailand is only 27%, that figure is increasing every year as Thailand is undergoing growth and development. Most of the English speaking people will be found in the most popular and touristy areas, and the further you go out from the urban area, the less you will be able to communicate.

But hey, you might pick up on the Thai language real quick yourself! 

4. Peru

With its sun-bathed cities and beaches, sky-scraping mountains, Amazonian jungles, and sand dunes, Peru has so many activities and breathtaking sights that are waiting to be discovered, to keep you busy for a lifetime. You’ll never get bored! And to top it off, Peru happens to be one of the cheapest English speaking countries to live in, with a laidback lifestyle and 300 days of sunshine.

Worried about the cost of living? Don’t be! You can easily live on or less than $2000 per month, with rent at a high end of $400 within the city, or $250 in a rural area. You can have a meal for under $3 and quench your thirst on a beer for under $2 (or a cappuccino for $2.20).

Though about 80% of the country’s population speaks mainly Spanish, you will encounter a lot of English speaking people in areas with international visitors — but no doubt you will easily and quickly pick up on Spanish, if you don’t already speak some.

Keep Reading: 9 Cheapest Cities for Travel in the World

5. South Africa

Cheapest english speaking countries
We see new friends in your future.

Are you determined to make a complete life change, and start living a unique and memorable life? Maybe one where you can delight yourself with natural wonders, where you can go on safaris and observe the Big Five every day if you so wish? And while on other days you can go surfing, trekking, boating, and…oh, you didn’t know that South Africa offers all this?

Then you probably also don’t know that it’s one of the cheapest English speaking countries to visit and live in, with a cost of living of at least 50% cheaper than most of the major cities in the world.

Rent will set you back around $400 per month, while food can become expensive if not budgeted right. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant can be up to $10, while beverages such as beer, soda, and cappuccino are within a low price range of under $2 each. For a healthy and affordable lifestyle, shopping at the local markets is highly recommended. 

6. Vietnam

Yet another exotic and vibrant destination, rich in natural beauty, with a fascinating culture, and high quality lifestyle for affordable prices. Vietnam ranks amongst the cheapest places to live in the world that speak English, and for good reason.

The country’s most expensive cities are Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and even here the accommodation (apartments sometimes come fully furnished and with a pool!) can be found under $500 per month (say whaaaat?). A meal for two with meat, rice, fresh vegetables, and a couple of draft beers or any other beverages, will cost you less than $5.

If you budget right, you could lead a middle class lifestyle with as little as $1200 per month. Go check it out for yourself if you don’t believe us!

7. Romania

Cheapest english speaking countries
Living in a storybook setting doesn’t have to cost a fortune!

There is more to Romania than Dracula and fast internet. Romania is one of those countries that has a little bit of everything for everyone: relaxing beaches, picturesque landscapes, majestic mountains, historical sights, traditional cuisine — it’s a hidden gem full of history and culture.

Romanians are some of the best English speakers in the world, so the language barrier is not something to worry about. Accommodation can be found even in the big cities like Bucharest, Timișoara, or Cluj for around $500 per month, or even cheaper outside the city.

Eating out can be very expensive, however. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant is $6, a beer costs $1.39, and a cappuccino is $1.58. But why would you be going out to eat everyday when you can shop at the local markets and get fresh and healthy goods directly from the farmers, for half of the price that you’d spend in a restaurant? Romania is definitely one of the cheapest English speaking countries to live in, and you’ll love every affordable moment.

8. Armenia

If you didn’t know much about Romania, we bet you’ve never even given Armenia a thought. With an incredibly low cost of living, 300 days of sunshine, and a low crime rate, Armenia is continuously prosperous — and has an English speaking population that’s ever increasing.

The country can make for an incredible spot to retire and live a nice, peaceful life. Within certain parts of the country, even within the urban area, you can comfortably live on $1000 a month. A nice, full meal, with a beer or different beverage (and a tip) will cost you under $3. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be purchased at the local markets for under $0.10.

With a small monthly income, you could easily save up and take trips around Europe to your heart’s content — all while enjoying such a relaxing lifestyle.

Use FundMyTravel to raise money for your trip!

Even though you don’t have to spend a fortune to travel or move to any of these countries, having that extra bit of income to cushion your trip never hurts. With FundMyTravel, you can start a campaign today to raise money through the help of friends, family, and kind strangers of the internet. 

While there are a lot of other things you can do to increase your travel budget (such as a garage sale or selling your stuff on the internet), having an online fundraising campaign running in the background is a fun and passive way of earning money while you take care of other trip-related details. It’s a smart and useful way to fund your trip!

Take it easy with the cheapest English-speaking countries to live in

Cheapest english speaking countries
Don’t sleep on the local markets! They’ll make your time abroad even more affordable (and delicious).

Now, we don’t expect you to drop everything and set off for one of these countries, but you are now one step closer to making it there. You have a few destinations that you can further research in detail, until you decide on the one that will suit you and meet your needs.

Then, you can start setting up a plan, including a timeline, a budget, starting a FundMyTravel campaign, researching visa-related details, and finding new job opportunities. If you’re working remotely, you can easily live in any of these countries on your monthly income, and even hop from one to the other if you need a change of scenery!

See? Life does not always have to be a 9-to-5, day in and day out. It just takes a little bit of courage, enough research, a steady budget plan, and a ticket to your first destination. After that, everything else will fall into place and you’ll wish you would’ve done this sooner.

Want to get the inside scoop on affordable travel, straight to your inbox? Subscribe to the FundMyTravel Newsletter

luciana dinu

This article was written by Lucy Dinu. Lucy is an entrepreneur and world traveler—plus writer by day, and reader by night. Born and raised in Romania, Lucy has lived in three different countries and, together with her husband, has traveled to over 20. She strongly believes in personal development, speaks five languages (with a sixth in progress!), and is passionate about everything that puts a smile on people’s faces. Through her unique traveling stories, Lucy aims to inspire others to get out of their comfort zone and explore the world.

Comments (19)

Hi Lucy
I would like to know more of your ideas, as i have been thinking sometime, now to making a change I have started my plans and gainig telf to be able to find work when i start my travel. Have you more ideas that you could share with me.

Thankyou Lucy I found your article inspiring, I’m at a crossroads in my life, have been in same house for 29 years, my children all grown up, my parents have passed over , and I find my self 58 in a few months and yearning to explore.

Musa lnnocent lnope

Hi Lucy.
Please try to visit Nigeria, West Africa Region, Africa. Nigeria is equally an English speaking countries. Abundant resources – human, natural, and material, tourism centres – abound in their large quantities in Nigeria. We are highly hospitable and secure as a nation!

Hello I am planning to visit any suggestions?

Hey Guys ..I am 40year old air hostage for an african airlines and during the Corona lockdown I took stock of my life …I’ve travelled the world seen 26% of it ..but am planning on immigrating out of africa …please advice on a Visa free or easy work and stay visa country .I am so totally welling to pack up and leave next year January start new over again

Thank you Lucy.. for a long time now I’ve always wanted to live out of the country but not sure where. I just turned 53 years old. I’m originally from Arkansas, moved to Texas in 1987 until 2016. Then I relocated to Kentucky for 3 years. I’m now back in Texas only to build a close relationship with my grandbabies. I would love to get more information about affordable countries and jobs. Thank you again!

I would like to know more please

Hi Lucy,
Nice article. Try Ghana. It’s an English speaking country in west Africa and very affordable. It’s also quite safe.

Hi Lucy inspired to read about you. I’m 70 years man from India quite fit and healthy without any ailment. I’m alone and my children are well settled and enjoying their lives. I haven’t traveled any country and passed my life with in India. But I have passion to travel some countries which are on very low budget. We I don’t have much finance and no expectations for financial help from my family for this passion. Can you please suggest how to manage my 3-4 months tour to any English speaking countries. Thanks.

Hi, I am in the late 40s and wanted to explore the world before it becomes too late. I would rather an English speaking country and not too expensive. Appreciated your thoughts

I’ve lived in India and Philippines, and I agree English is widely spoken and they are affordable. But quality of life do to overly crowded , and pollution and wide spread poverty is not high. Malaysia on the other hand has great infrastructure , low poverty levels beautiful national parks and we’ve found in to be cheaper than India and the Philippines . On Penang island you can rent a 3 bed 2 bath apartment furnished with pool and gym for 350 to 400 usd. 2 people can live good on $1000 a month. It’s a hidden gem.

Really? US $ 1,000 / mth total living expenses for a couple on Penang Island? & what medical insurance plans are available?Please give us some links / URLs, thanks!

Hello Derek.
I’d like to know more if you have time!
My husband and I are in our 40’s, so we do not have Social Security or any monthly income that would cover our cost of living. At least, not anytime soon.
Of course, that would mean that we would need to both work if we wanted to go live overseas for a bit. Are there any particular jobs that Americans are going to have an easier time finding or would we be looking at possibly being English tutors or in the hospitality industry?
My husband is in the Auto Parts industry while I’m in the middle of a career change – into nursing. I’m not quite sure if we would find areas that we have experience in.
I’ll do some research on my own, but you may know more than I’ll find! I’ll appreciate any additional information that you might offer ??

Also, big questions to conclude with;
Are there any issues with discrimination or interracial marriage in the Philippines?

I’ve lived in India and Philippines, and I agree English is widely spoken and they are affordable. But quality of life due to being overly crowded , and pollution and wide spread poverty is not high. Malaysia on the other hand has great infrastructure , low poverty levels beautiful national parks and we’ve found in to be cheaper than India and the Philippines . On Penang island you can rent a 3 bed 2 bath apartment furnished with pool and gym for 350 to 400 usd. 2 people can live good on $1000 a month. Also English is spoken well by most people.

I am an active senior. I used to travel a lot when I was younger. Now, I would like to do it again. I would like to leave with one suitcase to travel to four different worldwide countries, spending six months in each. I would like countries that are economical, and safe. I speak fluent French, and get along with Spanish. However, I want to avoid the stress of getting somewhere, then looking for an apartment, etc. Are there people who would arrange all this stuff: living arrangements, visas, etc. for me?? Thanks

Tell me more. I am captivated. Am on SS and want to relocate as there is no family or anything tying me here in the US. I need a different way of life and a cheaper way as well. Thank you so much!

I’m in Australia, which I love! But being on a pension it’s too expensive. I’m looking at moving somewhere else. I might look at Malaysia.

Armenia is not an English speaking country. I am there right now. There are some signs written in English, but so far the only English speakers I have found are the two American businessmen that were at my hotel bar one evening and the reception desk girl that worked at my international hotel. I overheard a French woman and an Ugandan speaking to each other in heavily accented English one day at lunch.

I have been here three weeks and have spent that time in the city center, wandering through the shops and stores. I have asked business owners, policemen (of which there are hundreds near the capital building), waiters, cashiers, and a florist if they spoke English. So far- nothing. I suppose they might know enough to order chicken in a restaurant and ask someone the time, but otherwise, this is NOT an English speaking country. At All.

It is very cheap.

My comment has yet to be approved after 6 weeks so I will write a new one. I have been in Armenia for two months now and know a handful of English speakers- all from other countries. Very few Armenians speak English, even in Yerevan’s city center where I am. I recommend lessons in Armenian or Russian before coming here for more than a vacation. While I love the country, it would be hard to eat a meal that included a drink of any sort for under $5, and the only produce I have found for 10 cents is an onion. Prices are cheap on food, but not that cheap. Street food is super cheap, but often suspect. Rent is cheap so if you mostly cook at home a couple can easily live on $1k a month just learn a little language before the adventure.

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