Rīga the most expensive Baltic capital to live in

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Rīga is the most expensive Baltic city to live in, according to a Swedbank study, reported LETA Wednesday.

The study analyzes the cost of living in Baltic capital cities for a family of two adults with two children, living in a 70-square meter apartment of an unrenovated apartment building, using public transportation, and not eating out.

A family like that in Rīga spends 41% of household income on food, housing costs, and transport. In Vilnius the figure is 40%, and just 24% in Tallinn.

After removing food, housing and transport costs, a family in Tallinn is left with €1,560 a month, compared to €840 in Riga and €774 in Vilnius.

The difference is mostly due to different income levels in the Baltic capitals. An average household in Riga has an income of €1,425 a month, in Vilnius €1,229 a month, while in Tallinn - €2,053 a month, Swedbank Institute of Finances expert Evija Kropa told LETA.

Families in Latvia have to pay the most for food - €320 a month, compared to €311 in Estonia and €310 in Lithuania. In Tallinn, 15% of household income is spent on food, in Riga the proportion is 22% and 24% in Vilnius.

Housing costs in Riga on the average make up 12% of household income. Renting a home is the most expensive, claiming 36% of household income, while families that live in homes bought on mortgage have to allot 27% of their earning to cover housing costs.

Compared to Tallinn and Vilnius, the cost of public transportation in Riga is the highest. A Riga family spends €100, or 7% of household income, on public transportation every month. In Vilnius the respective figures are €64 or 5%, while transportation in Tallinn is free of charge.

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