Portugal is a very beautiful, sunny and comfortable country, located in the very west of the European continent. It is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and borders Spain. According to the report "Global Peace Index" by the Institute for Economics and Peace, Portugal is one of the top 3 safest countries on the planet.

Portugal has a population of about 10.2 million people. About 95% of the residents are ethnic Portuguese. In addition, the state is home to many representatives of such countries as Brazil, Cape Verde and Ukraine. About prices and costs of living, taxes, specifics of employment, salaries, education, medicine, pros and cons of living in Portugal in 2024 we'll talk further.

Living in Portugal

Pros and cons of living in Portugal

Certainly, large economy and professional prospects, winding streets and beautiful architecture of Lisbon attract the lion's share of foreigners to the Portuguese capital. Nevertheless, there are alternative places to move to. For example, surveys of experienced immigrants show that the best cities to live in Portugal are Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Faro and Aveiro. Let's highlight the positives and negatives of living in Portuguese territory.

Pros of living in Portugal

  • Portugal is a member of the European Union, so local citizens and permanent residents enjoy the economic, social and other benefits of this association, including free movement.

  • The Portuguese people are very hospitable, cheerful and open-minded.

  • Portugal has an amazingly comfortable climate and excellent cuisine. It is a country of great history, culture and tradition.

  • Property and food prices in Portugal are noticeably lower than in many Western European countries, including neighboring Spain.

  • The Portuguese nature and well-maintained beaches are breathtaking.

Note. Since 2012 the country has a special immigration program for wealthy foreigners – the "Golden Visa", which allows to obtain a residence permit in Portugal with a large investment, including the purchase of real estate.

Pros and cons of living in Portugal

Cons of living in Portugal

  • Unemployment among young people exceeds 20% and in general the situation on the Portuguese labor market is very poor, which makes it very difficult to find a job in Portugal for applicants from abroad.

  • Most locals do not speak English, so knowledge of Portuguese is necessary to adapt more quickly.

  • For many foreigners, summers in Portugal seem too hot. In July and August the temperature often exceeds 40 ° C.

  • Portugal has many narrow roads with dangerous descents and curves, making it somewhat difficult to drive.

  • Bureaucracy in state institutions.

Prices and cost of living in Portugal

In Portugal, a fairly high standard of living and at the same time affordable prices. For a comfortable stay for a family of two people is enough to have a total income of 2,500 euros a month. But many Portuguese are content with the amount of about 700-800 euros per person. The most expensive city to live in Portugal is the capital Lisbon.

Life in France or Britain is 2-2,5 times more expensive than in Portugal. To rent a studio apartment in the central part of the city is about 750 euros, and in remote areas about 590 euros. The price of a square meter of real estate in the center is 2,920 euros, and 2,020 euros outside the city.

Prices in Portugal in 2024

  • Bread (500g) – 1.37 euros

  • Milk (1 L) – 0.92 euros

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – 2.75 euros

  • Chicken Fillets (1 kg) – 6.81 euros

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 1.45 euros

  • Portuguese cheese (1 kg) – 9.85 euros

  • Bananas (1 kg) – 1.26 euros

  • Apples (1 kg) – 1.98 euros

  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 1.79 euros

  • Cab (1 km) – 0.80 euros

  • Public transport – 2.00 euros

  • Monthly bus pass – 40 euros

  • Utilities (85 sq. m.) – 111.23 euros per month

  • Mobile Tariff Local (month) – 19.18 euros

  • Internet – 36.88 euros per month

Note. The above prices are average figures for different cities in Portugal.

Taxes in Portugal

Taxes in Portugal

Portugal ranks 39th out of 190 countries in the Doing Business ranking. Not the best, but not the worst indicator for Europe. Largely thanks to the transparent tax system, it is now very profitable to do business in Portugal, and registering a company takes no more than an hour.

Tax rates in Portugal in 2024

Corporate income tax – 21%

VAT. The general rate – 23%. Reduced rates – 13, 6 and 0% apply to certain goods and services, such as food, passenger transportation, medical equipment, hotel accommodation.

Investment tax (interest, dividends) – 28%

Income tax:

  • Annual income of 0 to 7,703 euros – 13.25%

  • Annual income from 7,703 to 11,623 euros – 18%

  • Annual income from 11,623 to 16,472 euros – 23%

  • Annual income from 16,472 to 21,321 euros – 26%

  • Annual income from 21,321 to 27,146 euros – 32.75%

  • Annual income from 27,146 to 39 791 euros – 37%

  • Annual income from 39 791 to 51,997 euros – 43,5%

  • Annual income from 51,997 to 81,199euros – 45%

  • Annual income over 81,199 euros – 48%

Income tax for non-residents – 25%

Social security contributions – 11% (employee) and 23.75% (employer)

Real estate tax:

  • Individuals – 0.7%

  • Legal persons – 0.4%

  • Property value exceeding 1 million euros – 1%

Relief in property tax is 600 thousand euros for all properties.

Jobs and wages in Portugal

Today, many young Portuguese have difficulty finding a job, so moving to Portugal for permanent residence in the hope of finding a high-paying job is not the best idea for foreigners from third countries. For legal employment it is necessary to find an employer in advance and get a work permit. At the same time, local residents and citizens of the European Union must not apply for the job.

The job position is approved by the Employment and Training Institute of Portugal, and then a work permit is issued. After the move, the applicant obtains a residence permit, a social security number and a tax code. The period of review of documents can last up to six months. The most popular occupations in Portugal for foreigners are related to seasonal work in agriculture or tourism business.

A significant disadvantage of living in Portugal in comparison with other developed countries of the European Union is the level of wages. According to official data of the local authorities, the minimum wage in Portugal in 2024 (before taxes) is 956.7 euros per month. The average salary is 1,294.1 euros before taxes, and after all deductions is 930 euros.

Higher education in Portugal

Higher education in Portugal

The prestigious QS World University Rankings 2024 feature 8 Portuguese universities. The most important are the universities of Porto, Lisbon and Coimbra. In addition to the 6 military and police educational institutions and private institutions, the Portuguese higher education system includes 14 general universities and 20 technical universities.

To enroll at a local university, foreigners should apply directly to the educational institution. One of the main requirements is knowledge of the Portuguese language. Especially if it is planned to study on the bachelor's program. Average cost of education in Portugal at public universities is 950-1,250 euros per year, and in private educational institutions – 3000-4000 euros.

Medicine in Portugal

The Portuguese healthcare system includes both public and private medical services, which are generally of high quality. Government spending in this area reaches 9% of GDP. Every Portuguese citizen and permanent resident is entitled to medical assistance.

The Portuguese health care system is made up of three parts:

  • The National Health Service

  • A special social health insurance system

  • Voluntary private health insurance

In addition to dentistry and some other medical procedures, the services of the Portuguese National Health Service are free to all residents. For 100% coverage, many Portuguese buy additional private health insurance.

To conclude, the average life expectancy at birth in Portugal in 2024 is 79 years, with men living about 76 years and women 82.

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