So Sao Paulo is one of the most expensive places to live, more than New York but less than Tokyo. We lived in LA for a bit, which is also up there, but not as up there as Sao Paulo, and I have to say it’s not so bad. But then again, I nor my husband are paid Sao Paulo wages. I think that’s the big difference here from Tokyo, at least in Tokyo people are paid pretty well too. In Brasil, the wage discrepancy is pretty big.
We are doing pretty well here (but like I said, US wages). However, if we had an older kid, or even more kids, different story. I often wonder how it is that Brasilians survive. On top of the price of rent, food, and insanely crazy gas prices, I’d also have to pay for school tuition (and they start young here, like pre age 3 in school), dance classes, instruments, athletic supplies, and the list goes on and on. So if you look around Brasil and wonder why you only see a few kids in families, even though it’s a highly catholic society, I think you’ll know why. .. the avg is 1.9 kids as of 07. I’m sure has declined further since then, as it was 2.1 in 2004. Per 2010 stats in the US the average per family is .84.
Even still, with just a few kids per family, Brasil is still one of the most child friendly countries, so when people tell me that all the friendliness is because people in Brasil have kids, I find it interesting, because in such a tight economy as this, you’d think kids would be viewed as a burden, but they are not, they’re viewed as a wonderful gift, and hopefully that is what will keep Brasil from turning into Europe, where the birthrate is almost non-existent.