Cost of living in China

Summary of cost of living in China

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: 23,286元
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: 13,812元
  • Cost of living in China is cheaper than in 50% of countries in Asia (5 out of 10)
  • Cost of living in China is cheaper than in 68% of countries in the World (45 out of 66)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district 37元
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) 38元
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast 13元
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk 14元
12 eggs, large 15元
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes 10元
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese 55元
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples 15元
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes 7元
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket 6元
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality 87元
2 liters of coca-cola 8元
Bread for 2 people for 1 day 11元
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area 13,566元
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area 7,567元
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat 905元
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area 6,485元
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area 4,297元
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio 321元
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) 94元
40” flat screen tv 1,393元
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) 485元
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) 40元
Hourly rate for cleaning help 46元
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) 452元
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) 258元
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) 619元
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes 779元
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new 166,194元
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas 8元
Monthly ticket public transport 252元
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) 43元
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) 40元
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) 212元
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) 46元
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) 49元
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) 41元
4 rolls of toilet paper 12元
Tube of toothpaste 15元
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city 90元
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub 232元
2 tickets to the movies 107元
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) 895元
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert 293元
1 cocktail drink in downtown club 77元
Cappuccino in expat area of the city 29元
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) 16元
Ipad wi-fi 128gb 3,006元
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) 0.40元
1 month of gym membership in business district 356元
1 package of marlboro cigarettes 25元

Moving to China with your children?

International Schools in China

Map of Cost of Living in China

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This map shows only the top cities in China. We also have on this page a list of all the cities available in Expatistan:
List of all the cities available in Expatistan

The color of each marker corresponds with the cost of living in the city red markers show more expensive cities green ones show cheaper cities
Moving the mouse on top of a city will show its name and the Cost of Living Index of that city.

What is the Cost of Living Index? To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Cost of Living Ranking in China

(top cities by data quality)

Ranking City Price Index *
1st Shanghai 95
2nd Beijing 83
3rd Suzhou, China 73
4th Hangzhou 67
5th Xiamen 64
6th Chongqing 63
7th Nanjing 63
8th Jiamusi 62
9th Chengdu 61
10th Qingdao 57
11th Dalian 54
12th Wuhan 53
13th Mianyang 51

Price Index:

To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Are you moving to China? Do you know how much money you will need there to maintain your current standard of living?

Find out what is the real equivalent in China of your current salary and improve your chances of a happy relocation.

Get a salary calculation for:

List of all cities available in China

Aksu Anqing Anshan
Anshun Anyang, China Aral
Baicheng Baoding Baotou
Beihai Beijing Bengbu
Benxi Cangzhou Changchun
Changde Changsha Changzhi
Changzhou Chaoyang Chaozhou
Chengde Chengdu Chifeng
Chongqing Chuzhou Dalian
Dandong Datong Dezhou
Dongguan Dongying Emeishan
Foshan Fushun Fuxin
Fuzhou Guangyuan Guangzhou
Guilin Guiyang Guli
Haikou Hailar Handan
Hangzhou Harbin Hefei
Hegang Hengshui Hengyang
Heze Hohhot Huaibei
Huainan Huaiyin Huangshi
Huizhou Ji'an Jiamusi
Jiangmen Jiaojiang Jiaozuo
Jiaxing Jieyang Jilin City
Jinan Jincheng Jingdezhen
Jinghong Jingling Jining, China
Jining, China Jinxi Jinzhou
Jiujiang Jixi Kaifeng
Kashgar Kunming Langfang
Lanzhou Laohekou Lhasa
Lianyungang Liaocheng Liaoyang
Liaoyuan Lijiang City Linfen
Linxia Linyi Luancheng
Luohe Luoyang Luqiaozhen
Mentougou Mianyang Mudanjiang
Nanchang Nanchong Nanjing
Nanning Nantong Nanyang
Neijiang Ningbo Panshan
Panzhihua Pingdingshan Pingxiang
Putian Puyang Qingdao
Qinhuangdao Qiqihar Qitaihe
Ranghulu Rizhao Sanming
Shanghai Shantou Shaoguan
Shaoxing Shashi Shenyang
Shenzhen Shihezi Shijiazhuang
Shiyan Shuangyashan Siping
Suihua Suizhou Suzhou, China
Suzhou, China Tai'an Taiyuan
Taizhou Tanggu Tangshan
Tianjin Tieling Tongchuan
Tongliao Tongling Turfan
Wafangdian Weifang Wenzhou
Wuhai Wuhan Wuhu
Wuxi Wuxue Wuzhou
Xiamen Xian Xiangfan
Xiangtan Xiantao Xianyang
Xingtai Xining Xintai
Xinxiang Xinyang Xuchang
Xuri Xuzhou Yancheng
Yangjiang Yangquan Yangzhou
Yanji Yantai Yibin
Yichang Yinchuan Yingcheng
Yingkou Yiyang Yongzhou
Yuncheng Yunfu Zhangjiakou
Zhangzhou Zhanjiang Zhaoqing
Zhengzhou Zhenjiang Zhoukou
Zhuhai Zhumadian Zhuzhou
Zibo Zigong Zunyi
Ürümqi

Prices recently added

  • Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district in Shanghai costs 100元 (3 days ago)
  • 1 kg of potatoes in Beijing costs 6.00元 (4 days ago)
  • Cappuccino in expat area of the city in Shenzhen costs 35元 (10 days ago)
  • 1 ticket to the movies in Shenzhen costs 70元 (10 days ago)
  • Basic dinner out in neighborhood pub, dinner for one in Shenzhen costs 60元 (10 days ago)
  • Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city in Shenzhen costs 100元 (10 days ago)
  • 1 liter of gasoline in Shenzhen costs 8元 (10 days ago)
  • Sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) in Shenzhen costs 800元 (10 days ago)
  • Utilities, weekly rent - 85m2 in Shenzhen costs 6,450元 (10 days ago)
  • Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) in Shenzhen costs 35元 (10 days ago)

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