Cost of living in China

Summary of cost of living in China

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: 18,764元
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: 10,081元
  • Cost of living in China is cheaper than in 54% of countries in Asia (7 out of 13)
  • Cost of living in China is cheaper than in 58% of countries in the World (55 out of 95)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district 46元
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) 34元
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast 16元
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk 15元
12 eggs, large 14元
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes 8元
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese 61元
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples 15元
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes 5.88元
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket 5.16元
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality 109元
2 liters of coca-cola 8元
Bread for 2 people for 1 day 14元
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area 9,251元
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area 4,909元
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat 422元
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area 5,387元
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area 2,964元
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio 276元
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) 98元
40” flat screen tv 2,471元
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) 563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) 468元
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) 255元
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) 654元
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes 642元
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new 133,798元
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas 7元
Monthly ticket public transport 147元
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) 38元
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) 43元
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) 347元
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) 62元
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) 47元
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) 31元
4 rolls of toilet paper 9元
Tube of toothpaste 12元
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city 71元
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub 179元
2 tickets to the movies 99元
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) 1,063元
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert 395元
1 cocktail drink in downtown club 68元
Cappuccino in expat area of the city 33元
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) 31元
Ipad wi-fi 128gb 3,258元
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) 0.38元
1 month of gym membership in business district 340元
1 package of marlboro cigarettes 22元

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 124
2nd Beijing 109
3rd Shenzhen 105
4th Guangzhou 102
5th Suzhou 102
6th Hangzhou 93
7th Nanjing 86
8th Chengdu 80
9th Qingdao 80
10th Lianyungang 77
11th Fushun 75
12th Wuhan 71
13th Kunming 71
14th Dezhou 68

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 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
Jining 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
Suzhou 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

  • Furnished accommodation in normal area, monthly rent - 85 m2 in Changsha costs 2,800元 (1 day ago)
  • Bread for 2 people for 1 day (250 g) in Changsha costs 20元 (1 day ago)
  • 1 pack of marlboro cigarettes in Suzhou costs 18元 (2 days ago)
  • Nice dinner at an italian restaurant, dinner for two in Suzhou costs 600元 (2 days ago)
  • Basic dinner out in neighborhood pub, dinner for two in Suzhou costs 150元 (2 days ago)
  • Monthly rent - 45 m2 furnished studio in normal area in Suzhou costs 3,200元 (2 days ago)
  • Furnished accommodation in normal area, monthly rent - 85 m2 in Suzhou costs 4,000元 (2 days ago)
  • Jeans (levis 501 or similar) in Chengdu costs 400元 (3 days ago)
  • Internet connection 300 mbps, 1 month in Chengdu costs 200元 (3 days ago)
  • Hourly rate for domestic cleaning help in Chengdu costs 50元 (3 days ago)