Cost of living in China

Summary of cost of living in China

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: 22,112元
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: 13,399元
  • Cost of living in China is cheaper than in 45% of countries in Asia (5 out of 11)
  • Cost of living in China is more expensive than in 54% of countries in the World (32 out of 68)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district 45元
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) 36元
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast 16元
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk 15元
12 eggs, large 16元
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes 9元
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese 49元
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples 13元
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes 5.68元
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket 6元
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality 113元
2 liters of coca-cola 8元
Bread for 2 people for 1 day 13元
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area 12,793元
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area 7,580元
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat 330元
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area 6,692元
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area 4,369元
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio 431元
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) 101元
40” flat screen tv 1,837元
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) 521元
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) 29元
Hourly rate for cleaning help 47元
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) 527元
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) 262元
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) 655元
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes 794元
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new 142,424元
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas 7元
Monthly ticket public transport 182元
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) 29元
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) 34元
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) 639元
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) 21元
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) 26元
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) 29元
4 rolls of toilet paper 11元
Tube of toothpaste 10元
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city 94元
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub 266元
2 tickets to the movies 105元
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) 759元
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert 377元
1 cocktail drink in downtown club 72元
Cappuccino in expat area of the city 31元
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) 22元
Ipad wi-fi 128gb 3,037元
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) 0.24元
1 month of gym membership in business district 418元
1 package of marlboro cigarettes 30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 134
2nd Beijing 109
3rd Shenzhen 109
4th Suzhou 101
5th Hangzhou 93
6th Nanjing 85
7th Chengdu 83
8th Qingdao 79
9th Wuhan 71
10th Mianyang 67

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

  • 2 liters of coca-cola in Shanghai costs 2.00元 (4 days ago)
  • 500 ml domestic beer in the supermarket in Shanghai costs 10元 (4 days ago)
  • 1 kg of apples in Shanghai costs 4.50元 (4 days ago)
  • 500 g of boneless chicken breast in Shanghai costs 7元 (4 days ago)
  • 1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) in Shanghai costs 0.20元 (7 days ago)
  • Men’s leather business shoes in Shanghai costs 800元 (8 days ago)
  • Sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) in Shanghai costs 300元 (8 days ago)
  • Summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) in Shanghai costs 150元 (8 days ago)
  • Jeans (levis 501 or similar) in Shanghai costs 500元 (8 days ago)
  • Internet connection 300 mbps, 1 month in Shanghai costs 150元 (8 days ago)

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