Cost of living in Malawi

Summary of cost of living in Malawi

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: 4,462,007 Kwacha
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: 2,300,031 Kwacha
  • WARNING!  These estimates are based on only a few data points. At the moment, you should treat them only as a best guess.
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Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district 12,874 Kwacha
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) 8,293 Kwacha
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast 3,606 Kwacha
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk 2,816 Kwacha
12 eggs, large 3,390 Kwacha
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes 1,190 Kwacha
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese 14,000 Kwacha
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples 5,089 Kwacha
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes 2,418 Kwacha
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket 2,000 Kwacha
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality 20,000 Kwacha
2 liters of coca-cola 5,000 Kwacha
Bread for 2 people for 1 day 1,018 Kwacha
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area 2,000,000 Kwacha
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area 1,000,000 Kwacha
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat 250,000 Kwacha
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area 800,000 Kwacha
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area 500,000 Kwacha
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio 400,000 Kwacha
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) -
40” flat screen tv 1,000,000 Kwacha
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) 180,000 Kwacha
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) 9,000 Kwacha
Hourly rate for cleaning help -
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) 80,000 Kwacha
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) 40,000 Kwacha
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) 200,000 Kwacha
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes 200,000 Kwacha
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new 10,000,000 Kwacha
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas 2,322 Kwacha
Monthly ticket public transport 60,000 Kwacha
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) 5,000 Kwacha
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) 6,000 Kwacha
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) 20,000 Kwacha
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) 6,000 Kwacha
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) 3,750 Kwacha
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) 15,000 Kwacha
4 rolls of toilet paper 3,000 Kwacha
Tube of toothpaste 3,000 Kwacha
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city 18,000 Kwacha
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub 80,000 Kwacha
2 tickets to the movies 30,000 Kwacha
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) 30,000 Kwacha
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert 100,000 Kwacha
1 cocktail drink in downtown club 8,000 Kwacha
Cappuccino in expat area of the city 6,000 Kwacha
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) 2,000 Kwacha
Ipad wi-fi 128gb 100,000 Kwacha
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) 1,000 Kwacha
1 month of gym membership in business district 30,000 Kwacha
1 package of marlboro cigarettes 6,000 Kwacha

Map of Cost of Living in Malawi


This map shows only the top cities in Malawi. 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.

List of all cities available in Malawi

Blantyre Lilongwe Zomba

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