Cost of living in Malawi

Summary of cost of living in Malawi

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: 2,148,194 Kwacha
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: 879,256 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 5,492 Kwacha
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) 3,405 Kwacha
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast 1,100 Kwacha
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk 915 Kwacha
12 eggs, large 1,276 Kwacha
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes 928 Kwacha
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese 4,035 Kwacha
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples 2,596 Kwacha
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes 541 Kwacha
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket 689 Kwacha
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality 9,034 Kwacha
2 liters of coca-cola 1,693 Kwacha
Bread for 2 people for 1 day 491 Kwacha
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area 593,262 Kwacha
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area 346,431 Kwacha
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat 56,093 Kwacha
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area 442,050 Kwacha
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area 238,253 Kwacha
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio 27,062 Kwacha
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) 54,636 Kwacha
40” flat screen tv 379,046 Kwacha
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) 69,630 Kwacha
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) 3,012 Kwacha
Hourly rate for cleaning help -
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) 30,000 Kwacha
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) 260,000 Kwacha
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) 52,912 Kwacha
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes 70,660 Kwacha
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new 9,759,340 Kwacha
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas 858 Kwacha
Monthly ticket public transport 27,238 Kwacha
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) 2,000 Kwacha
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) -
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) 20,191 Kwacha
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) -
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) 1,125 Kwacha
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) 1,000 Kwacha
4 rolls of toilet paper 1,066 Kwacha
Tube of toothpaste 1,329 Kwacha
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city 4,000 Kwacha
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub 19,039 Kwacha
2 tickets to the movies 4,000 Kwacha
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) -
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert 22,778 Kwacha
1 cocktail drink in downtown club 3,072 Kwacha
Cappuccino in expat area of the city 1,527 Kwacha
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) 1,203 Kwacha
Ipad wi-fi 128gb 300,000 Kwacha
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) 80 Kwacha
1 month of gym membership in business district 24,563 Kwacha
1 package of marlboro cigarettes 2,032 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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