Cost of living in Malaysia

Summary of cost of living in Malaysia

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: RM9,545
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: RM4,475
  • Cost of living in Malaysia is cheaper than in 64% of countries in Asia (7 out of 11)
  • Cost of living in Malaysia is cheaper than in 71% of countries in the World (48 out of 68)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district RM22
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) RM17
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast RM8
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk RM7
12 eggs, large RM9
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes RM7
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese RM31
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples RM11
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes RM6
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket RM9
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality RM87
2 liters of coca-cola RM4.54
Bread for 2 people for 1 day RM3.17
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area RM3,587
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area RM1,956
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat RM314
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area RM2,253
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area RM1,491
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio RM223
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) RM122
40” flat screen tv RM2,113
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) RM436
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) RM22
Hourly rate for cleaning help RM27
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) RM260
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) RM131
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) RM274
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes RM275
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new RM144,485
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas RM2.07
Monthly ticket public transport RM80
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) RM15
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) RM18
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) RM59
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) RM19
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) RM6
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) RM9
4 rolls of toilet paper RM4.43
Tube of toothpaste RM5.89
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city RM48
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub RM75
2 tickets to the movies RM30
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) RM326
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert RM219
1 cocktail drink in downtown club RM33
Cappuccino in expat area of the city RM16
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) RM17
Ipad wi-fi 128gb RM2,199
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) RM0.60
1 month of gym membership in business district RM173
1 package of marlboro cigarettes RM18

Moving to Malaysia with your children?

International Schools in Malaysia

Map of Cost of Living in Malaysia

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This map shows only the top cities in Malaysia. 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 Malaysia

(top cities by data quality)

Ranking City Price Index *
1st Kuala Lumpur 85
2nd Johor Bahru 80
3rd Kota Kinabalu 77

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.

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