Cost of living in China

Summary of cost of living in China

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: 17,313元
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: 8,858元
  • Cost of living in China is cheaper than in 67% of countries in Asia (8 out of 12)
  • Cost of living in China is cheaper than in 64% of countries in the World (54 out of 85)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district 43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 14元
12 eggs, large 14元
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes 9元
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese 51元
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples 14元
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes 6元
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket 5.41元
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality 96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 7,537元
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area 4,339元
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat 429元
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area 5,233元
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area 2,795元
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio 285元
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) 88元
40” flat screen tv 2,333元
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) 513元
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) 40元
Hourly rate for cleaning help 51元
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) 453元
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) 227元
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) 599元
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes 539元
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new 133,737元
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas 7元
Monthly ticket public transport 156元
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) 33元
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) 32元
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) 335元
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) 43元
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) 52元
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) 35元
4 rolls of toilet paper 9元
Tube of toothpaste 12元
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city 74元
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub 185元
2 tickets to the movies 96元
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) 1,146元
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert 371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.) 29元
Ipad wi-fi 128gb 3,242元
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) 0.28元
1 month of gym membership in business district 284元
1 package of marlboro cigarettes 21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 127
2nd Beijing 108
3rd Shenzhen 105
4th Suzhou 102
5th Hangzhou 92
6th Nanjing 87
7th Chengdu 81
8th Qingdao 81
9th Fushun 75
10th Wuhan 72
11th Kunming 72
12th 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

  • 500 ml beer in neighbourhood pub in Shanghai costs 30元 (about 16 hours ago)
  • Cappuccino in expat area of the city in Shanghai costs 40元 (about 16 hours ago)
  • Cocktail drink in downtown club in Shanghai costs 120元 (about 16 hours ago)
  • Nice dinner at an italian restaurant, dinner for two in Shanghai costs 500元 (about 16 hours ago)
  • Basic dinner out in neighborhood pub, dinner for two in Shanghai costs 300元 (about 16 hours ago)
  • Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city in Shanghai costs 50元 (about 16 hours ago)
  • Men’s leather business shoes in Shanghai costs 1,200元 (about 16 hours ago)
  • Sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) in Shanghai costs 1,000元 (about 16 hours ago)
  • Summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) in Shanghai costs 150元 (about 16 hours ago)
  • Internet connection 300 mbps, 1 month in Shanghai costs 200元 (about 16 hours ago)