Cost of living in Malaysia

Summary of cost of living in Malaysia

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: RM9,257
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: RM4,239
  • Cost of living in Malaysia is cheaper than in 69% of countries in Asia (11 out of 16)
  • Cost of living in Malaysia is cheaper than in 81% of countries in the World (72 out of 89)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district RM14
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 RM5.96
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese RM23
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples RM11
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes RM4.40
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket RM12
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality RM76
2 liters of coca-cola RM5.04
Bread for 2 people for 1 day RM3.45
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area RM3,008
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area RM2,132
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat RM271
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area RM1,877
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area RM1,177
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio RM231
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) RM110
40” flat screen tv RM2,231
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) RM344
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) RM24
Hourly rate for cleaning help RM21
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) RM217
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) RM132
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) RM279
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes RM245
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new RM157,268
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas RM2.18
Monthly ticket public transport RM92
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) RM15
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) RM20
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) RM79
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) RM26
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) RM10
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) RM12
4 rolls of toilet paper RM7
Tube of toothpaste RM6
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city RM48
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub RM143
2 tickets to the movies RM34
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) RM206
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert RM110
1 cocktail drink in downtown club RM101
Cappuccino in expat area of the city RM12
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) RM15
Ipad wi-fi 128gb RM2,097
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) RM0.24
1 month of gym membership in business district RM154
1 package of marlboro cigarettes RM17

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 Shah Alam 78
2nd Kuala Lumpur 77
3rd Kota Kinabalu 77
4th Kuching 76
5th Johor Bahru 75
6th Ipoh 70

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 Malaysia? Do you know how much money you will need there to maintain your current standard of living?

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Prices recently added

  • 1 pack of marlboro cigarettes in Kuala Lumpur costs RM10 (2 days ago)
  • Utilities, monthly for 2 people in 85 m2 in Kuala Lumpur costs RM354 (7 days ago)

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