Cost of living in China

China is the amalgamation of modern culture and ancient history. The Chinese cities will dazzle you with their happening lifestyle and ultra-modern environment. However, the first thing you need to consider before leading a life in China is the living costs.

You can lead a comfortable lifestyle in China with just $1,000 per month. However, China always has room for extravagance and luxury. Besides, the cost of living in China will significantly vary from city to city.

If you plan to relocate to China, the cost of living might leave you curious. Read on as this piece explores all the little expenses of living in China.

Living in China – A Complete Breakdown

The below table represents a clear breakdown of all monthly costs that a resident of China might incur.

Expenses Cost in USD Approximate Monthly Cost (USD)
Utilities Gas, telephone, water, Wi-Fi, electricity $50 to $100
Food $2 to $5 for each meal $100 to $150
Accommodation $200 to $700 $200 to $700
Transportation $0.3 to $0.5 one way by bus $30 to $50
Total $380 to $1000

Living in China – Costs

The fundamental amenities that you will be paying for are food, rent, utilities, and transportation. This section highlights the in-depth cost of each. Take a look:


After rent, it is the utilities that take up a chunk of your earnings. The utilities include gas, Wi-Fi, electricity, water, and telephone. In China, you’ll come across many apartments that include utilities’ cost in the rent itself. You don’t have to pay for these utilities separately.

However, if your apartment rental agreement does not include it, you can expect it to cost about $100. It is also worth mentioning that cellular plans in China are much cheaper than those in America.


Bus and public transport routes in China are majorly developed. If you are keen on saving transportation costs, choose a residence within walking distance of your workplace. The buses in China are incredibly cost-effective. Because of this, the majority of the Chinese population this mode of transportation.

One-way bus fare is only 10 to 30 cents. The Subway, however, is more expensive than the buses. Although if your destination is far, it is one of the most feasible and fastest options. A one-way ride in the subway costs around 50 cents to one dollar.

Like everywhere else around the globe, cabs in China are also extensive.


For most of the time, you’ll find the food in China to be cheap until you walk into a fine-dining. Essentials like rice, chicken, veggies, and fruits have modest pricing in China. However, cooking oil is a tad pricey. You can purchase the weekly groceries for $30.

If you love to munch on outdoor food, you don’t have to break your bank. You can grab filling and delicious dishes in China for as low as one or two dollars. Chinese street food is way more affordable than any other country out there.

Besides, there are tons of choices in Chinese street food. All in all, China will surprise you when it comes to budget grocery shopping and street food munching.


You can spend as low as $300 and as high as $700 for rent in China. This range persists because each city has different rental trends. Most developed, and hi-fi cities demand more rent, whereas living in the city outskirts is significantly cheaper.

If you’re an expatriate, many employers will pay for your living. In either case, you’ll not have difficulties finding a decent place to stay anywhere in China. The charges for rent will also increase if you opt for an apartment with more rooms.

Additionally, an apartment with more amenities will naturally not be very cost-effective.

Enjoy life in China – Wrap up!

Including everything, we cannot regard the Chinese cities to be overly expensive. You can save a good amount of money alongside having loads of fun in China. Unarguably, the living cost in China will substantially increase if you opt for a more luxurious lifestyle.

If you wish to explore more in China, make sure to include a saving habit. With the saved money, you can access better healthcare and tourism. It is worth mentioning that the quality of life in China is enjoyable.

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