International Cost of Living Calculators

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Bangladesh, Dhaka

Bangladesh, Dhaka

Cost of living in Dhaka, prices and what it is like to live for an Expat, quality of life / hardship, and compare cost of living for Expatriates as at October 2023.

What is it like to live in Dhaka?

Dhaka: Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka District.

Economy: Dhaka is the commercial heart of Bangladesh. The city has a growing middle class population, driving the market for modern consumer and luxury goods. The city has historically attracted a large number of migrant workers.

Inflation: 9.92% for Bangladesh as at August 2023.

Dhaka Population: 18.9 Million (Metro) (2022 est.)

Expat Life: Bangladesh is a conservative, hierarchical society, but with elements of Western business practices. Expatriates should take account of Islamic sensibilities. Men and women should dress modestly. Many wealthy Bangladeshi's have been educated at Western universities. Although public physical contact between sexes is unacceptable, it is common to see men walking in the street holding hands. Homosexuality is not recognised and it is advisable to be discreet about a homosexual lifestyle while in the country. Expatriate dress code should be conservative and meetings may need to be scheduled around the five daily Islamic prayer times, each lasting about five minutes. The safety risk for expatriates in Bangladesh is medium but high for the Chittagong Hill Tracts and Dhaka. Risks include those related to protests, general strikes, kidnapping of business people for ransom (mostly local) and generalised crime. Other risks include those associated with heavy rain during the monsoon period.

Health Care: Health care facilities are generally poor. Routine tests and X-rays are generally unreliable. For expatriates serious illness or injury may require evacuation.

For other areas within the country see Bangladesh.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Dhaka?

The cost of living for expatriates in Dhaka as at October 2023 is average in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 58.62 (New York =100). We have collected prices for the same items, world wide, based on Expat spending norms, in or closest to the location, and converted them to $USD so that we can compare the cost of 13 different baskets in 780 global locations. For each basket, compared to New York, the equivalent cost in Dhaka is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is very high for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$1200. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$9.10, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$6.50, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$5.20 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$3.85.

2) Clothing: Cost is very low for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$340. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$20, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$54, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$40 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$20.

3) Communication: Cost is very low for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile service provider tariff and data costs. A basket costing USD$200 in New York costs USD$86. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$20, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$7.39 per minute.

4) Education: Cost is low for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30,000 in New York costs USD$15900. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$10,295 for Primary School, and USD$11,456 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is very high for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2,500 in New York costs USD$2625. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$783, and USD$672 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is low for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$560. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$1.46, 1 kg oranges USD$1.31, 1 head lettuce USD$0.47, 1 kg potatos USD$0.17, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$1.83, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$4.41, 1 dozen large eggs USD$1.70, 500g loaf white bread USD$0.82, 1 L full cream milk USD$4.12, and 1.5 L water USD$0.35.

7) Healthcare: Cost is average for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$730. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$59, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,814.

8) Household Accommodation: Cost is very low for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5,000 in New York costs USD$1050. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$1,370 in a central location, and USD$748 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is very high for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$580. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$11.31, while an international newspaper is USD$3.48.

10) Personal Care: Cost is very high for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$570. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$46, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$229.

11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is average for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$285. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$6.01, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$22 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is very low for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$280. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$2.46, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$0.40, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$6.01, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$12.03.

13) Transport: Cost is high for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$910. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$4.46, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$32,361.

How does the cost of living in Dhaka compare?

Dhaka is -23.2% cheaper than Houston TX for groceries, -4.2% cheaper for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and 24.2% more expensive for transport costs than Dubai.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Dhaka?

Dhaka is ranked as an extreme hardship location.The hardship premium for Dhaka for an expat from Perth, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Dhaka) premium of 30% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%.

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