International Cost of Living Calculators

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Brunei, All Areas

Brunei, All Areas

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

What is it like to live in Brunei?

Climate: The climate is tropical, hot, humid, and rainy.

Language: The official language is Bahasa Melayu (Malay). English and various dialects of Chinese are also spoken.

Religion: Islam, Buddhism and Christianity.

Economy: The economy of Brunei is small but wealthy with a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, welfare measures, and village tradition. Crude oil and natural gas production account for nearly half of its GDP. Substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic production.

Inflation: 0.8% for Brunei as at May 2023.

Money: The currency of Brunei is the Brunei Dollar (BND). Singapore dollars may also be used and are of the same value as the Brunei Dollar. Credit cards are generally accepted.

Tax: In Brunei is based on the current personal income tax rate of 0% as there is currently no personal income tax.

Population: 437,000 (2022 est.)

Expat Life: Bruneians shake hands with a light touch of the hands and raising their hand to their chest. As in most Islamic countries, some people do not shake hands with members of the opposite sex. Expatriate dress code is formal when conducting business. Muslims in Brunei dress conservatively and many women wear a head scarf in public including offices. Non-Muslim women are not required to wear a head scarf. The working week is Sunday to Thursday. Businesses are closed on Fridays. The safety risk for expatriates in Brunei is low. Risk is primarily traffic accidents. Expatriates should be aware of Islamic cultural sensitivities.

Health Care: Health care facilities are generally acceptable.

Brunei covers all areas within the country other than Bandar Seri Begawan.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Brunei?

The cost of living for expatriates in Brunei as at July 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 59.24 (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 Brunei is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is very high for tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$1030.

2) Clothing: Cost is high for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$980. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$61, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$101, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$88 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$52.

3) Communication: Cost is average 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$158. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$93, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$22.46 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$16200. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$10,457 for Primary School, and USD$11,637 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is average 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$1850. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$663, and USD$569 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is high 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$810. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$2.26, 1 kg oranges USD$2.20, 1 head lettuce USD$5.07, 1 kg potatos USD$1.30, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$4.42, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$7.92, 1 dozen large eggs USD$3.16, 500g loaf white bread USD$2.22, 1 L full cream milk USD$9.43, and 1.5 L water USD$1.35.

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$630. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$51, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,570.

8) Household Accommodation: Cost is 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$1600. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$2,499 in a central location, and USD$1,519 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is average for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$315. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$6.10, while an international newspaper is USD$1.88.

10) Personal Care: Cost is average for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$305. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$24, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$122.

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$270. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$6.31, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$67 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is average 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$500. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$4.99, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.16, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$7.71, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$48.49.

13) Transport: Cost is average 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$700. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$1.49, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$22,465.

How does the cost of living in Brunei compare?

Brunei is 1.9% more expensive than USA for groceries, -44.9% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 35.3% more expensive for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Brunei?

Brunei is ranked as a high degree of hardship location.The hardship premium for Brunei for an expat from Australia, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Brunei) premium of 30% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.

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