Seoul is the capital and largest city of South Korea. Seoul, is a major global city and a leading international financial centre in Asia. Although Seoul accounts for only 0.6 percent of South Korea's land area, it generates 21 percent of the country's entire GDP. The Republic of Korea is in Eastern Asia, in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea. The climate is temperate with rainfall heavier in summer. The official language is Korean. English is widely spoken in official and business circles but not all are likely to speak it. It is spoken by staff at most good hotels. The main religions are Buddhism and Christianity. The economy of South Korea is a developed, largely free-market economy that is the fourth largest in Asia and 15th largest in the world. An extremely competitive education system and a highly skilled and motivated workforce are two key factors driving this knowledge economy that has the world's highest scientific literacy and second highest mathematical literacy. In South Korea, business titles are often used as a sign of respect. Expatriate business dress is typically formal, such as suits. The security risk for expatriates in South Korea is low. Risks include low levels of petty crime, periodic anti-US or anti-Japanese sentiment, and the threat of nuclear weapons from North Korea. The currency of South Korea is the South-Korean Won (KRW). Credit cards are accepted in major cities. ATMs are widely available, but may not accept all international cards. Medical facilities are of a good standard but can be expensive. The population of Seoul is 25.6 Million (2019 est.), while the inflation rate (CPI) is 0% for South Korea as at October 2019. Xpatulator Hypothetical Tax for South Korea is based on the current personal income tax (PIT) rates which are progressive up to 42%. Besides PIT, there is also local income tax that is assessed at a rate of 10% of the PIT rates. The inclusive rates are therefore progressive up to 46.2 ((42% + (42%*10%)).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in 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 Seoul is as follows: Seoul as at 1 November 2019 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$1130. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$16.82, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$2.07, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$2.46 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$3.78. 2) Clothing: for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$1220. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$64, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$85, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$130 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$47. 3) Communication: 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$198. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$22, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.12 per minute. 4) Education: for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30000 in New York costs USD$25200. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$16,350 for Primary School, and USD$18,194 for High School. 5) Furniture & Appliances: for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2500 in New York costs USD$2225. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$720, and USD$618 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV. 6) Groceries: for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$1410. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$6.83, 1 kg oranges USD$6.45, 1 head lettuce USD$2.36, 1 kg potatos USD$4.21, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$8.79, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$17.97, 1 dozen large eggs USD$2.91, 500g loaf white bread USD$2.66, 1 L full cream milk USD$2.09, and 1.5 L water USD$1.21. 7) Healthcare: for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$810. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$66, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$2,021. 8) Household Accommodation: for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5000 in New York costs USD$2950. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$2,944 in a central location, and USD$1,709 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities. 9) Miscellaneous: for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$480. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$9.38, while an international newspaper is USD$2.88. 10) Personal Care: for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$445. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$35, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$177. 11) Recreation & Culture: for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$420. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$9.25, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$60 per month. 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$810. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$4.03, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.40, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$5.47, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$37.84. 13) Transport: for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$840. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$1.29, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$26,907. Seoul is 119.8% more expensive than Houston TX for groceries, 38.6% more expensive for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and 42.5% more expensive for transport costs than Dubai. The hardship premium for Seoul for an expat from Perth, is for example 10%, i.e. host location (Seoul) premium of 20% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%. Seoul is ranked as a some hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Seoul? Register subscribe to your home location and Seoul and run your personalised reports.