International Cost of Living Calculators

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Mongolia, All Areas

Mongolia, All Areas

Cost of living in Mongolia, 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 Mongolia?

Climate: The climate is desert continental with large daily and seasonal temperature ranges.

Language: The official language is Mongolian. It is written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Kazakh, and Russian are also spoken. English is common in the capital Ulaanbaatar and spoken at most hotels, Western restaurants and bars.

Religion: Buddhism.

Economy: The economy of Mongolia has traditionally been based on agriculture and the breeding of livestock. Mongolia also has extensive mineral deposits: copper, coal, molybdenum, tin, tungsten, and gold account for a large part of industrial production. Mongolia is the most sparsely populated independent country in the world. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by steppes, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Approximately 30% of the population are nomadic or semi-nomadic.

Inflation: 10% for Mongolia as at August 2023.

Money: The currency of Mongolia is the Mongolian Tugrik (MNT). The economy is mainly cash based. In Ulaanbaatar credit cards are accepted in some hotels, shops and restaurants, and ATMs are widely available, but to a lesser extent elsewhere.

Tax: In Mongolia is based on the current personal income tax rate which is a flat rate of 10%.

Population: 3.3 Million (2022 est.)

Expat Life: The dress code is usually a suit and tie for men and a women should wear a suit. Business is often conducted in English, Russian or Mongolian. The safety risk for expatriates in Mongolia is medium. Risks include general crime, violent muggings (in Ulaanbaatar), and potentially violent protest action.

Health Care: Health care facilities are generally below international standards. Payment may be required up front. Complex health care cases generally require evacuation at great cost. High levels of air pollution in Ulaanbaatar may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions.

Mongolia covers all areas within the country other than Ulaanbaatar.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Mongolia?

The cost of living for expatriates in Mongolia as at October 2023 is low in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 45.43 (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 Mongolia is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is very low 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$450. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$10.15, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$2.03, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$1.79 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$2.03.

2) Clothing: Cost is low for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$590. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$32, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$71, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$85 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$25.

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$84. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$12, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$7.08 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$16800. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$10,959 for Primary School, and USD$12,196 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is low 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$1650. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$635, and USD$545 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$530. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$1.66, 1 kg oranges USD$1.78, 1 head lettuce USD$1.42, 1 kg potatos USD$0.30, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$2.37, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$5.80, 1 dozen large eggs USD$2.34, 500g loaf white bread USD$0.75, 1 L full cream milk USD$5.55, and 1.5 L water USD$0.66.

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$700. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$57, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,749.

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$1400. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$2,098 in a central location, and USD$1,214 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is low for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$255. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$4.95, while an international newspaper is USD$1.52.

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$45, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$227.

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$265. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$4.99, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$72 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is 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$350. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$2.82, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$0.94, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$5.54, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$36.95.

13) Transport: Cost is very low 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$370. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$2.94, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$17,005.

How does the cost of living in Mongolia compare?

Mongolia is -34% cheaper than USA for groceries, -51.8% cheaper for household costs than UK, and -28% cheaper for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Mongolia?

Mongolia is ranked as an extreme hardship location.The hardship premium for Mongolia for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Mongolia) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.

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