International Cost of Living Calculators

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Nepal, All Areas

Nepal, All Areas

Cost of living in Nepal, 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 Nepal?

Climate: The climate varies from cool summers and severe winters in the north to subtropical summers and mild winters in the south.

Language: The official language is Nepali. English is generally understood in Kathmandu. The business community has English-speaking senior executives and a growing number of Nepali businessmen are capable of conversing in French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese. Professional interpreters are also available.

Religion: Hinduism and Buddhism.

Economy: The economy of Nepal is reliant on external assistance. A long-standing economic agreement underpins a close relationship with India. The country receives foreign aid from India, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union, China, Switzerland, and Scandinavian countries. Poverty is acute; per-capita income is less than US$470. Agriculture accounts for about 40% of Nepal's GDP, services comprise 41% and industry 22%. Agriculture employs 76% of the workforce. The rate of unemployment and underemployment approaches half of the working-age population. Thus many Nepali citizens move to India in search of work; the Gulf countries and Malaysia being new sources of work.

Inflation: 7.44% for Nepal as at July 2023.

Money: The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR).

Tax: In Nepal is based on the current personal income tax rates which are progressive up to 36%.

Population: 29.1 Million (2022 est.)

Expat Life: Nepalis are most hospitable and welcoming. Expatriate dress code is generally conservative. Men typically wear trousers and short-sleeved shirts, with a jacket when required. Women typically wear casual dresses or trouser outfits, but should avoid sleeveless dresses or blouses. It is important not to wear leather, or any accessories made from animals. The safety risk for expatriates in Nepal is medium, but high in the South. Risks include petty crime in tourist areas, robbery, road safety, and occasional bombings particularly near the border with India.

Health Care: Health care facilities are generally poor outside the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara. Health care treatment is expensive at western travellers’ clinics in Nepal. Cholera has been reported.

Nepal covers all areas within the country other than Kathmandu.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Nepal?

The cost of living for expatriates in Nepal as at July 2023 is very low in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 38.66 (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 Nepal is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is average 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$720. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$8.68, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$2.98, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$3.81 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$3.47.

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$460. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$22, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$44, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$35 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$28.

3) Communication: Cost is 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$120. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$13, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$4.86 per minute.

4) Education: Cost is very 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$12000. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$7,870 for Primary School, and USD$8,758 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is very 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$1000. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$534, and USD$458 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is very 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$390. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$1.26, 1 kg oranges USD$0.70, 1 head lettuce USD$0.38, 1 kg potatos USD$0.25, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$1.81, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$4.08, 1 dozen large eggs USD$1.92, 500g loaf white bread USD$0.55, 1 L full cream milk USD$3.54, and 1.5 L water USD$0.33.

7) Healthcare: Cost is very low 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$450. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$37, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,130.

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$1200. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$1,431 in a central location, and USD$802 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is very 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$160. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$3.10, while an international newspaper is USD$0.95.

10) Personal Care: Cost is low for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$235. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$19, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$94.

11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is very low for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$190. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$4.47, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$30 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$240. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$1.89, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$0.57, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$8.93, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$21.85.

13) Transport: Cost is 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$550. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$4.49, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$30,560.

How does the cost of living in Nepal compare?

Nepal is -50.6% cheaper than USA for groceries, -59.9% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 6.6% more expensive for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Nepal?

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

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