Cost of living in Russia, prices and what it is like to live for an Expat, quality of life / hardship, and compare cost of living for Expatriates as at April 2020. What is it like to live in Russia?
Russia is in Northern Asia (the area west of the Urals is considered part of Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean.
The climate ranges from humid continental in much of European Russia, subarctic in Siberia, to tundra climate in the polar north.
The official language is Russian. The younger generation commonly speak English, but the language barrier can be a problem with older business people and an interpreter is generally needed. French and German are the most commonly spoken languages after English. Knowledge of the Cyrillic script is essential for reading the names of streets and metro stations.
The main religions are Christianity and Islam.
The economy of Russia is the eighth largest economy in the world by nominal value and the sixth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). Oil, natural gas, metals, and timber account for more than 80% of Russian exports abroad.
In Russia dinners often involve a series of toasts, guests are generally expected to offer a reciprocal toast. Formal dress code is considered a sign of authority. The safety risk for expatriates in Russia is medium to high, but extreme for The North Caucasus. Risks include petty crime and poor infrastructure including roads, while violent crime involving expatriates is rare. Additional risks in the North Caucasus include conflict between safety forces and militants, and kidnapping.
The currency of Russia is the Russian Rouble (RUB). US dollars or Euros are best for exchange in Russia at banks, hotels and airport exchange bureaux. Most hotels, restaurants and larger shops accept credit cards. ATMs are available in most major cities.
Health care facilities vary but are generally good, however the cost of treatment for expatriates can be high. Air quality in Moscow can worsen in certain weather conditions.
The population is 144.5 Million (2019 est.), and the inflation rate (CPI) is 2.3% for Russia as at February 2020.
The Xpatulator Hypothetical Tax for Russia is based on the current personal income tax rate which is a flat rate of 13%.
Within Russia we also cover
Moscow, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Samara, St. Petersburg, and Vladivostok.
Cost Of Living
What is the cost of living in Russia?
The cost of living for expatriates in Russia as at April 2020 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. 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 Russia is as follows:
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$680. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$8.09, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$1.20, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$2.21 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$2.83. 2) Clothing: for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$1180. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$67, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$79, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$92 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$40. 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$96. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$8, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.02 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$14700. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$9,461 for Primary School, and USD$10,528 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$2025. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$690, and USD$593 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$550. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$1.77, 1 kg oranges USD$1.69, 1 head lettuce USD$1.16, 1 kg potatos USD$0.66, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$5.25, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$10.04, 1 dozen large eggs USD$1.47, 500g loaf white bread USD$0.68, 1 L full cream milk USD$1.20, and 1.5 L water USD$0.74. 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$570. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$46, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,420. 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$1400. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$1,653 in a central location, and USD$1,008 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$9.40, while an international newspaper is USD$2.89. 10) Personal Care: for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$220. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$18, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$88. 11) Recreation & Culture: 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$6.07, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$42 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$500. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$2.46, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.00, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$6.07, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$40.44. 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$430. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$0.69, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$20,219. How does the cost of living in Russia compare?
Russia is -25.9% cheaper than USA for groceries, -49.5% cheaper for household costs than UK, and -9.8% cheaper for transport costs than India.
What is the quality of life / hardship in Russia?
Russia is ranked as a high degree of hardship location.The hardship premium for Russia for an expat from Australia, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Russia) premium of 30% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.
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