International Cost of Living Calculators

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Serbia, All Areas

Serbia, All Areas

Cost of living in Serbia, 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 Serbia?

Climate: The climate is continental (cold winters and hot, humid summers with well distributed rainfall) in the north and continental and Mediterranean (relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall and hot, dry summers and autumns) in other parts.

Language: The official language is Serbian. Serbo-Croat was the official state language under socialist Yugoslavia, mainly because Serbian and Croatian are very similar and mutually comprehensible. Since the end of the federation, Serbs and Croats have emphasised the differences between the two languages and are likely to object to the term Serbo-Croat. The Cyrillic alphabet it used, but Latin script is understood by everyone and widely used. Many minority languages such as Albanian, Turkish, Romany and Hungarian are spoken. English is the most common foreign language, particularly in Belgrade; otherwise some people speak German or Italian. Interpreters are easy to find.

Religion: Christianity.

Economy: The economy of Serbia is based mostly on services, which account for about 63% of the GDP. The economy has a high unemployment rate of 14% and a unfavourable trade deficit.

Inflation: 12.5% for Serbia as at July 2023.

Money: The currency of Serbia is the Serbian Dinar (RSD). Credit cards are accepted in most hotels and shops. ATMs are available and accept most international cards.

Tax: In Serbia is based on the current salary income tax rate of 10%.

Population: 8.7 Million (2022 est.)

Expat Life: Expatriate dress code is formal comprising a jacket and tie for men and suits for women. The safety risk for expatriates in Serbia is medium. Risks include petty theft, street, and organised crime.

Health Care: Health care facilities are generally below international standards. Payment in cash is normally required for treatment. Rabies is common.

Serbia covers all areas within the country other than Belgrade.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Serbia?

The cost of living for expatriates in Serbia as at July 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 47.88 (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 Serbia is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is 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$540. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$7.28, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$2.43, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$1.56 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$4.85.

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$920. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$66, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$89, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$97 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$32.

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$80. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$23, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$13.06 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$15900. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$10,413 for Primary School, and USD$11,588 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is high 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$2450. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$754, and USD$648 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$500. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$0.61, 1 kg oranges USD$0.87, 1 head lettuce USD$0.81, 1 kg potatos USD$0.56, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$3.91, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$4.58, 1 dozen large eggs USD$3.08, 500g loaf white bread USD$0.75, 1 L full cream milk USD$5.95, and 1.5 L water USD$0.73.

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$460. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$38, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,157.

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$1350. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$1,924 in a central location, and USD$1,123 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$275. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$5.33, while an international newspaper is USD$1.64.

10) Personal Care: Cost is very low for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$205. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$17, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$83.

11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is low for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$220. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$6.53, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$36 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$410. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$2.15, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.91, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$9.71, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$41.26.

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$620. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$6.17, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$25,884.

How does the cost of living in Serbia compare?

Serbia is -37.6% cheaper than USA for groceries, -54.3% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 20.8% more expensive for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Serbia?

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

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