International Cost of Living Calculators

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Cost of Living Allowance Report Calculator
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Salary Purchasing Power Parity Report Calculator
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Cost of Living Articles and Rankings

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Location Reviews
Cost of Living Reviews by City and Country for 780 International Locations

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Singapore, Singapore

Singapore, Singapore

Cost of living in Singapore, 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 2021.

What is it like to live in Singapore?

Climate: The climate is tropical, hot, humid and rainy.

Language: The official languages are English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. English is widely spoken and is the usual language for business and administration.

Religion: Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.

Economy: The economy of Singapore is a highly developed market-based economy, which has historically revolved around trade. The economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing.

Inflation: 3.2% for Singapore as at October 2021.

Money: The currency of Singapore is the Singapore Dollar (SGD). Banking is on a par with that of Western Europe and North America. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and department stores.

Tax: In Singapore is based on the current personal income tax rates which are progressive up to 22%.

Population: 5.8 Million (2020 est.)

Expat Life: Singapore is a blend of Western, Chinese and Asian culture. Expatriate dress code is typically informal, with more people wearing open-necked shirts and slacks/skirts than business suits. Formal suits are usually only worn at official occasions. The safety risk for expatriates in Singapore is low, putting it amongst the safest destinations in the world. Risks include low levels of petty crime, and a low level underlying threat of terrorism.

Health Care: Health care facilities are of a high quality but expensive. High levels of air pollution (haze) from fires in Indonesia can impact health. Dengue fever and chikungunya virus occur. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is common.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Singapore?

The cost of living for expatriates in Singapore as at October 2021 is very high in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 140.98 (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 Singapore is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is very high 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$1680. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$25.96, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$4.45, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$5.79 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$12.12.

2) Clothing: Cost is very high for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$1790. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$65, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$82, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$96 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$34.

3) Communication: Cost is high 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$222. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$29, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.16 per minute.

4) Education: Cost is very high 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$43500. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$28,302 for Primary School, and USD$31,495 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is very 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$4175. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$1020, and USD$875 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is very high 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$1570. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$3.90, 1 kg oranges USD$3.64, 1 head lettuce USD$1.81, 1 kg potatos USD$2.41, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$8.58, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$16.87, 1 dozen large eggs USD$2.57, 500g loaf white bread USD$2.09, 1 L full cream milk USD$2.80, and 1.5 L water USD$1.63.

7) Healthcare: Cost is very high 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$1040. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$85, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$2,599.

8) Household Accommodation: Cost is very high 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$7250. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$6,143 in a central location, and USD$3,929 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is very high for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$1220. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$23.83, while an international newspaper is USD$7.33.

10) Personal Care: Cost is high for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$435. 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$174.

11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is very high for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$615. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$11.25, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$117 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is very high 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$1110. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$4.93, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.63, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$6.92, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$60.55.

13) Transport: Cost is very high 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$1170. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$1.50, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$46,500.

How does the cost of living in Singapore compare?

Singapore is 90.6% more expensive than USA for groceries, 104.3% more expensive for household costs than UK, and 132.6% more expensive for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Singapore?

Singapore is ranked as a minimal hardship location.The hardship premium for Singapore for an expat from Australia, is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Singapore) premium of 10% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.

Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Singapore? Register subscribe to your home location and Singapore and run your personalised reports.