International Cost of Living Calculators

International cost of living and hardship / quality of living data for 780 global locations.

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Sri Lanka, Colombo

Sri Lanka, ColomboColombo is the largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka. The great majority of Sri Lankan corporations have their head offices in Colombo. Some of the industries include chemicals, textiles, glass, cement, leather goods, furniture, and jewellery. In the city centre is located South Asia's second tallest building - The World Trade Centre.

Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean, south of India. The climate is tropical monsoon.

The official languages are Sinhala and Tamil. English is the language of business. Many Sri Lankans outside business speak some English. The main religions are Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.

The economy of Sri Lanka is famous for the production and export of tea, coffee, coconuts, rubber and cinnamon which is native to the country.

Expatriate business dress is generally conservative, although casual smart clothing is acceptable given the warm weather. Sri Lanka is proud of it's tea and it is customary to be offered tea at business meetings. Expatriates who decline tea may be considered impolite.

The security risk for expatriates in Sri Lanka is medium. Risks include petty crime, tension between Sinhalese Buddhists, Tamil Hindus and Tamil Muslims and occasional clashes with the security forces.

The currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR). While ATMs are available in major urban areas not all international cards are accepted. Major credit cards are accepted at some shops and restaurants.

Medical facilities are not generally comparable to those of Western Europe and North America, especially in rural areas. In Colombo specialist medical care is available, but it is expensive.

The population of Colombo is 5.6 Million (2019 est.), while the inflation rate (CPI) is 4.4% for Sri Lanka as at November 2019.

Xpatulator Hypothetical Tax for Sri Lanka is based on the current personal income tax rates which are progressive up to 24%.

Cost Of Living

The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in Colombo as at 1 November 2019 is 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 Colombo 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$1020. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$13.80, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$1.32, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$1.99 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$6.63.
2) Clothing: for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1000 in New York costs USD$330. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$27, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$53, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$30 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$19.
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$78. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$15, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$0.01 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$18300. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$11,813 for Primary School, and USD$13,146 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$1900. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$672, and USD$576 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$670. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$2.80, 1 kg oranges USD$2.48, 1 head lettuce USD$0.80, 1 kg potatos USD$0.88, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$4.10, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$11.07, 1 dozen large eggs USD$1.18, 500g loaf white bread USD$0.47, 1 L full cream milk USD$1.20, and 1.5 L water USD$0.57.
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$330. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$27, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$824.
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$3400. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$2,682 in a central location, and USD$1,487 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$380. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$7.43, while an international newspaper is USD$2.29.
10) Personal Care: for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$270. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$22, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$108.
11) Recreation & Culture: for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$200. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$3.73, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$18 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$490. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$2.41, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$0.67, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$4.56, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$16.57.
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$560. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$0.79, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$27,609.

Colombo is 4.2% more expensive than Houston TX for groceries, 59.8% more expensive for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and -4.3% cheaper for transport costs than Dubai.

Colombo is ranked as a high degree of hardship location.

The hardship premium for Colombo for an expat from Perth, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Colombo) premium of 30% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%.

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