Published On: Wed, Dec 2nd,

Cost of living in India


To evaluate whether a city is expensive or cheap, what are normal expenses to live in a country, what should be the salary to survive in a certain city and what are the facilities, we need to know the cost of living of that city. More the cost of living, more expensive will be the city. Cost of living is the amount of money that is required to maintain a certain level of living including basic necessities like house, food, healthcare and taxes. It includes the fares for travelling in local transport, expenses for owning a personal transport, utility bills, cost of routine wardrobe and other important necessities. It is normally used to compare how expensive is to live in a city than the other. Cost of living can be a most important factor in personal wealth growth because a smaller salary can be enough in a city where it does not cost much to survive, while a large salary can be inadequate in an expensive city.

The cost of living can also be used as cost of living index. This index shows the difference in cost of living among cities. A city is selected as based city with cost of living index of 100. The cost of living in destination is compared with this number after indexing. It is simple, for example, if Kolkata is base city and index of Jaipur is 80, then it means that living cost in Jaipur is 80% of Kolkata. Similarly, if index of Mumbai is 120, it means that living in Mumbai is 20pc more expensive than Kolkata. In this article, we will highlight 10 famous cities of India, their cost of living and the minimum to average salary range required to spend a corresponding lifestyle.

1.Mumbai: INR 30,000

Accommodation: INR9,000 – INR12,000
Travelling: INR4,000
Food: INR9,000 – INR12,000
Utilities: INR3,500 – INR4,500
Miscellaneous: INR6,000

Mumbai is the most famous city of India. It is New York City of India and has the importance of being a financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. To evaluate the cost of living in Mumbai, first of all you need to decide the level of living you want to enjoy. Your expenses and corresponding salary range will definitely differ with respect to level of living. For example, for a below average, your needs would be different and in order to meet those needs, you will require less amount in form of salary. Same is the case with average and high standards of living, you will require an average and high range of salary, respectively. In order to facilitate your estimations, we have based our calculations on an average living and salary range. You can compare this range if you plan to live a higher or lower quality of life in Mumbai.

Mumbai is a big and expensive city. That’s why a higher amount of salary is required to enjoy an average living. Therefore, it’s cost of living in very high. First of all you will have to pay for accommodation. Being an employed person, you would be looking for a shared accommodation which may range from INR 8000 – 12000 depending upon the area you select to live in. You should try to select an area near to your workplace otherwise you will have to bear a cost of nearly 3000 per month for travelling. Besides, you will also need to face the severe traffic jams and time taken during travelling. Around 4000 – 5000 INR will be required for electricity and other utilities including phone, internet and cable TV expenses. An average miscellaneous expense of 5,000 will be needed for your clothing, laundry, cigarette, shave, detergents and other bodily needs. The major portion of your budget will be spent for food. If you plan to take every meal from market, then you will require an average of 8000 per month. These calculations are derived from cost of living data banks and personal interviews from people working in Mumbai.

After this research, we have come to the conclusion that a range of starting from 30,000 will be sufficient to live an average quality of life in Mumbai, for a bachelor. But it is the amount required for your survival only. If you are a party boy, fond of clubbing, expensive hoteling and shopping out, then it will increase the cost of living too. Some people are of the view that a salary of above 60,000 will be good in order to enjoy such life in Mumbai.

2. Delhi: INR 35,000

Accommodation:INR9,000 – INR12,000
Food:INR9,000 – INR12,000
Utilities: INR3,500 – INR4,500
Miscellaneous: INR6,000

Delhi, the capital of India is another most famous city for job seekers. It is also an expensive city with very high cost of living. According to facts and figures, it is anyhow, less costly than Mumbai. As Mumbai is financial center of India, that’s why it has higher consumer prices as compared to Delhi, though the difference is limited to just 2%. The property rates and rentals are around 16% higher in Mumbai. However, the foods and restaurant prices are lower in Mumbai as compared to Delhi which means while living in Delhi, you need to spend more on your food. Grocery prices in Delhi are lower and the local purchasing power of people living in Delhi is higher than people in Mumbai.

We have gathered all our data on basis of some research data banks and some interviews with people living in Delhi. We have reached to the conclusion that in order to live in Delhi, you should be earning a salary of 35,000 to enjoy an average living; a middle-middle class of society. The reason that average salary of Delhi is higher than Mumbai is the larger area of Delhi. It is almost twice bigger than Mumbai. Though, Delhi has the most developed train metro system, but due to longer travelling, passengers have to pay more. Statistically, you will need 9000 – 12000 INR for one room apartment in a safe area. The prices may rise as you move towards the city center. The rents range lower as you move away from the center of city but the fares for travelling increase. So, you will be paying an average of 4,000 per month. The food is quite expensive and if you plan to take each meal outside on daily basis, your average expense may range from 9,000 – 12,000. You can opt for home cooking, but grocery cost is not any less. Utilities, internet and related facilities will charge you around 3500 – 4500. Miscellaneous expenses may vary but we have calculated an average of 6,000. Therefore, by earning 35,000 in Delhi, you will experience an average life a person from middle tier of middle class enjoys.

3. Gurgaon: INR 25,000

Accommodation: INR 6,000
Travelling: INR 3,000
Food: INR 9,000
Utilities: INR 4,500 – INR 5,500
Miscellan eous: INR 2,000

Gurgaon has the 3rd highest per capita income in India. It is the state capital of Haryana and a leading industrial and financial hub. Statistically compared to Mumbai, it has higher consumer prices and higher restaurants prices, which means that you will have to pay more for food, transportation and medical care. On the contrary, property rates and rentals, groceries’ prices and local purchasing power of Gurgaon are lower than Mumbai. The city provides a well set transport system of highways, intercity rail metro service, buses and International airport. Though this airport is away from city limits and fall in Delhi’s jurisdiction. It also provides a wide range of hospitals including both private and government health centers. The city also has an efficient cellular module. With a vast speed of urbanization, the city offers an expensive cost of life.

Being single, you will most probably prefer to fetch a hostel or PG on sharing basis. So, a PG shared by 2 people, will cost you around 10,000 INR including food. You have to manage rest of your expenses by your own. You may also find hostels with average staying cost of 6,000 INR. But if you opt to cook your food by your own, then you will have to pay average 300 daily for breakfast and dinner. Having your meals outside will surely cost you much; it will be around 9000 per month in an inexpensive restaurant. The electricity charges including AC at night, will cost you around 3,500. As far as transportation is concerned, it will cost you around 3,000 depending upon the source of transport you prefer to use within the city. Depending upon your usage, gas, water, internet and phone expenses will cost you around 2,000 – 3,000 and miscellaneous expenses 2,000. Therefore, an average life in Gurgaon can be lived within the salary of ₹25,000, but you would be left without any savings in your hand.

4. Ludhiana: INR 25,500

Accommodation: INR 6,000 – 8,000
Travelling: INR 1,500 – 3,500
Food: INR 7,500 – 9,000
Utilities: INR 4,000 – INR 4,500
Miscellaneous: INR 3,000 – INR 4,000

The municipal corporation in district, Ludhiana is the largest city of Ludhiana district. Its population increases during harvest season because of laborers migration from Eastern India. Compared to Mumbai, the city is cheaper in consumer prices, property rates and rentals and groceries. The city shares almost the same cost for restaurants and food with its comparison to Mumbai. Healthcare and personal care items are expensive in Ludhiana. Transportation cost is too high. Unfortunately, the city doesn’t provide a well-established infrastructure. There is no international airport, intra-city railway or metro bus service. A local bus service connects the town of city and links the city with other cities. However, Ludhiana is connected to other cities by railway. However, there are auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws and taxis. The city also faces street crimes and unfriendly people.

You might have got an idea about the cost of living by considering the above provided facts. The accommodation can be found as less as 4,000. There might be security issues in different areas. An average – good accommodation in a safe locality may cost you 6,000 – 15,000 INR. Still you may expect a lot of people ogling you, if you are a female. Due to very less facilities of good transport, the cost of transportation is very expensive and still the quality is not that much good. The public transport might cost you an average of 1,500 per month but due to super fill buses and poor infrastructure, you would love to travel through auto-rickshaws or taxis that will cost you much. The cheapest possible option is cycle-rickshaw but that consumes a lot of time. Food is available at same cost as in Mumbai. A two time meal a day would cost you around 7,500 – 9,000. Utilities including electricity, gas, water, internet and phone will cost roughly around 4,000 – 4,500. Finally, your miscellaneous expense may vary from 3,000 – 4,000. Ludhiana is famous for its shopping malls which may force you to waste your money. Therefore, a salary of 25,500 would be necessary to live an average life in Ludhiana.

5. Hyderabad: INR 23,500

Accommodation: INR 6,500 – INR 10,000
Travelling: INR 1,000 – INR 1,500
Food: INR 6,000 – INR 8,000
Utilities: INR 3,000 – INR 3,500
Miscellaneous: INR 3,000 – INR 4,500

Hyderabad is the capital of southern India’s Telangana state. If we compare it with Mumbai, it seems quite less expensive. The consumer prices in Hyderabad are lower than Mumbai. Property rate and rentals are far lower than Mumbai. It is also good for food rates; you can enjoy more food in lower price comparative to Mumbai. The only index in which Hyderabad is higher than Mumbai, is its local purchasing power. Therefore, the cost of living comparison shows that in Hyderabad, you would be able to live in lower salary range as compared to Mumbai. Hyderabad provides are well structured infrastructure of roads, rail tracks and international airport. It offers a wide range of hostels and paying guests facilities for expatriates. It offers fine quality of food with reasonable rates. The whole area is just a bit larger than Mumbai.

If we evaluate the city for its cost of living and an average salary, we conclude with following details. You can acquire 1 bedroom hall and kitchen apartment ranging from 4,000 to 12,000, of course depending upon the location. You can also go for a hostel option. The rates of hostels vary from 6,500 – 10,000 INR. The electricity may cost you 600 without AC. If we include other utilities including internet and TV, it will almost equal to 2,500. The 650 Km2 city costs almost 1000 – 1500 per month if you have to travel 10 km daily. Food is the second major issue after accommodation. So you will need 6000 per month if you eat twice a day. If you could manage a cook, you may save 2,000 from this cost. Finally, other miscellaneous expenses will range from 3,000 – 4,500 depending upon your lifestyle.

If you are lucky enough to find a good paying guest option, you will be able to acquire all facilities within 10,000 – 15,000. The only cost you will need to incur will be transportation cost. PG tends to be the best option in order to save time and money. Therefore, with a salary of 23,500 – 25,000 INR, you may spend an average life in Hyderabad. However, this rate is for a single person. If you are a couple or family, you will definitely need higher salary, may be twice of this amount.

6. Pune: INR 22,500

Accommodation: INR7,000
Travelling: INR 1,500 – INR 2,000
Food: INR 6,000 – INR 7,000
Utilities: INR 2,000 – INR 2,500
Miscellaneous: INR 3,000 – INR 4,000

The 9th most populous city in India, Pune is the 2nd largest in Maharashtra state, while Mumbai is the first. It is 101st largest city in world with respect to population. Having our comparison with money making Mumbai, consumer prices are lower than Mumbai. Property rates and rentals are almost half as compared to Mumbai. Other factors like food, restaurants, and groceries are lower in Pune; however the difference is not much significant. The purchasing power of Pune is much higher than those of Mumbai. Pune is considered to be a less expensive city. The local government provides the facilities of established in restructure that includes international airport, efficient road structure with government provided transport system of buses and railway track. Life in Pune is comparatively simple and you can manage in less amount of salary.

We have collected this budget with respect to a bachelor. So if you are a couple or finance a whole family, you may estimate the increase in stated amounts. Being a single male, you will probably fetch for a shared accommodation with some working professional like you. In a decent location like Kondhwa, Kothrud, SarasBaug and NIBM Road, you can find a 2 BHK house for 10,000 – 15,000 INR. It will cost you around 7,000 per month for accommodation. There would be some society maintenance costs that your landlord may ask you to pay. Regarding transportation, there are buses and auto-rickshaws that are normally used to move around the city. But buses of Pune are the worst things to travel if you prefer comfort. Rickshaws are comparatively more comfortable. But it will be a best option to purchase a 2 wheeler. With 22 working days a month and travelling 20 km daily, it will cost you 1000 per month against fuel. With 500 maintenance expenses, it will be a total of 1500 for transportation. Regarding food, you can have a fine dinner from 120 – 150 INR, so an estimated total of 200 per day which makes 6000 per month for food. Utility bills are expected to cost almost 2000 i.e. 1000 for electricity, 400 for gas and other for water and sanitation.

We haven’t included any socializing cost like movies, hoteling, friends gathering etc. Moreover, depending upon your shopping habits, internet and mobile usage and other miscellaneous expenses, a range of 3000 – 4000 INR are expected to incur. So, depending upon these collected facts, you will need an average salary of 21,000 – 24,000 to experience an average standard of life.

7. Kolkata: INR 22,000

Accommodation: INR 4,000 – 8,000
Travelling: INR 1,500 – 2,000
Food: INR 3,000 – 5,000
Utilities: INR 3,000 – INR 3,500
Miscellaneous: INR 2,000 – INR 3,000

Kalkota, which was formerly named as Calcutta, is the capital of West Bengal. It is the educational, cultural and commercial center of Ease India. Kolkata is comparatively cheap country. It falls 7 on Cost of Living Ranking in India. Kolkata experiences lower consumer prices than Mumbai. It is cheaper in property rates and rents as compared to Mumbai. The restaurant and grocery rates are also low. The local purchasing power of this cheap city is also low when compared to Mumbai. According to this comparison, it is almost clear that living in Kolkata is quite cheaper as compared to living in Mumbai. People of Kolkata enjoy a deep rooted infrastructure of buses, suburban railway system, trams, taxi and auto-rickshaws. It is the only city in East India to have the international airport. The healthcare system in Kolkata includes around 48 government hospitals, private hospitals are additional to it. Despite of all needed facilities and luxuries of a capital state, cost of living in Kolkata is less expense as compared to other capitals.

When we gathered data about Kolkata and interviewed people of Kolkata, they were of the view that you can spend an average life in Kolkata with a salary of 20,000 INR. But we worked further on this topic and concluded these results. So, if you are a bachelor, you can get a house with 1 BHK from a price of 4,000 – 8,000, depending upon the quality of house and area. As we have repeatedly said that Kolkata is a cheap city, so you don’t need to panic about travelling. You should select an accommodation in a good locality and travel to and fro your office. The buses in Kolkata charge you a fare of max 10 Rupees. If you prefer comfort, your expense may increase to an average cost of 1,500 – 2,000 per month because in AC buses or other mode of transport, fares are higher. In Kolkata, you don’t need to worry about food prices. You can enjoy food in average price restaurants and you bill will never exceed 3,000. But the point here is to know that the quality of food is not that much good as compared to Hyderabad or Bangalore. If you wish to have a better quality food, then you will have to pay a higher sum of money roughly around 5,000 per month; we have anyhow provided you with information about good and average food quality in Kolkata.

Electricity bill touches the figure of 1,500 – 2,000 depending upon your usage of AC, but this is the cost of shared apartment. Other utilities including gas, water, cable TV and internet may cost you 1500. The miscellaneous expenses may vary, however people have stated an average monthly expense of 3,000. Miscellaneous expenses include clothing, laundry, cigarette, shave, detergents and other bodily needs. So a ₹22,000 will be a decent salary to start from Kolkata.

8. Ahmedabad: INR 22,000

Accommodation: INR 4,000 – 6,000
Travelling: INR 1,500 – 2,000
Food: INR 4,500 – 5,000
Utilities: INR 5,500 – INR 6,000
Miscellaneous: INR 3,000

The former capital of Gujrat, Ahmedabad is the 5th largest city of India. It is also the 7th largest metropolitan city of India. The city is cheaper as compared to Mumbai. It is very low in property rates and rentals. The consumer prices, restaurant prices and grocery prices are also low. The city, however, has lower purchasing power. The city is a good contributor to Indian economy. It is 2nd largest cotton producer while its stock exchange is 2nd oldest stock exchange in India. The city has finely developed Bus Rapid Transit System and its Ahmedabad Railway Station connects the city to its towns and other major cities. The international airport is situated just 15 km form city center. Regarding health facilities, the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital is the largest civil hospital in Asia. Electricity is produced by privatized in Ahmedabad. In short, the city provides an overall good and healthy environment. The city of Gujratis, has been under severe Hindu-Muslim riots. However, it happened once in a blue moon.

The city is mainly expensive for its accommodation. Still, you can buy a cheap area accommodation in 4,000 – 5,000 INR. To get a good area accommodation, you will have to compromise nearly 10,000 for 1BHK. You can also find good opportunities of PG in area like VastrapurLake, Navrangpura, and Ambavadi. These are good areas to live in. Second most expensive thing in Ahmedabad is electricity. Ahmedabad is a really hot city with its temperature of 45 – 48 °C in Aril/May onwards. Therefore, you cannot survive without AC and a single unit AC may cost you almost 4,000 a month. Transportation cost is very low you need not to worry about. You can travel in a local bus by spending 1,500 – 2,000 depending upon your choice of AC or non-AC bus service. There are a lot of inexpensive restaurants in Ahmedabad. Therefore, you can manage your food from 4,000 – 5,000, again it will depend upon your choice of quality of food and restaurant. Gas and water bills are quite low while internet is expensive as 750 rupees of 1mbps link. You may expect a bill of 1,500 for these utilities. Finally, miscellaneous expenses are up to you. Roughly, people use to spend no more than 3,000 for their miscellaneous needs.

9. Bangalore: INR 21,000

Accommodation: INR 6,000 – 8,000
Travelling: INR 1,500 – 2,000
Food: INR 4,500 – 5,000
Utilities: INR 2,000 – INR 3,000
Miscellaneous: INR 3,000 – INR 3,500

The capital of Karnataka, Bangalore is the 3rd most populous city of India. The highest elevated among famous cities of India, Bangalore is loved for its pleasant weather around the year. It is rated number 6 on Cost of Living Ranking in India. Regarding cost of living comparative facts and figures, it is a cheap city as compared to Mumbai with lower consumer prices. The city has higher purchasing power as compared to Mumbai meanwhile it is low in property rents and rates and restaurant prices. Therefore, you can expect cheap accommodation and a little bit cheap food in Bangalore. The government has established a wide transport system here in Bangalore including metro-bus system and metro-train rapid transit system. The city also has an international airport. Therefore, intercity and intra-city movement is not a problem for people of Bangalore. Though it faces the problems of urbanization as well, the city is well equipped with education, health and technological facilities.

The rates of accommodation vary with respect to location. A nice and secure location may cost you 8,000 INR. But on average, you can get a good 1BHK house at 6,000. If you share it, you may divide the cost. On the other hand, you also have the option of PG and in this case, it will only cost you from 3,000 – 4,000 INR monthly. It is suggested not to have your accommodation very far from central city or you might face the problems of safety, infrastructure and connectivity. There are many modes of transport in Bangalore; therefore you would not have to spend more on transport. An average of 1,500 – 2,000 will be sufficient for the whole month. For food, you have different options with respect to quality of food and restaurant. But, to your fortune, Bangalore is not as expensive as Mumbai. If you eat from an inexpensive restaurant twice a day, it will cost you 4,500 per month. Regarding utilities, if you share your house with one person, you will have to bear a cost of 2,000 – 3,000 for all utilities including electricity, gas, water and internet. Finally, your miscellaneous expenses may vary but according to people we have been interviewing so far, a person enjoying an average standard of living spends no more than 3,000.

10. Chennai: INR 21,000

Accommodation: INR4,000 – 5,000
Travelling: INR2,000 – 3,000
Food: INR5,000 – 7,000
Utilities: INR 4,000 – INR 4,500
Miscellaneous: INR 4,000

The capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is famous for its friendly, lovely and helping locals. It is the largest commercial and industrial hub of South India. Known for its automobile industry, the city is called “Detroit of India”. Chennai is 5th largest city of India. After comparing its cost of living with our base city Mumbai, we came to know that the city is less expensive than Mumbai. Its consumer prices are lower while rentals and rates of property are more than half of Mumbai’s. Food and restaurant prices are also low with a low purchasing power of locals. The city is well equipped with infrastructure. It has an international airport. The city has a wide structure of well-designed and beautifully maintained roads and flyovers. The bus service connects the city with other cities and its own towns. The metro rail system comprises of a major railway which connects Chennai with other major and some smaller towns of India, and other is inter-state train structure. The city is served with two major ports and famous Marina Beach.

Talking about the cost of living in this lively city, accommodation can be arranged in a cost of 4,000 – 5,000. But you have to share it with someone, otherwise rents are higher. The food in Chennai is not much expensive. You can manage two meals a day outside in 5,000 – 7,000. You can reduce this cost if you try to cook at home. With a lot of travel opportunities, you can easily move to and fro your office. Firstly, we suggest you to arrange your accommodation nearby your office; it will allow you to limit your travel cost to 1,000 per month. It will be 2,000 – 3,000 INR otherwise. Your utility bills including electricity and others will cost you around 4,500. The rest will be your miscellaneous expenses that may vary according to your spending. By most of the people we interviewed or from opinions from secondary data, your miscellaneous expenses would be roughly around 4,000 a month. Hence, you may spend a decent life in a salary of 21,000 INR.







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