Cost of Living in Shanghai

Summary about cost of living in Shanghai, China:

Edit Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 30.00 ¥ 20.00-58.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 210.00 ¥ 180.00-400.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 40.00 ¥ 30.00-45.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 10.00 ¥ 5.00-28.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 20.00 ¥ 15.00-40.00
Cappuccino (regular) 26.76 ¥ 15.00-38.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 3.74 ¥ 3.00-8.00
Water (12 oz small bottle) 2.42 ¥ 2.00-5.00
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 66.17 ¥ 41.64-94.64
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 14.12 ¥ 9.07-27.22
Rice (white), (1 lb) 3.95 ¥ 1.81-6.80
Eggs (regular) (12) 15.50 ¥ 6.26-27.60
Local Cheese (1 lb) 50.67 ¥ 20.41-136.08
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 15.47 ¥ 9.07-29.48
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 42.93 ¥ 31.75-68.04
Apples (1 lb) 7.67 ¥ 2.72-17.24
Banana (1 lb) 5.26 ¥ 3.63-9.07
Oranges (1 lb) 8.05 ¥ 3.63-13.15
Tomato (1 lb) 4.54 ¥ 2.27-8.62
Potato (1 lb) 3.00 ¥ 1.81-4.54
Onion (1 lb) 3.31 ¥ 1.81-4.54
Lettuce (1 head) 6.83 ¥ 2.00-10.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 4.41 ¥ 3.00-10.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 100.00 ¥ 50.00-200.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 5.94 ¥ 3.00-10.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 16.59 ¥ 10.00-30.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 21.00 ¥ 20.00-35.00
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 4.00 ¥ 3.00-5.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 200.00 ¥ 150.00-300.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 14.00 ¥ 14.00-16.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 4.83 ¥ 4.02-6.44
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 36.75 ¥ 30.00-60.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 26.02 ¥ 22.03-30.28
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 140,000.00 ¥ 120,000.00-160,000.00
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 155,235.29 ¥ 130,000.00-200,000.00
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 412.20 ¥ 300.00-637.50
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.23 ¥ 0.10-0.40
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 95.45 ¥ 50.00-200.00
Sports And Leisure
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 397.78 ¥ 150.00-1,000.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 88.50 ¥ 40.00-150.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 50.00 ¥ 45.00-75.00
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 7,666.41 ¥ 4,000.00-10,000.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 176,538.46 ¥ 100,000.00-250,000.00
Clothing And Shoes
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 461.86 ¥ 200.00-800.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 269.41 ¥ 120.00-400.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 634.46 ¥ 400.00-900.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 781.77 ¥ 400.00-1,500.00
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 8,871.36 ¥ 5,000.00-15,000.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 4,348.48 ¥ 3,000.00-7,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 19,537.03 ¥ 12,000.00-30,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 9,754.85 ¥ 6,000.00-15,000.00
Buy Apartment Price
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 9,219.75 ¥ 7,432.18-12,077.29
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 4,565.47 ¥ 3,716.09-5,574.14
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 10,760.38 ¥
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 4.84 3.00-6.00

Prices in Shanghai

This city had 1601 entries in the past 12 months by 180 different contributors.
Last update: July 2021
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39 Comments so far
Massimiliano Catani on May 13, 2021:
I lived 6 years in Shanghai and the cost of an apartment rent for three bedrooms starts from CNY 30.000 and not CNY 18.000
王刘 on May 12, 2021:
Its little expensive shanghai compare other city so bring extra cash for 1 person 15000¥ is ok for 1 month foreigners very welcome here except if you american you not welcome and will be send back in airport and big fine
Anonymous on Feb 22, 2021:
Chinese citizens aren't even human beings but the world's eyes are wide open.No matter where Chinese live anywhere in the world we will hunt you down like the maggots you are and spare none of you.
Anonymous on Jan 21, 2021:
Shanghai like the rest of China is feeling not only the heat from sanctions from many countries but it's very existence is on the line.All countries are now looking at China under an economic microscope and they should.China spares no country when it comes to stolen patents and also debt traps.
Although I don't have any hatred for any Chinese citizens many do and they shouldn't. Remember Chinese citizens are feeling the brunt of the CCP daily.China is on the road to decimation and after the pandemic has cost so many lives globally and needlessly that forced people around the world to view China much differently for good reasons.Loved ones gone forever never being able to share laughter and life with them is a big price to pay for the CCP heartless greed and zero respect for all of mankind.
Anonymous on Jan 10, 2021:
I believe MARKET is extinct for Shanghai or anywhere in China. A returning MARKET throughout China may not return for many years if ever.I believe there'll be massive defectors from China however it's doubtful any countries would accept the Chinese because their word isn't good.I lived in Shanghai as an expat 8 years up until August 2020 and I can honestly say things are bleak economy wise to say the least. I'm not labeling all Chinese citizens but most everyone around the world has trust issues which is understood especially with all the secrecy surrounding the pandemic.When I left China August 2020 there was mass histeria which is understandable especially with everything shutdown.
Questions on Dec 17, 2020:

What does "Market" mean in the section of "Distribution of expenses using our statistical model"?
Luci on Jun 21, 2020:
hi, my name is isabella, i'm 22 years old i'm from brazil, but my real dream is to live in china, shanghai or beijing, i'm a nursing technician, but i work as a caregiver for the elderly and wanted to at some point after being well established go to nursing school, i'm taking english class through an application, i don't know how to speak anything in chinese, i really wanted to learn, i would live alone, i don't need much, would it be too expensive? could i live? would there be work for me?
-J on Feb 14, 2020:
@Noor my husband works at SJTU Minhang campus. We live near Xinzhuang and cost of two bedroom apartment around 100m2 is around 5000rmb-9000rmb, depending on how close to Xinzhuang you live. Closer to campus is a lot cheaper, around 4000 two bedroom apartment. Cost of living depends on your lifestyle, if you order groceries to be delivered and occasionally order food from western style and Chinese restaurants, you can expect to spend around 6-9k per month. Less if you shop at local grocery stores or vegetable stalls in wet markets. We use to go to public hospitals, was very cheap (MRI costs around <500 rmb?). Now we pay for international health insurance and costs are high-- we pay around 85000 per year for two and maternity coverage. Eventually costs of international schools will also be extremely high if you have kids, around 100,000rmb per year and up.

This month with the coronavirus, we aren't eating out and only getting our groceries locally-- I estimate we'll only spend around 5k per month on food. And lots of cooking at home.
Anonymous on Dec 15, 2019:
@Noor avg cost of renting apartment near jiaotong minhang campus for one room with living room and bathroom and kitchen would be 2200 to 3200. The close you get to uni the higher the cost..2 bed and living etc would be 3200 to 4000 rmb. Your package is sufficient for two with some saving.
Noor on Aug 25, 2019:
can anyone please help me with the average cost of renting an apartment close to Jiao Tong University in Minhang Shanghai? also what is the cost of living for a family of two in the area?
Anonymous on Apr 22, 2019:
@Paulo Your package is really good... 50k only manager in giants like alibaba can achieve
Shilpa on Mar 05, 2019:
Hey everyone. I have a job offer of 17000 RMB per month in Shanghai. Will this afford a decent standard of living for 2 people? Will I also be able to save on this wage?
How much will a studio apartment cost in a city centre?
Paulo on Feb 23, 2019:
Hello, doing some research on internet and I´m still in doubt.
- Salary 54k RMB (after tax) monthly
- International School paid by the company
- Health Insurance paid by the company
- Rent apartment paid by the company up to 10kRMB
For 2 adults and 1 kid, is it a good package - good life and save some money?
Julian Huang on Jan 08, 2019:
Problem with this analysis is that Shanghai/Beijing/Shenzhen are just such large cities compare to those of other countries. It needs to be split up into smaller regions because outskirts are much cheaper than city centers. Also, how about medical costs?
A. strong on Oct 21, 2018:
Hi,I applied to do Nursing at Anhui University still waiting on a respond. Does anyone knows of any other institution offering Nursing or Midwifery in the Shanghai area, and can give me an idea of what's cost of living like. Thanks in advance.
Steve walker on Sep 18, 2018:
Your prices on Numbeo are complete rubbish. Been in Shanghai now for 2 days and cheapest local beer has been 2.50GBP in food mall. Cheapest beer in a restaurant £4.00 GBP. Meals are around £8-£10 GBP in an inexpensive restaurant!
Anonymous on Sep 07, 2018:
Hey everyone. I have a job offer of 17000 RMB per month and my accommodation is paid, medical also paid. Will this afford a decent standard of living? Will I also be able to save on this wage? I will be travelling alone.
Anonymous on Sep 03, 2018:
I got a postdoc offer with a fellowship of 11000 RMB per month at Fudan University, Shanghai.

Is it a good fellowship amount? How does it compare with the standard fellowship amount?

How much can be saved after tax deduction?
yue zhu on Jul 30, 2018:
I have a question about the 216 contributors of their socail class, cause if I'm one of them,I can difinately pull down the index. And foreigners or Outsiders coming to Shanghai don't be panic, it's ok if you salary is not that high.
KD on Jul 27, 2018:

Thanks for your reply. I am planning to stay in Jaiding area near office, so rental would be quite less. I am getting close to 28,000 RMB per month post all deductions. I will have an appraisal at the end of every year, so post 2-3 years i am expecting my monthly to go up to 36,000-38,000RMB. I am not planning to buy any house in SHA as i have no plans of settling in China.

Looking into all this, would you still say it's not an enough salary?
Anonymous on Jul 26, 2018:

Thanks for your reply. I am planning to stay in Jaiding area near office, so rental would be quite less. I am getting close to 28,000 RMB per month post all deductions. I will have an appraisal at the end of every year, so post 2-3 years i am expecting my monthly to go up to 36,000-38,000RMB. I am not planning to buy any house in SHA as i have no plans of settling in China.

Looking into all this, would you still say it's not an enough salary?
Dave on Jul 23, 2018:

Are you planing on buying a house in Shanghai in the future?
If you do, you will need "at least" 1,000,000RMB per year to purchase one.
450,000RMB per year is good,
but you will need to consider what's the "actual" amount of money you gonna get after all the tax, insurance, and among other things.
If you are getting 30,000RMB, it's not really enough, considering you have a new born kid. It may be enough for first couple years, but when the kid needs to go to school, 30,000RMB per month won't cut it...
Dave on Jul 23, 2018:
@Oscar V

It's usually around 30m^2 to 50m^2...
100m^2 is at least two bedrooms, sometimes even 3 bedrooms.
Depends on the area,The Bund( Waitan ),
100m^2 is around 20000RMB+ per month
Oscar V on Jul 17, 2018:

Im trying to find some stats on average size (m^2) of a 1 bedroom apartment in the centre of shanghai. would anyone have any idea what its around. finding around 100m^2 but not 100% sure if this is correct.
aliazxs on Jul 05, 2018:
Hello mister @Rex

I am looking to study in China Shanghai at the East China University of Science and Technology,

I got accepted but I have to pay for the accommodation and the living cost how much do I have to have?! and how much the university building will cost me? is it cheaper to live outside campus?

I am sorry for many questions.

I would love if I could know anyone there to answer my questions

Thanks in advance
Rex on Jun 28, 2018:
Hi all,

As a local guy in Shanghai,i could give some suggestion for your reference.
The house rent is round 6000RMB/month which is near the city center.You can take the subway easily in this house.
The two way subway tickets cost at most 16RMB/everyday,i mean if you have to take many times on subway.

Meal expenses for one person is :

breakfast- under 10 RMB(Chinese food),like pancake or noodles
lunch- under 20RMB(Chinese food),some Chinese food combo.
dinner- under 30RMB(Chinese food),one dish and one rice.

The gifts in Shanghai are not cheap at all!If you need some cheap but good gifts.You have to purchase them on TaoBao.We buy everything on this website.

From my view,if you get a salary about 10k,that's enough for your daily cost.But if you wanna save more money,you have to think more on your accommodation and your food.

Question are welcomed and you could @ me.
NILAY SOM on Jun 21, 2018:
I am going for a few day's official trip to China. I shall stay two days on my own account. Can you give a fair estimate of
1 Budget but decent hotel
2 Meal expenses
3 Cost of gift items like electronic toys, tea shirts, umbrellas, perfumes, chocolates etc ?
KD on May 25, 2018:
Hello All,

For 8+ year experience in Automotive IT, is 450,000 CNY/Year package good enough, considering costs for non-working wife and a new born kid?

Sameer Apte on May 24, 2018:

I am getting a job offer in china .Salary will be around Rs 20000 rmb.. Can some guide if this is a good offer to stay in Shanghai for single person. What will be the saving percentage from this amount.
Tim on May 16, 2018:
I assume that the college will offer you accomodation, and normally a meal for one in college cafeteria is below 15 Rmb(2~3 USD).

Hi Joana, it's enough.
Anas on May 02, 2018:
i'm planning to go to college in Shanghai , is it expensive to live here as a student?
Joana on Apr 09, 2018:
Hi everyone.
I was offered a job in Shanghai which is paid 13 000 Rmb. The accomodation is offered. Is thia enough to live there?
Terry on Feb 23, 2018:
20000RMB is higher than average salary of locals. Free accomodation seems a huge plus, that would save you at least 5000-10000RMB. If you are single you could expect a relatively easy life in Shanghai. But you will have to earn more for an extravagant life.
Steve on Feb 15, 2018:
I have an interview for a job in Shanghai on Monday, the wages are 20000rmb a month with free accomodation.

Will this be enough to save?
Chelsea on Feb 11, 2018:
Hi! I just got a job offer through English First to come teach in Shanghai. I'm doing research, and from what I've seen, it doesn't sound like 13,000RBM isn't enough to live off of and be able to save. Is this accurate or no? Any advice would be useful as I'm trying to make my decision with them.
jim on Feb 07, 2018:
Hi I got offered an internship, where you get paid 4,000rmb and they will play for accommodation on top of this. Does this salary mean you will have a low standard of living?
Gene on Jan 11, 2018:
Hey Motress,

If this is your salary after tax and visa, then you could rent an apartment for about 7k. Another 3-4K would go on living expenses depending on your living style, the one I use is very modest. And then what’s left of that could go towards savings for a trip back home once or twice a year.

Disclaimer: my assumptions are subjective.
Motress Motress on Dec 30, 2017:
Hi, i get a job offer at shanghai and salary is about 12500RMB. After i go through the data above seems like is hardly to survive with this offer. Need someone advise on this please? I'm curious what is the cost of rental for 1 bedroom (without share) within center area.
Len on Dec 06, 2017:
I've lived in Shanghai for 8 years as an expat and I don't agree with these numbers. I would say you should expect prices and cost being at least 20% higher than these estimates.
Especially for rent, utilities, restaurants and beer. As a reference point a local beer at an OK place(one you as an expat would go to Chinese or non Chinese food) expect to pay up to 25-35RMB and up to 50-60 for importer beer. A bottle of wine at a restaurant at least 200RMB.
I would say our average meal for 2ppl at a mid-range restaurant is often 250-400RMB not 200 as estimated above.

I currently pay 13,000RMB for a 1 bedroom apartment in the middle of french concession/xuhui dist. the apartment standard is average as a western but acceptable to live in. Expect prices up to 20,000/month for a very nice 1 bedroom apartment. Then i mean a good apartment by western standards. I