Cost of Living in India (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai etc)

September 11, 2018 Off By mumbaiabout

cost of living in india calculator


India is a very big city and the total cost of living in India would depend greatly on the city, where you stay. In fact, it would also depend on the exact place where you live in a city of your choice. The reason being the city centers and prime places in cities tend to be costlier. Whereas, the price of things(specially the rentals) decrease greatly as you move towards the outskirts of a city. If you live in Tier 1 cities, the expense would be greater compared to the costs in Tier 2 cities in India.


The living cost in a city also depends on the lifestyle choice and the standard of living a person is used to. Due to the extensive nature of the topic, we would talk only about the cost for a ‘Upper Middle Class’ Lifestyle. Lower Middle Class, Middle Class, Upper Middle Class and Wealthy Class are the different lifestyle choices segmentation possible according to us.

Cost of Living in India : Tier 1 vs Tier 2 Cities

The tier 1 cities in India are Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. And cities like Surat, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi, Goa, Kochi, Pune, Aurangabad, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Cuttack, Amritsar, Jammu, Srinagar etc come under Tier 2 cities. As a thumb rule, you can always consider the Tier 1 cities to be costly in comparison to the Tier 2 cities. Also, as it is not possible to compare and cover every city, we would compare only the Tier 1 cities. In addition, the Tier 1 cities are what most of the readers are interested in.

Comparing Expenses in Tier 1 Cities

When we measure and differentiate the cost of items in different tier 1 cities, we see that the rental expenses are the main differences in the cities. On the other hand, the variation in price of other goods and services are very less. At least, they are not as high as the rent differences.

Housing Expense Comparison

The above bar graph shows the average price range for renting a 1Bhk(One bedroom hall and kitchen) in different tier 1 cities in India. The costs are for an accommodation in an area offering a upper middle class standard of living. As you can see, Mumbai has the highest rentals of all the tier 1 cities in India. The rent range for 1BHK in Mumbai would be 30k to 35k INR. Mumbai is followed by Delhi, with 1BHK rental range of 17k to 25k INR.. On the other side, Bangalore and Kolkata offers some of the least expensive 1 Bhk accomodations. You can get 1BHK in a good area for 8-15k INR in Bangalore and Kolkata. The rentals in Hyderabad and Chennai are cheaper than that in Mumbai and Delhi, but costlier than that in Kolkata and Bangalore. We have considered specific areas and localities which offer a upper middle class lifestyle to compile the above data. We are listing the areas considered for respective cities. Mumbai: Powai, Bandra(W). Delhi: Defence Colony, Vasant Vihar. Kolkata: Salt Lake, Alipore. Bangalore: IndiraNagar, WhiteField. Hyderabad: Gachibowli, Banjara Hills. Chennai: Taramani, Adyar, Besant Nagar. All the areas listed above are fairly descent localities of respective cities.

Non Housing Expenses

To keep things simple and practical, we would not compare the prices of non-housing expenses in the cities. We would just list down the values for those expenses. Because, the figure for these items do not vary by a great difference. Whether you visit a 5 star hotel in Mumbai or in Delhi, the tariff are going to be almost similar. If you buy a mobile connection in Mumbai or in Bangalore, the monthly bill rate is not going to vary by much. Similarly, all packed substances are priced similar across the country(or at-least across the tier 1 cities).
From the above chart, we see the average non-housing expenses as follows:   groceries (8k), Entertainment (6k), Transport (4k), Maid (2k), Internet and Communications (2k) and Electricity (1.5k). All these are the most common non-housing expenses. For any other special expenses, you can add it separately. Totally, the measure of non housing expenses comes to 23500 INR.

Total Expenses and Comparison

Now, let us add the housing and non-housing expenses for a month and calculate the total cost of living in a month. The value would be for 1 person. Also, we would take the maximum average monthly rent(from one of the previous section) for the sum.
One can clearly conclude from the above chart that Mumbai is the Costliest City to Live in India with a monthly cost of 58,500 INR. Followed by Delhi with 48,500 INR, Hyderabad and Chennai with 43,500 and 39,500 INR respectively. Kolkata and Bangalore comes out as the cheapest option to live in India with monthly cost of 38,500 INR and 37,500 INR respectively.

Selecting a City to Live: Cost of Living in India for Cities vs Other Criteria

Though, we have provided you the total value for cost of living in India for various cities, It should not be the only criteria to live in a specific city. Other factor that you should consider are the city Climate, Salary Level in City, City Culture and Amenities.

Approximate Costs in Tier 2 Cities

Again, we would not do a deep dive here. The reason being, very few individuals are interested in the measure for cost of living in tier 2 cities. However, for a rough approximation, you can subtract 10,000 INR from the nearest tier 1 city. For example, if you want to calculate cost of living in Lucknow, you can take Delhi as a reference and subtract 10,000. By this way, cost of living in Lucknow for 1 person would be 38500 INR monthly.

Cost of Living in India in Foreign Currencies

People tend to better understand the price of an item when displayed in their own native currency. Hence, we are making it easy for you to directly see the cost of living in India in Foreign Currencies. Since, it is not possible to cover all available currencies, we are using only 6 from the top global currencies. We are using USD(US Dollar), GBP (British Pound), EUR(Euro), CHF(Swiss Franc), CAD(Candian Dollar), AUD(Australian Dollar).
Here is the total Cost of Living in Indian Cities in different foreign currencies: Mumbai – 810 USD | 622 GBP | 700 EUR | 788 CHF | 1058 CAD | 1140 AUD Delhi – 673 USD | 516 GBP | 580 EUR | 655 CHF | 880 CAD | 945 AUD Kolkata – 534 USD | 410 GBP | 461 EUR | 520 CHF | 697 CAD | 750 AUD Bangalore –  520 USD | 400 GBP | 450 EUR | 506 CHF | 680 CAD | 731 AUD Hyderabad – 604 USD | 463 GBP | 520 EUR | 587 CHF | 788 CAD | 848 AUD Chennai – 548 USD | 420 GBP | 473 EUR | 533 CHF | 716 CAD | 770 AUD  

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