Singapore international school for global students

Cost of Living in Singapore

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The cost of living in Singapore is on the rise. The Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2016 ranked it the fourth most expensive city in the world out of 209 cities, just after Hong Kong and Zurich, but well ahead of cities like London and New York.

The good news is that professional salaries generally match the high cost of living, and expat packages can include benefits like transport, school fees and accommodation allowances.

But amidst increased competition for jobs, expats interested in working in Singapore may need to accept a salary without too many additional benefits.

Cost of accommodation in Singapore

Accommodation is the largest expense that expats in Singapore will have to shoulder, but they can relieve some of this burden by opting for apartments or public housing rather than lavish condominiums. It is also worth noting that expats can get more for their money and cut down on costs by living further out from the city centre.

Cost of food in Singapore

Depending on personal spending habits, shopping for groceries can be a modest or extortionate expense. Expats fond of purchasing imported products from back home may be startled at how quickly costs stack up.

Although Singapore offers many tempting choices of delicious cuisine, eating out can be an expensive exercise. However, if expats stick to hawker centres rather than restaurants, sampling the local fare can be more affordable.

Cost of transportation in Singapore

Public transport is efficient much cheaper than using taxis or private vehicles, with EZ-link travel cards providing good value for moneyOwning a vehicle is a luxury rather than necessity in Singapore and, thanks to the heavy taxes cars are subject to, is a costly venture.

Cost of living in Singapore chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for March 2017.


One-bedroom apartment in city centre

SGD 2,900

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

SGD 2,000

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

SGD 4,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

SGD 3,000

Food and drink

Eggs (dozen)


Milk (1 litre)


Rice (1 kg)


Loaf of white bread 

SGD 2.30

Chicken breasts (1kg)


Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

SGD 13

Eating out

Big Mac Meal


Coca Cola (330 ml)   

SGD 1.70



Bottle of local beer


Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

SGD 60


Mobile to mobile call rate (per minute)

SGD 0.20

Internet (uncapped ADSL – average per month)

SGD 50

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

SGD 158

Public transportation 

Taxi (rate per km) 

SGD 0.70

City centre bus/train fare

SGD 1.80

Petrol/gasoline per litre

SGD 2.13

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