Cost of living in Singapore

Author: David Holard. Updated: 01 October 2023

Singapore is the most expensive country to live in Asia, followed by Hong Kong, Israel, and South Korea. has compiled the latest information on the cost of living in Singapore in 2023.

Housing: More than 40% of the monthly budget

One of the most significant expenses in Singapore is housing. The city-state's limited land resources have led to soaring property prices. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center stands at approximately S$4,510 ($3,301) per month, while the cost for a similar apartment outside the city center is around S$2,985 ($2,185) per month. Rental on PropertyGuru ranges from S$3,800 ($2,781) to S$65,000 ($47,580) monthly, depending on luxury and affordability.

Singaporeans and expatriates alike often find themselves allocating a substantial portion of their income towards housing (on average about 47.7% of the monthly budget). If we talk about the average cost of buying an apartment, then in the city center, a square meter will cost on average S$28,224 ($20,660), and outside the center, it will cost much less, about S$16,201 ($11,859) per square meter.

Transport: Get around without a car

Singapore boasts an efficient and well-connected public transportation system, including buses and the Rapid Transit (MRT) system. A one-way ticket for local transport costs approximately S$2 ($1.46), while a taxi ride covering 1 kilometer at normal tariff rates is around S$1 ($0.73). While public transportation is relatively affordable, some residents opt for car ownership due to convenience. If you choose to own a car, then the cost of a liter of gasoline will be approximately S$2.88 ($2.11).

Food: Affordable prices

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs approximately S$14 ($10.25). While eating out can be affordable, dining at some restaurants can quickly escalate your food expenses. Thus, lunch for two in a middle-class restaurant will cost an average of S$100 ($73.20).

Childcare: Very expensive

International schools in Singapore often come with a substantial price tag, although they provide world-class education. Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child costs S$1,667 ($1,220), and International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child costs S$36,058 ($26,395).