Cost of Living in Ethiopia

Ethiopia, the third most populated country in Africa, can surprise you by many things.

It has its own calendar with thirteen months in the year or thirteen months of sunny weather, as tourists say.

The last month is only 5-6 days long while the rest of the months are equal and last for 30 days each.

This is a Christian African country with a long history dating back to the 25th year B.C.

Ethiopia is one of those countries in Africa which do not have the seaports, therefore the international airlines are highly popular here.

They are probably the only way to get in and out of the country.

The airport is located in the capital city Addis Ababa.




Local people are not really eager to visit restaurants and cafes.

According to the statistics, a very low percentage of the salary is spent on eating out.

Although, there are a few restaurants in big cities in Ethiopia, mostly for tourists.

National cuisine excludes pork, so you can try other delicacies like goat meat, lamb or beef which is often raw, by the way.

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $ 4.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $ 1.00
Water (0.33 Liter) $ 0.44


The largest market in Africa is located in the capital Addis Ababa.

It is spread to a few square kilometers and divides into separate quarters each of them selling specific goods.

You can buy a thousand spices here, but you will not be able to take raw coffee home because the airline officers do not allow doing so.

Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $ 1.02
Loaf Bread (500g) $ 0.79
Eggs (12) $ 1.74


Besides the airlines in Addis Ababa, the natives use buses to travel around the country.

The mini-buses are also offered but they lack comfort.

The only possible way to see the suburbs and some farther areas is by taxi or a rented car.

If you are looking for kind of an extreme, buy a new car in Ethiopia: Volkswagen  Golf is $60.000, and Toyota Corolla is $38.227 on average.

Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $ 0.30
Monthly Pass $ 10.00
Gasoline $ 0.89


Since the country is hot and dry, the natives can really save on warm clothes and heating.

Sadly, most of the citizens and rural population are too poor to have any utilities at all.

So they use foreign humanitarian aid to have water supply and decent sanitation.

The prices for the Internet connection sound impossible, $538,75 per month.

Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $ 61.63
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $ 0.04
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $ 538.75
Sports and leisure


The leading kind of sports in Ethiopia is, of course, track and field athletics, which are followed by less developed sports like boxing and football.

You have probably heard a lot about the Ethiopian sportsmen who won a lot of gold medals at the Olympics.

Fitness clubs, cinema, and restaurants are available on the territories of the hotels.

Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $ 52.15
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $ 11.13
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $ 3.00
Clothing and shoes


Several textile factories in Ethiopia specialize in manufacturing clothes and home textiles.

There are also great fabric shops where you can buy high-quality silk or order to sew clothes exclusively for you.

The salesmen at the markets are polite, smiling and always ready to bargain.

Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $ 31.83
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $ 146.50
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $ 89.00
Rent per month


In Ethiopia, you can rent apartments, buildings, offices, houses, stores, and land.

In popular cities like Addis Ababa, Nazret, or Bahr-Dar one-bedroom apartment costs $498.73 in the city center and $288.16 outside the downtown.

3 bedroom apartments in the center cost $2090 on the average.

Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $ 498.73
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $ 288.16
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $ 2090.00

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Ethiopia?

The figures are totally different from what you might see on the statistics and ratings of the European, American or Asia countries.

The Ethiopians are mostly poor, and the feeling of wealth and prosperity are rather appropriate for the hotels, boutiques, and splendid off-beat nature of the region.

Lots of money is given to the monthly rent here, and the rest is divided between markets, transport, bills, recreation, and image.

Only 5.6% of money gets lost in restaurants.

As much as 18.2% of income is set out to pay for the utilities.

Sports and leisure are worth about 5% of the wage.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Ethiopia: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

The national minimum wage in Ethiopia is not determined.

Some lowest salaries often start at the point of $35 per month in the villages and towns, increasing up to $193.40 after tax per month in the cities.

The mortgage loan is a comparatively new option here, which is actually offered to foreigners, non-residents, and people with Ethiopian origins.

The interest rate for such a loan is 17.60% and is paid by those who meet all the criteria like work permit, renewed passport for non-residents of Ethiopia and the ability to pay at least 20% of the house price.


Average Salary$ 193.40
Minimum Wage$
Mortgage Interest Rate17.60%

Cost of Living by City in Ethiopia

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Addis Ababa 49.96

1 Comment

  1. Colton S

    Well this was an interesting read, a country with 13 months! How bizarre. What is the extra month called? Also, I see the average salary is under $200 and yet the cheapest apartments are almost $300, do most people live on the streets? Very interested to know how people survive there.


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