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Cost of Living in Karachi, Pakistan

Karachi is the capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh. It is the most populous city in Pakistan, and fifth-most-populous city proper in the world.

Karachi is an international city of Pakistan that consists of two major sea ports and one air port – and this creates a vital economy for Pakistan.

The city has more importance than any other city of Pakistan.

Still, many find it “the cheapest city in the world”.

How much you spend here depends on which part of Karachi you live in, and what sort of lifestyle you can afford.

Restaurants

RESTAURANTS

Restaurants are not expensive in Karachi, and though eating out will cost you more than cooking, it’s still pretty cheap. Still, if you’re coming from any of the more developed countries, you won’t find restaurants expensive at all. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you less than 2$, while a dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant costs around 10$.

Markets

MARKETS

Usually, expats who live in Pakistan long term get bored with local food, but in Karachi you can find imported food items in many places, though count that this will definitely increase your food bills to around 300$ a month. The prices in Karachi vary from sector to sector, as in F sectors have higher food prices, while in G sector prices are low.

Transportation

TRANSPORTATION

Public transportation in Karachi is nonexistent (with the exception of few parts of the city where Metro Bus functions), the use of taxi is the only way to go about anywhere in Lahore, though it’s a more expensive option. Travel in private transporters vans is not recommended though they are cheap. If you use your own car, fuel will cost you around 100$ a month, including oil and regular maintenance cost.

Utilities

UTILITIES (MONTHLY)

The cost of bills for utilities depends greatly on the season: during winter they cost around 30$, while during summers they can go up to 200$ if you’re not careful with your AC! Generally speaking, for an apartment of about 85m2, all basic utilities like electricity, gas and garbage services cost around 60$ a month.

Sports and leisure

SPORTS & LEISURE

The cost of enjoying sports and fitness activities is definitely high for someone living and working in Karachi long term – not as much for those who are only tourists coming from the western countries. If you want to become a member of a gym or a fitness club, it costs around 15$ (much cheaper than in Islamabad, for instance), while cinema tickets are relatively cheap – again, mostly for tourists – 5$ per ticket.

Clothing and shoes

CLOTHING & SHOES

There are many shopping centers in Karachi, and the prices of clothes are significantly lower than you’ll stumble upon in Europe or the US. For quality jeans like Levi’s, you’ll pay only about 15$, while summer dresses and shirts in chain stores like Zara or Mango cost more, around 25$. Running sneakers cost around 38$ a pair. Maybe this is why they call it the cheapest city in the world!

Rent per month

RENT PER MONTH

With the economy growing and more places like Barhia Town being built and added onto the general constitution of Pakistan, the rent is only going to go up, especially in major cities like Karachi. The closer to the center you get, the higher the price. You can get a nice one-bedroom apartment in the city center for around 150$. It can be much cheaper if you opt to live below average or further from the city.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Karachi

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $ 1.79
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $ 1.79
Water (0.33 Liter) $ 0.20
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $ 0.70
Loaf Bread (500g) $ 0.41
Eggs (12) $ 0.80
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $ 0.14
Monthly Pass $ 8.60
Gasoline $ 0.67
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $ 59.60
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $ 0.02
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $ 17.86
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $ 15.51
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $ 7.73
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $ 5.01
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $ 15.53
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $ 25.96
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $ 38.70
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $ 148.43
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $ 86.91
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $ 339.57

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Karachi?

With rent prices being fairly low, food is definitely the first on the list of things an average person living in Karachi spends in this country.

This percentage can go lower or higher, depending on where you go shopping.

The next expense is rent, but given than only 17% of an average paycheck gets spent on rent, it testifies to the fact that rent isn’t expensive.

Restaurants and transportation are another significant factor for the wallet, while utilities draw less money than sports in Karachi, if we’re looking at these percentages.

13.2%
35.8%
13.4%
7.8%
8.3%
3.6%
17.9%
Restaurants
Markets
Transportation
Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Karachi: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

The average salary is very low in Karachi, considering the prices.

Although most things in this country are exceptionally cheap, a minimum wage of only 108$ cannot begin to cover everything.

Though the average salary is three times the amount, it is still very difficult for people living in Karachi to pay for their expenses (especially if they’re renting) and not have to worry about their existence in the long run.

If you’re planning on going to the largest city of Pakistan, around 1000$ per person would definitely suffice – you could even splurge on whatever you want.

Average Salary$ 200.46
Minimum Wage$ 108.00
Mortgage Interest Rate10.77%

Cost of Living by City in Pakistan

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Islamabad 25.86
Karachi 23.9
Lahore 25.83

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