The cost of living is based on several factors, such as prices of goods and services, tax rates, and average utility costs. This blog focuses on exploring the country’s cost of living, with an emphasis on the major cities of Pakistan. We shall look at each factor separately and determine the cost of living in Pakistan. In Pakistan, the anticipated monthly expenses for a family of four, excluding rent, amount to around $980 (equivalent to 280590.46 Pakistani Rupees). For an individual living alone, the estimated monthly costs are approximately $300.0 (equivalent to 85895.04 Pakistani Rupees).
What is the Cost of Living?
The cost of living is the sum of money required in a specific location and period to pay for necessities like housing, food, taxes, and medical care.
Is Pakistan a Cheap Country to Live In?
The answer is yes. Pakistan is regarded as one of the cheapest countries to live in, not only in South Asia but also in comparison to other, more economically stable countries. According to World Data, Pakistan is the world’s cheapest country, second only to Angola. This sets Pakistan on the list of ideal countries to stay in independently or with a big family.
Cost of living in Pakistan in Major Cities – Explained
Here is a detailed overview of the cost of living in different countries of Pakistan.
Cost of Living in Islamabad
If you are a bachelor, you need at least Rs. 20,000 (approximately $110) to meet the monthly rental expense. If you plan to stay with your family, allocate a minimum of Rs. 50,000 ($280) for the monthly rental expenses.
Shopping expenses in Islamabad’s markets will cost around Rs. 30,000 on average. The prices in Islamabad vary from area to area; for instance, things are more expensive in F sectors, while in sector G, the prices come down. This is because of the difference in commercial property rents in each area.
Generally, expatriates who stay in Pakistan for a longer period rarely find many foreign items. However, in Islamabad, it is relatively easier to find imported food items in many places. This will increase the shopping expense to Rs. 45,000 ($250) as the imported food items are more costly.
The utility expenses vary from season to season. The electricity bills are as low as Rs. 2000-3000 in winter (October to January). In the Summer season, as electricity consumption increases, the electricity bills can go up to Rs. 7,000 ($45).
Affordable transportation is something that Islamabad lacks. Though you can use the Metro bus to reach most places in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, it doesn’t cover the whole of Islamabad. You either have to ride with any of the local taxi drivers, or you can use your popular mobile apps to book a ride, such as Uber or Careem.
Restaurants are slightly costlier when compared to other cities in Pakistan. However, if you belong to any developed country, the food in even the best restaurants in Islamabad will feel light on the pocket. A mid-day meal at a roadside restaurant will cost you no more than Rs. 250, and if you go to a reputable restaurant, then the expense for a single-person meal may rise to Rs. 1000, less than $5.
Cost of Living in Lahore
You can find a single-person accommodation for Rs. 15,000 (approximately $85) in Lahore. However, if you have a family of 4 or more, allocate a minimum of Rs. 45,000 ($250) for the monthly rental expenses.
Lahore is a populous city, and so are the markets. You can find cheap grocery items here with ease. The monthly budget for groceries will vary based on your family size. You will need around Rs. 15,000 (around $85) for a month’s groceries if you’re an individual tourist. If you live with a 5-member family, this monthly expense can go up to Rs. 50,000.
Utility bills in Lahore are the same as in other cities around the country, with the electricity bill exceeding Rs. 7000 in summers and remaining within this figure during winters.
Organized public transportation in Lahore is almost nonexistent (except for a few areas accessible through the Metro Bus route). The use of online taxi services remains the only possible option when talking about traveling inside Lahore. Very cheap private transport vans and rickshaws are available, but they are uncomfortable. If you have a personal car, the monthly fuel expenses will cost you around Rs. 25,000 (approximately $140).
You will find restaurants in every street of Lahore, and with the variety of food selections available, it is one of the cheapest cities in terms of restaurant food prices. Buying food from a restaurant will cost you more than cooking, but it is worth it because of the fantastic taste in almost every corner.
However, you must manage the hygiene factor while choosing a restaurant in Lahore. A one-person meal from a good restaurant can be easily bought within Rs—500 (less than $3!).
Cost of Living in Karachi
It is easy to find cheap accommodations in Karachi. You can find a single-person accommodation within Rs. 15,000 (approximately $85). If you have a family of 4 or more, allocate a minimum of Rs. 30,000 ($170) for the monthly rental expenses.
Karachi is regarded as one of the cheapest cities to live or do business in Pakistan. However, the expense of groceries is nearly the same as in other cities. You must retain a budget of around Rs. 30,000 ($170) for the month.
Utility bills in Karachi are almost the same as in other cities in Pakistan, with the electricity bill exceeding Rs. 7000 in summers and remaining within this figure during winters.
Traveling inside the city has historically been a matter of concern. However, the federal government only recently launched the Green Line bus service in the city. This service covers a specific route; therefore, online taxi services are the ultimate resort if you prefer more liberty in inter-city travel. If you have a personal car, the monthly fuel expenses will cost you around Rs. 25,000 (approximately $140).
In Karachi, restaurants are inexpensive like in Lahore. You can find a good meal within Rs. 300 (less than $2!).
Cost of living in different cities of Pakistan – Compared
A reputable research and statistics institute has devised the following table comparing the costs of living in different cities of Pakistan.
|Cost of Living Index
|Cost of Living + Rent Index
|Restaurant Price Index
|Local Purchasing Power Index
As per the stated values, Islamabad is the most expensive city to live in, while Peshawar is ranked as the cheapest in terms of living costs. Living costs in Lahore can also be noticed to be on the higher side, while the living cost in Karachi is not as much as in other big cities.
The cost of living across the country is nearly the same, except for Islamabad, which is slightly more expensive as compared to other cities in Pakistan. However, the overall cost of living depends largely on your living standards, preferences, and family needs.
Here are some FAQS related to cost of living in Pakistan
How much does it cost to live comfortably in Pakistan?
The cost of living in Pakistan depends on various factors such as location, lifestyle choices, and personal preferences. A comfortable lifestyle can be maintained with a monthly budget that covers expenses for accommodation, food, transportation, healthcare, education, and leisure activities.
How much salary is required to live in Pakistan?
The salary required to live in Pakistan varies based on individual circumstances and the desired standard of living. Factors such as location, family size, and personal expenses contribute to the overall cost of living. It is advisable to have a salary that covers basic necessities and allows for saving and financial stability.
Is 50k a good salary in Pakistan?
A salary of 50,000 Pakistani Rupees per month can be considered decent, depending on individual circumstances and living expenses. It can cover basic needs and some additional expenses, but the affordability of a comfortable lifestyle may vary based on location and personal requirements.
Is 2 lakh per month good in Pakistan?
Earning 2 lakh Pakistani Rupees per month can be considered a good salary in Pakistan. It allows for a comfortable lifestyle and provides the opportunity to save and invest. However, the suitability of this income level also depends on personal expenses and financial goals.
Can I earn 1 Lac per month?
Yes, it is possible to earn 1 lac (100,000) Pakistani Rupees per month in Pakistan. The earning potential can vary depending on the profession, qualifications, skills, and experience. There are numerous job opportunities and business ventures that can provide such income.
Is 1 lakh per month enough to live in India?
The adequacy of 1 lakh (100,000) Indian Rupees per month for living in India depends on various factors such as location, family size, lifestyle choices, and personal expenses. It can be sufficient for a comfortable lifestyle in certain areas, but in high-cost cities or with specific requirements, additional income may be needed.
Which job has the highest salary in Pakistan?
Several professions in Pakistan offer high salaries, including those in the medical field (doctors, surgeons), engineering (petroleum, software), corporate management (CEOs, directors), and specialized fields like IT, finance, and law. Salaries can vary based on qualifications, experience, and industry demand.
How much does rent cost in Pakistan?
Rent costs in Pakistan vary significantly based on factors such as location, property size, and amenities. In major cities, rent for a one-bedroom apartment can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of Pakistani Rupees per month. It is advisable to research specific areas and consult local real estate listings for accurate rental prices.
How much money is enough to retire in Pakistan?
The amount of money required to retire in Pakistan depends on individual circumstances, lifestyle choices, and desired retirement goals. It is recommended to have sufficient savings, investments, and a reliable pension plan to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and cover expenses such as healthcare, housing, and leisure activities throughout retirement. Consulting with a financial advisor can help determine an appropriate retirement fund.