South Korea vs United States - Cost of Living Comparison

South Korea United States
🚶 Cost of living one person
$1062
$2112
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Cost of living Family
$2839
$4790
🏠 One person rent
$457
$1325
🏘️ Family rent
$948
$2220
🍽️ Food expenses
$416
$543
🚐 Transport expenses
$100
$98.8
💳 Monthly salary after tax
$2022
$4139
💸 GDP per capita
$31598
$63207
😃 Human freedom index
8.39
8.73
❤️ Life expectancy
83.4
77.3
👮 Corruption perceptions index
62
67
🌐 English speaking %
20%
95.5%
🎓 Higher education
88
100
😀 Quality of life
77
75
🏙️ Population
51.5M
331M

The average cost of living in South Korea ($1062) is 50% less expensive than in the United States ($2112). South Korea ranked 53rd vs 6th for the United States in the list of the most expensive countries in the world.

The average after-tax salary is enough to cover living expenses for 1.9 months in South Korea compared to 2 months in the United States. Ranked 20th and 23rd best countries to live in the world.

Salary adjustment calculator
the estimated difference in money purchasing power

Cost of living in South Korea vs United States infographic

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Prices in South Korea vs the United States

We calculate prices for South Korea and the United States as a population-weighted mean of 87 and 2202 cities, respectively. Since large cities tend to have a higher cost of living, it's better to visit specific city pages below for more relevant information.

South Korea United States
Eating Out
🍱 Lunch Menu
$5.59
$15.1
🥂 Dinner in a Restaurant, for 2
$29.1
$61.4
🥪 Fast food meal, equiv. McDonald's
$5.02
$8.48
🍻 Beer in a Pub, 0.5 L or 16 fl oz
$2.84
$5.32
 Cappuccino
$3.5
$4.52
🥤 Pepsi / Coke, 0.5 L or 16.9 fl oz
$1.33
$2.08
Rent & Utilities
🏙️ 1 bedroom apartment in Downtown, 40 m2 or 430 ft2
$458
$1410
🏡 Cheap 1 bedroom apartment, 40 m2 or 430 ft2
$331
$1088
🏙️ 3 bedroom apartment in Downtown, 80 m2 or 860 ft2
$1094
$2466
🏡 Cheap 3 bedroom apartment, 80 m2 or 860 ft2
$733
$1870
🔌 Utility Bill one person, electricity, heating, water, etc.
$79.7
$108
🔌 Utility Bill for a Family, electricity, heating, water, etc.
$122
$166
🌐 Internet plan, 50 Mbps+ 1 month unlimited
$21
$65.2
🏦 Mortgage Interest Rate for 20 Years
3.64%
5.15%
🏙️ Apartment price to Buy in city Center, 1 m2 or 10 ft2
$7604
$5500
🏡 House price to Buy in Suburbs, 1 m2 or 10 ft2
$5485
$2943
Transportation
🚌 Local transport ticket
$1.02
$2.2
🎟️ Monthly ticket local transport
$42.5
$64.5
🚕 Taxi Ride, 8 km or 5 mi
$9.67
$17.3
 Gas / Petrol, 1 L or 0.26 gal
$1.3
$1.25
Groceries
🥛 Milk, 1 L or 1 qt
$1.93
$0.96
🍞 Bread, 0.5 kg or 1.1 lb
$2.34
$2.79
🍚 Rice, 1 kg or 2.2 lb
$3.02
$3.85
🥚 Eggs, x12
$3.25
$3.2
🧀 Cheese, 1 kg or 2.2 lb
$14
$11.6
🐔 Chicken Breast, 1 kg or 2.2 lb
$8.29
$11.2
🥩 Round Steak, 1 kg or 2.2 lb
$28.5
$14
🍏 Apples, 1 kg or 2.2 lb
$5.55
$4.48
🍌 Banana, 1 kg or 2.2 lb
$3.31
$1.73
🍊 Oranges, 1 kg or 2.2 lb
$4.48
$4.02
🍅 Tomato, 1 kg or 2.2 lb
$4.69
$4.16
🥔 Potato, 1 kg or 2.2 lb
$2.96
$2.49
🧅 Onion, 1 kg or 2.2 lb
$2.36
$2.47
🌊 Water, 1 L or 1 qt
$0.64
$1.25
🍹 Coca-Cola / Pepsi, 2 L or 67.6 fl oz
$2.33
$2.12
🍾 Wine (mid-priced), 750 mL bottle
$13.5
$13.1
🍺 Beer, 0.5 L or 16 fl oz
$1.93
$3
🚬 Cigarette pack
$3.37
$8.92
💊 Cold medicince, 1 week
$4.98
$8.46
🧴 Hair Shampoo
$5.13
$5.24
🧻 Toilet paper, 4 rolls
$2.47
$3.78
👄 Toothpaste, 1 tube
$1.86
$1.92
Other
🏋️ Gym Membership, 1 month
$42.5
$41.9
🎫 Cinema Ticket, 1 person
$8.6
$12.3
👩‍⚕️ Doctor's visit
$29.8
$113
💇 Haircut, simple
$8.47
$17.8
👖 Brand Jeans
$58.1
$46
👟 Brand Sneakers
$72.6
$80.7
👶 Daycare or Preschool, 1 month
$352
$1076
🏫 International Primary School, 1 year
$18313
$14606

Cities Comparison in South Korea vs the United States

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Cost of Living in Popular cities

In South Korea

City Cost of living Population
Seoul
$1460
9.67M
Busan
$1031
3.45M
Incheon
$1002
2.91M
Daegu
$918
2.46M
Gwangju
$902
1.49M
Daejeon
$944
1.48M
Seongnam
$1022
949K
Suwon
$977
1.23M
Ulsan
$1066
1.17M
Changwon
$955
1.05M
Goyang
$1002
1.06M
Yongin
$1049
971K
Bucheon
$1121
868K
Cheongju
$880
833K
Namyangju
$970
713K
Jeju Island
$968
696K
Pohang
$775
520K
Jeju
$1542
435K
Hwaseong
$965
655K
Ansan
$921
653K
Anyang
$1102
573K
Jeonju
$791
653K
Cheonan
$930
652K
Gimhae
$839
534K
Pyeongtaek
$809
458K
Masan
$945
430K
Siheung
$945
425K
Uijeongbu
$998
422K
Paju
$941
415K
Gumi
$951
421K

In the United States

City Cost of living Population
New York City
$3563
8.4M
Los Angeles
$2865
3.98M
Chicago
$2384
2.75M
Houston
$1955
2.2M
San Diego
$2797
1.39M
Philadelphia
$2361
1.58M
San Jose
$2722
1.03M
Phoenix
$2374
1.61M
Dallas
$2268
1.3M
San Antonio
$1773
1.44M
Seattle
$2734
745K
Austin
$2219
913K
Charlotte
$2038
875K
Boston
$2911
693K
Denver
$2384
716K
Washington
$2664
690K
Columbus
$1891
914K
Jacksonville
$1860
881K
Indianapolis
$1868
863K
Hempstead
$2665
793K
Fort Worth
$1908
812K
San Francisco
$3415
882K
Nashville
$2209
668K
Baltimore
$1988
622K
Louisville
$1606
760K
Memphis
$1641
633K
Portland
$2363
653K
Oakland
$3240
391K
Albuquerque
$1617
565K
Milwaukee
$1755
600K