What Is The Cost Of Living In South Korea?

You might be curious about the cost of living in South Korea, therefore, you have stumbled upon this article. Perhaps you wish to move to South Korea with your family, for work, or just want to experience life in South Korea. South Korea is a land of kimchi, K-dramas, KK-pop, tech giant Samsung, soju, Korean fried chicken, Automotive manufacturer Hyundai, and many more. So, without taking too much time let’s jump onto the main topic which is the cost of living in South Korea.   

What Is The Cost Of Living In South Korea?

The cost of living in South Korea is actually far more reasonable than the article makes out, and it is possible to live very well on a moderate amount of money. The cost of living in South Korea per month is given in the table compared with the USA’s cost of living. In this table, housing cost in South Korea is 51.2% less than in the USA and grocery cost is 49.6% more than in the USA. Similarly for the transportation cost, now you get the average cost of living in South Korea.  

Cost Of Living For South Korea USA
Housing 48.8  100
Grocery 149.6 100
Transportation 118.8 100
Median Home Cost $686991.77  $291,700

Home Rent 

The housing costs and security deposits are the big reasons why Seoul often appears on the top ten lists of the world’s most expensive cities. While going through the table given below you can guess the cost of living in Seoul with rent. Due to high house rentals the living cost in Korea for students increases. Below I have given the average rent in South Korea for one and two-bedroom houses in South Korea’s different cities. 

City Approx 1 Bedroom Rent Approx 2 Bedroom Rent
Seoul  $533.70  $2149.48
Busan  $1219.88 $1500
Incheon  $800 $1100

Food Cost 

In South Korea food cost is not fixed but depending on how much you are willing to spend, or your food preference, there are different food options. After all, it is known worldwide for its amazing cuisine, from street food to the ones in Korean restaurants. The table given below will give you the dinner cost for 2 people in the different cities in South Korea, including the cost of living in Seoul South Korea

City Approx Dinner For 2
Seoul  $51
Busan  $36 
Incheon  $79 

Travel Cost 

The cost of living in South Korea for international students is low and one of the reasons is the very affordable cost of traveling. The standard journey on a bus or subway will cost between $1250 and $2000 won depending on the distance, and transfers between different types of transportation are free. 

Click here – What Is The Cost Of Living In Texas?

Other Expenses 

Expenses are so many, like health care, utility, internet, taxes, etc. Here are some of the expenses given in detail. 

Health Care 

All residents of South Korea are required to have basic medical insurance, which comes directly out of employees’ paychecks. If you are married and unemployed, you can be included in your spouse’s insurance. Each of these fees is usually between $4.50 and $17.70. 

Utility Bills 

Gas fees will probably work out at around $8.85 most months, apart from the winter, when the gas-powered underfloor heating systems of most South Korean buildings are in use. The same goes for the AC in the summer, which can lead to exorbitant electricity bills if left on throughout the day. 

Internet Bills 

Due to the affordable cost of the internet, the cost of living in South Korea compared to UK is low. It is significant to note that 100 Mbps services are the average standard in urban South Korean homes and the country is rapidly rolling out 1 Gbit/s connection or 1024 Mbit/s, at $20 per month. Nearly 142 times faster than the world average and 79 times faster than the average speed in the United States.  


In South Korea, you can easily find gym memberships that run from 120000 won per 3 months all the way up to 850,000 won per 9 months. 


Entertainment and activities in South Korea typically cost an average of 28,489 won per person per day. Also, cinema tickets are usually in the 10,000 to 12,000 won range, with snacks costing another 10,000 won. 


 Net taxable income of resident individuals is taxed at graduate rates ranging from 6% to 45%. The maximum tax rate is currently 45% on income earned over 1 billion Korean won. 

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Is It Expensive To Live In South Korea?

There’s no denying that South Korea is an expensive country. Indeed, the capital Seoul frequently ranks as one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in. In 2021, Seoul has ranked 11th out of 209 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey.

How Much Is A House In South Korea In US Dollars?

In general, you should expect to pay around 1.5–2.5 million KRW (130,000–215,000 USD) for a small apartment or a studio in Korea. Prices for bigger accommodation start at about 4 million KRW (340,000 USD).

Is Cost Of Living Cheaper In Korea?

Cost of living in South Korea is, on average, 2.48% lower than in United States. Rent in South Korea is, on average, 66.21% lower than in United States.

Are There Slums In Korea?

But yes, there are slums in South Korea and poverty is a reality. Below you can see some of the history of two Favelas in South Korea, Guryong Village and Gamcheon Culture Village.

Is South Korea A Good Place To Live?

Is South Korea a Good Place to Live? South Korea offers expats a good standard of living at a reasonable price level. Some living expenses, such as food and housing, may be more expensive than your home country but such expenses are offset by the lower expenses associated with transportation and owning a car.

Can Foreigner Buy House In Korea?

Foreigners are permitted to purchase real estate in South Korea. Foreign residents wishing to buy are subject to the Foreigner’s Land Acquisition Act and the Registration of Real Estate Act.

Is It Hard To Live In Korea As A Foreigner?

In general, moving to South Korea is easy as long as you are prepared before your arrival. Although the country has a long history of not preferring foreign migration, those sentiments have changed as Korea has started to welcome more and more international companies through its borders.

How Much Money Do You Need To Live Comfortably In South Korea?

Summary about cost of living in Seoul, South Korea: Family of four estimated monthly costs are 4,322.1$ (5,307,996.6₩) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,185.2$ (1,455,564.1₩) without rent.

How Safe Is It To Live In South Korea?

The crime rate in South Korea is overall very low. Most incidents of crime are non-violent, such as petty theft and scams. The violent crime rate in South Korea is very low, especially considering that it is a pretty big country.

What Is South Korea Famous For In The World?

In 21st century, South Korea has been renowned for its globally influential pop culture, particularly in music (K-pop), TV dramas (K-dramas) and cinema, a phenomenon referred to as the Korean Wave.

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While going through this article you know what is the cost of living in South Korea. Many people have dreamed of living in South Korea because of the culture and great manners. And also, South Korea is affordable, so you can live here in peace with a low budget. In this article, I have given you the cost of living in South Korea in US dollars, you can convert it into Korean won also. This is all about the cost of living in South Korea.

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How much does it cost to live in South Korea?