Average living cost in Korea is quite fair. It is not as inexpensive as living in Laos or China, but it is also not as expensive as living in Japan or Singapore. Seoul, the nation’s capital, has, on average, the highest cost of living. Everywhere else, expats may anticipate earning a reasonable pay and saving a substantial portion of it without having to pinch pennies or live on a strict budget. When comparing South Korea’s cities, expats will find the highest cost of living in Seoul. However, this still does not mean that the cost of living in the capital city is exorbitantly high. Foreigners moving to the country have their choice of paying extra and living in expat-centric high-rises and compounds or you can live on the outskirts of the city in more local communities.
After Seoul, the other most expensive places in which to live in South Korea are Incheon, Jeju Island, and Busan. Below is a look at the average monthly living costs in Korea for each city. On a national level, a family of four can expect to spend an average of 2,300,000 KRW per month (2,000 USD) in living expenses (excluding rent). A single expat can expect to pay 652,000 KRW (560 USD) per month (excluding rent).
1) Four-person monthly living expenses on average (excluding rent)
Urban KRW USD Seoul 2,700,000 2,300 Incheon 1,900,000 1,600 Jeju Island 1,200,000 1,000 Busan 3,345,000 2,900.
2) Monthly Living Expenses on Average for a Single Expat (including rent)
City Korean Won US Dollars Seoul 711,000 600 Incheon population 665 000 560 Jeju Island 540,000 460 Busan 690,000 590.
For a glance at the rents in each of the mentioned cities, please refer to the table below.
Apartment with Three Bedrooms, Monthly Rent:
City, KRW, USD Incheon 1,170,000 1,000 Seoul 2,600,000 2,200 Jeju Island 1,170,000 1,000 Busan 1,170,000 1,000.
Monthly Rent for a Studio Apartment:
City KRW USD Seoul 818,000 700 Incheon 4,670,400 Jeju Island 700,400 600 Busan 525,000 450.
To find South Korea’s most affordable cities, you will need to leave the main urban regions and head to smaller, mid-sized cities with fewer foreigners and more native Koreans. These expat-friendly cities include Daegu (near Busan), Suwon (south of Seoul), and Gwangju (in the southwest of the nation).
In South Korea, utilities will not significantly increase the cost of your rent. With the absence of internet, the majority of services, including gas, electricity, and water, are provided by the government.
Utilities typically cost somewhat more than 100,000 KRW per month (84 USD).