Mumbai, previously Bombay, lies on the west coast of India. It’s the capital of the Maharashtra state and India’s biggest city, home to more than twenty million people. It sits in one of the most densely populated areas on earth and is also India’s wealthiest city, with the highest Gross Domestic Product.
The cost of living in Mumbai
Mumbai holds a top ten position in the world for global financial flow and commerce. It generates 5% of India’s total GDP and accounts for 25% of the continent’s industrial output as well as 70% of India’s maritime trade. It is home to numerous high profile financial institutions including the Reserve Bank of India and the country’s National Stock Exchange. And it’s a hotbed of commerce, hosting the HQ of various large multinational and home-grown corporations.
As you can imagine it’s an incredibly vibrant, busy, colorful place. But what does it cost to live there, and how far does your expat money go in Mumbai ?
Mumbai on Internations
If you would like to get reliable information straight from the horse’s mouth, the Internations website lets you meet fellow expats in the city and ask questions direct. Here’s a link to Mumbai on Internations.
Mumbai on Numbeo – Property rental and purchase
The Numbeo website contains a wealth of fascinating and useful insight into the cost of living in the city. But it appears that the usually-excellent information about property rental and purchase on Numbeo is, in the words of at least one comment on the site, ‘way off’. While it is nowhere near as expensive as New York or Sydney, for example, further research shows a smart, furnished three bed apartment in the city center can easily cost at least 65,000 Rupees per month, often a great deal more.
According to the excellent Go India website, “The property market in Mumbai has just gone through a massive boom, and towering apartment complexes are popping up all through the suburbs.”With this level of change and uncertainty, it’s probably best to use respected local estate agency websites to establish the real-time cost of accommodation in the city, for example:
Like any city, it makes sense that renting and buying property in the center of Mumbai is a great deal more expensive than further out.
The cost of food in Mumbai
Calculated on November 3rd 2013, here’s a rough guide to the cost of a selection of food basics in the city.*
- A standard meal in the business district – 275 Rupees
- A meal in a fast food outlet like MacDonald’s – 169 Rs
- Half kilo of chicken breast – 103 Rs
- 1L milk – 46 Rs
- 12 large eggs – 50 Rs
- 1 kg tomatoes – 31s
- 500g local cheese – 139 Rs
- 1 kg (2 lb.) of apples – 126 Rs
- 2 kg potatoes – 40 Rs
- Half litre of Indian beer – 84 Rs
- A bottle of good red wine – 647 Rs
- 2 L Coca-Cola – 60 Rs
You can check Rupee exchange rates in real-time here.
Anukriti Kumar on the cost of living in Mumbai
As Anukriti Kumar, a local resident, says on the erasmusu website, “Mumbai is one of the most expensive cities in the world. The cost of living is very high. Money bleeds in groceries, vegetables, accommodation, transportation and day to day expenses. It’s not easy on the pocket. Having said that, there are cheaper options for everything provided one is willing to give up on some comfort. Shared accommodations, local trains as a choice of transport etc. can help smooth the monthly budget.”
According to the New York Times, high inflation in Mumbai is causing issues for local businesses, and is causing industrial unrest – another good reason to search for real-time information about the cost of living in the city before making a decision.
Using Payscale to make cost of living comparisons
The Payscale site includes a very useful cost of living calculator by city instead of by country, which makes it much more accurate. All you do is enter your salary, job title, current location and where you want to move, and it reveals the difference in the cost of living, plus how much you need to earn to maintain your current standard of living.
The cost of schooling in Mumbai
Mumbai has literally hundreds of schools, many of which are excellent. According to the Times of India, five of the city’s institutes are among the country’s top ten international day schools. Dhirubhai Ambani International School was ranked number one and Ecole Mondiale World School number two, Oberoi International School, Podar World School and Aditya Birla World Academy gained sixth, seventh and tenth positions. Here’s a link to a list of international schools in Mumbai, on the Indian search engine Just Dial, and another list on Education World India.
Lonely Planet insight into transport in the city
The Lonely Planet website contains vital information about the cost of public and private transport in and around the city, including buying a motorbike.
Do you live in Mumbai?
If so, do you have any useful information to share about the cost of living in this fascinating city? Why not leave a comment below, or connect with us on Twitter @now_health?