Living Cost in Shanghai

It is not easy to estimate the living cost in Shanghai. The following is an article written by Jianshuo Wang, a Chinese living in Shanghai. The article and comments are available at his blog. It is for your reference ONLY.



Living Cost In Shanghai 2009

By: Jianshuo Wang


I have published a series of articles on Living Cost of Shanghai (2002 Edition, and 2007 Edition). Let me continue to update this pure unofficial one-man effort index of the living cost of this city. It is not only an annual update, it is in the new background of global financial crisis, and I try to analyze its impact to living cost in Shanghai.


Please note: 1 USD = 6.80 RMB as this article is written. (It was 7.75 on January 22, 2007)


What is Not Changed

Since more of the information included in my Living Cost 2007 Edition didn't change too much, please refer to the original article for most of the items. I will only update the changed items.



On Transportation, the Living Cost 2007 Edition is still up to date: 2 RMB for most buses, 3-6 RMB for metro ride (3 is most possible), 2.1 RMB/km starting from 11 RMB (including 3 km), and 2 RMB single way ferry...

You may also check out the Daily Cost of a Tourist article for tourist specific transportation cost.




A can of Coke now is 1.60 RMB, higher than 2007. For example, this online store sells 24 cans 355ml at 38.6 RMB. Most restaurants charges premium for serving coke - 5 RMB to 8 RMB is normal price.


Let me also give you example. A can of Tsingtao Beer (355ml) costs 3.8 RMB



Most of the items in my 2007 Edition is still valid today. The price range is from 10 RMB to 100 RMB per person.


There is something new today. There are more and more fast food chain appearing on the streets. Just like KFC. McDonald's, they offer standard food, nice location, clean environment, but much more expensive than local noodle shop. Their food is at 20-30 RMB range.


House Rental

There is a big change since the 2007 Edition. You can safely add 50% to all the numbers I gave in that report.


The premium housing price has been up to something like 15,000 - 45,000 RMB per month (for nice places in Xujiahui area for a family).


The normal price also raises to 3000-5000 RMB.


Room sharing ranges from 800-1500 RMB in good areas. (Check Room Sharing to get a sense of room sharing. Disclaimer: I am the CEO of



Most of the other items are not changed since 2007 too much (where are the increase of CPI, Consumer Price Index?)


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