How Much Does It Cost to Live in Kolkata

Is it time for you to move to a new city? With its lush landscape bordering the Ganges, mouth-watering delicacies, simple-minded people, beautiful festivities, prestigious educational and professional institutions, and easy living standards, the City of Joy can be a wonderful place to move to.

Kolkata is among the most advanced cities in the country. From industrialization to elite academic institutes, Kolkata has it all. It is also one of the most affordable smart cities in India. Kolkata offers you everything on a platter- good localities, amazing food, excellent healthcare facilities, accessible shopping options, and even entertainment hubs. If you are considering moving and want to know how much it costs to live in Kolkata, you have come to the right place.

Which factors affect living expenses in Kolkata?

Whether you are looking to relocate for work or to settle down with your family, several considerations will affect your living costs. These may not be uniform for everyone and there may be certain additional costs depending on every person’s individual needs.

The most basic considerations would be rent, food, transportation, healthcare, and so on. Let us take the following factors into account before we look at how much it costs to live in Kolkata:

  • Income of the person (his/her financial security)
  • Dependants of the person
  • The profession of the person (this will determine stability in the long term)
  • Lifestyle choices of the person
  • Food habits
  • Rental expenses (based on the location of the property)
  • Medical expenses (depends on health insurance)
  • Transportation costs (either via public transport or private vehicles)
  • Utility bills (electricity, water, Wi-Fi, gas, and so on)
  • Household help expenses
  • Education expenses (for families with children)
  • Other miscellaneous costs (such as recreational expenses)

While it is true that Kolkata offers a broader range of affordability in comparison to most other smart cities in India, these factors will ultimately decide how much will it cost to live in Kolkata. The good thing about the city is its versatility- it caters to almost all socio-economic groups, so you will be able to find the right place for yourself.

Broadly speaking, the following table can be used as a benchmark for understanding how much it costs to live in Kolkata.

CostsBallpark expenditure (monthly in INR)
Rent for 1 person5,000 onwards
Rent for a family of 210,000 onwards
Public transportation500 onwards
Utilities3,000 onwards
Household help2,000 onwards
Groceries and household expenses5,000 onwards
Healthcare6,000 onwards
Food5,000 onwards
Education (for families with kids)10,000 onwards
Miscellaneous5,000 onwards

Please note that the figures mentioned here are estimates and only meant for information purposes. These are not exact figures.

Let us now take a better look at the factors mentioned above and how they can shape one’s living costs in Kolkata.

How much would it cost for a single person to live in Kolkata?

Kolkata is an extremely affordable place for young, single people. This constitutes students, and working professionals who mostly move to the city due to their jobs and in many cases, are offered amenities by the companies they work for. Students can also live at the accommodation provided by their institutes, or find an apartment or PG.

Rental expenses

Single people prefer to live in rented accommodations rather than buy a place of their own. Rent starts from INR 5,000 and can go up to INR 10,000. The locality, proximity to hospitals and schools, metro stations, and other factors can affect rental expenses.

Sometimes, sharing an apartment or a PG can be a good way to save on rent as well as other household expenses.

Utilities and household costs

For single people, these could be anywhere between INR 3,000 to INR 7,000. Once again, the locale plays an important role in determining the costs. These expenses include food and groceries, electricity and water bills, internet and phone bills, gas, expenses for domestic help, maintenance, and so on.

People who live together can split these expenses to make it easier on them.

Transport costs

Public transport is very accessible and affordable in Kolkata and widely preferred by the younger population. The city has a well-connected metro train system in addition to buses that run on certain routes. Expenses with public transportation will not exceed INR 1,000.

Miscellaneous costs

Single people are generally more frivolous and like to indulge in the rich variety of activities offered by the bustling city. There are various shopping complexes with top-both brands displaying their products, restaurants, roadside shops with lip-smacking food, numerous well-known clubs, and tourist destinations. Depending on the lifestyle of the person, these costs could be between INR 4,000 to INR 8,000.

How much would it cost for a family to live in Kolkata?

Families are bigger units and will have more expenses compared to single people. Within families, there will also be differences in living costs depending on the number of family members, young children, and so on.

The number of working people in the family will also have a bearing on their living expenses. For example, working parents will contribute a greater income to the family than one working parent. Many families live in rented apartments or houses, although some also buy properties to settle down in the long term.

Rental and property expenses

Rent would be marginally more for families in comparison to single people since Kolkata has affordable rental rates compared to most other metro cities. Rent for your average 2BHK apartment would be between INR 8,000 to INR 15,000. Rates in north and central Kolkata are higher than those in south Kolkata.

Popular residential areas in Kolkata include New Town, Gariahat, Howrah, Bhawanipore, and Rajarhat.

If you are looking to buy property, 2BHK apartments in good locations would begin from INR 35 lakh. Salt Lake and New Town are two of the localities with extensive housing projects.

Utilities and household costs

These expenses would also be more for families than for single folks. Electricity, water, and gas bills will increase with the number of people in the family. These can be between INR 4,000 to INR 10,000.

Transport costs

Families tend to use private vehicles more often, which has a separate cost. The expenses behind fuel, vehicle repair, maintenance, and EMI (if any) can come to around INR 5,000 to INR 7,000 every month.

Educational costs

Families with children have to bear the costs of schooling. There are several good schools and universities in the city. Some of the notable schools are Loreto House, Don Bosco School, La Martiniere School, South Point School, and so on. The city has numerous prestigious universities and institutions such as the Presidency University, Jadavpur University, Calcutta University, Indian Statistical Institute, and so on.

Public schools and universities have lower fees than privately-funded ones. Depending on the institution, the yearly educational expenses will be between INR 50,000 to INR 2 lakh.

Healthcare expenses

Most working professionals have health insurance coverage for their families. Healthcare is quite affordable in Kolkata owing to several government-funded hospitals and clinics. Healthcare expenses could be between INR 6,000 to INR 12,000. This is, however, subject to insurance reimbursement.

Miscellaneous costs

Lifestyle expenses will be different for every family. Outings, vacations, dinner plans, and so on, will determine the lifestyle expenditure. Families typically spend over INR 6,000 on these costs.

There you have it, a detailed breakdown of all the expenses you can incur in the City of Joy. As you can see, the expenses are considerably lower than in other cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi, particularly in terms of rent and utilities. This makes Kolkata a very cost-effective city to reside in. Kolkata provides you with the finest blend of luxury and affordability.