That is from a study by data aggregation group; despite having the most petite average working-class pay in Southeast Asia, Manila is amongst the most unaffordable cities to live in.

According to statistics compiled by iPrice throughout Southeastern Asia’s six primary markets on the database, the Philippines’ capital has the second-highest rent charges, second only to Singapore.

Residence of one bedroom

A one-bedroom residence in Manila’s city center costs 56 percent more than one in Kuala Lumpur, 47 percent more than one in Jakarta, and 31 percent more than one in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to a survey, this was even 9% greater than Bangkok, a popular tourist destination in East Asia.

According to the report, the rent standard in Singapore is at least 132 percentage points higher than in other markets. “Surprisingly, though, Bangkok and Manila are pretty much equal at the top,” according to the survey. Bangkok’s monthly cost of living is projected to be P51,500 per person. This includes all necessities like rent, food, transport, and utilities.

Monthly cost

With an anticipated monthly cost of P50,800 for a single person, Manila is only 1% cheaper than Bangkok. The living cost in Manila is predicted to be P28,800 a month without rent.

The living cost of Manila is calculated as to be 33% more than that of Kuala Lumpur, 28% higher than Vietnam, and 24% higher than those of Jakarta, according to the study.

Living costs according to survey

Experts calculated the average monthly salary of Manila residents using input from contributors and collected information from trustworthy sources.

“Given the prices above, we’re left to ask how contented Filipinos in Manila are.” “Meaning the average standard of rent is 168 percent larger than the average pay, it’s not surprising that around 35 percent of Metro Manila’s population lives in unstable, poorly constructed slum shelters, with 11 percent residing near railways or garbage dumps,” according to survey.

One-bed space rentals are ubiquitous in Manila. Rather than renting individual rooms or an entire apartment, some locals rent bed spaces rather than an whole apartment and share rooms with others.

Read More: Living Cost Manila: Cost Of Groceries, Rents And All Others You Need To Know

Expat Living

Expatriate attire is often formal, with males wearing suits and women wearing trouser suits. The general safety risk for immigrants in the Philippines is medium, still it is high in insurgency-prone areas like Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. Ordinary crime, insurgent and related criminal activity, extortion, & banditry are all potential threats. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, strong winds, tropical storms, and inundation are all potential hazards.

Medical centers vary but are frequently below international norms and are limited in isolated rural areas. Treatment might be pretty costly. The Zika virus has been discovered.


The cost of business, casual, & children’s textiles and apparel is typical. In New York, a basket worth $1,000 costs $870. A medium-sized regional and global high-waist skirt from such a global chain store costs $30. In contrast, an international brand of men’s jeans costs USD$46, a quality international brand of athletic shoes costs USD$83, and men’s leather boots for office wear cost $85.


The cost is an average of different communication prices such as landline phone rental, broadband subscription, cellular service provider tariffs, and data costs. In New York, a basket worth $200 costs $200.

A monthly regular plan internet service costs on average USD$51, while the normal cellphone charge is USD$0.14 per minute. 


The most important item which is helpful and compulsory for living such as some essential sort of good or items. These products which are made from milk, vegetables for cooking purposes and fresh fruits for health, some snacks which are part of daily life, drinks and fresh juices have an approximate price. In New York, a basket worth $1,000 costs $760. 

1 kg apples cost USD$3.05 in a significant international supermarket, 1 kg oranges cost USD$2.85, one head of lettuce cost USD$2.07, 1 kg potatoes cost USD$2.27, 1 kg breaded chicken, skinless chicken breast cost USD$4.62, 1 kg cheddar cheese cost USD$6.11. One dozen huge eggs cost USD$2.23, 500g loaf white bread cost USD$1.56, 1 L full cream milk cost USD$2.23, and 1.5 L water cost USD$0.97.

Medical care

The health issues which are very common in people are costly here. Once you visit a doctor or a hospital, it will make a significant bill you must pay in a hospital or your doctor fees. The cost of medicine and drugs is almost the same as previously mentioned. In New York, a package worth $1,000 costs $680. 

Here in this expensive area, the cost of medicine is very high. A person with a small income can not afford the bills of hospitals, doctors, and medication. 

Personal Hygiene

Cosmetics, beauty products, and sanitation are all inexpensive. In New York, a basket worth $500 costs USD$260. A men’s haircut and blow-dry costs around $21, while a female’s hair color, cut, and dry hair – shoulder length costs around $103

Culture & Recreation

The price is average for things-like books, movies, sports, and theatre tickets. In New York, a bouquet worth $500 costs $345. A recently released worldwide cinema ticket costs $7.48 for one individual (average of on and off-peak when applicable), and a worldwide fitness, recreational, or sports membership card costs USD$63 per month.


How does the cost of living compare in Manila?

Manila is 6.2 percent more highly-priced than Houston, TX, for groceries, 38.7% more ridiculously priced than Kuala Lumpur for domestic costs, and 19.7% more costly than Dubai for transportation costs.

What is the living condition in Manila, and how difficult is it?

Manila is classified as a place of living challenges.

For an expatriate from Perth, the suffering premium for Manila is, for example, 30%, which is equal to the show’s relative premium of 40% less the home location discount of 10%.

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abdul waheed
Abdul Waheed is a seasoned business blogger, specializing in entrepreneurship and small business management. With over 10 years of experience, he offers invaluable insights and practical guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs, helping them navigate the challenges of starting and growing a successful business.