Cost of Living in Ukraine
Cost of living in Ukraine varies widely depending on the region and the city. Naturally, large cities such as Kiev & Odessa have much higher cost of living than smaller ones such as Nikolaev or Kherson. Rural areas are even cheaper, also with much lower costs of labor. Overall, however, Ukraine has a relatively low cost of living, especially if one is able to replicate a Western salary while living here. According to recent score, Ukraine ranked around 65th place on the cost of living global scale.
It is a common misconception by new visitors to think that Kiev is a cheap city. While it is substantially less expensive than many other European capitals, it probably can not be categorized as ‘cheap’.
The central part of Kiev contains the same boutiques as large cities such as Moscow, Rome, Paris and others, with prices being approximately the same on the items sold there. Many apartments in the central part of Kiev are also very expensive, particularly those located on the main street of Kreschatik and ones containing luxury amenities. However, those that spend an extended period of time in Kiev, learn that there are many ways to bypass the relative high cost of living in Kiev and realize that in comparison to other European capitals, Kiev is in fact fairly cheap.
If you are considering coming to Kiev for a prolonged period of time, you may want to consider using our long term rental assistance program or if you are staying a few days to a few weeks, you could consider our short term fully furnished apartment rentals.
To get a more comprehensive review of cost of living in Kiev you can .
Odessa Ukraine is cheaper than Kiev for the most part, particularly in regards to apartments (both rentals and sales) except for rentals during July & August when many vacation in the city during the summer months. Real estate as a rule of thumb is about half as expensive as that of Kiev and services and products are typically 15%-20% than that of Kiev.
Salaries vary widely in Ukraine, although the official average is around $250-$400 per month. While this may seem extremely low to first time visitors, to a point of asking how one could survive on this amount – keep in mind that most Ukrainians do not pay rent since most live in their post Soviet privatized apartments. Further, the ones that do rent, for the most part are located outside of the central parts of the city where rent prices are a fraction of what they are in the center. Also, the official average salaries are flawed because much of the income in Ukraine is made on the black market or in some type of ‘gray area’. For instance, many University teachers have official salary of $80 per month yet make much more through bribes. Same applies to police and other leucocratic positions.
Labor costs in Ukraine are cheap, although much higher in larger cities than rural areas. Much of the construction or contractor type of work (especially in Odessa) is often done by gastarbeiters (guest workers), frequently Moldovans or Uzbekistanis. Their labor is usually around half of what similarly qualified Ukrainian workers charge, but similarly their quality is often shoddy.