What is the cost of living in Iraq?

The cost of living for a single person in Iraq is around 730,000 Iraqi Dinars, or 500 US Dollars, per month. The cost of living for a family person of four in Iraq is around 2,400,000, or 1,650 US Dollars, per month. 

Iraq is a country located in the western part of Asia. Baghdad is the capital city of Iraq. The standard of living for the people in Iraq has improved in the past few years.
Iraq is home to many diverse ethnic and socioeconomic groups. There is a big difference in the people and their classes in Iraq. The big division is between the rich and poor. The middle class is shrinking. Basra, in Iraq, is a city that is much better off than others and its economic center. It offers enough jobs for people who have completed their studies. 

The currency in Iraq is the Iraqi dinars, or د.ع , or IQD. 10,000 Iraqi dinars is around 7 US Dollars, or $ or USD, or around 530 Indian Rupees. That is around 6.50 Euros or 46 Chinese Yuans.    

What is the cost of living in Iraq? 

The cost of living for a single person in Iraq is around 730,000 Iraqi Dinars, or 500 US Dollars, per month. The cost of living for a family person of four in Iraq is around 2,400,000, or 1,650 US Dollars, per month. 

Baghdad is the largest city in Iraq. The cost of living for a single person in Baghdad is $ 500 per month. That is in the top 37% of the least expensive cities in the world. But it’s the most expensive among 29 cities in Iraq. The average salary after tax here is $550 which is enough to cover the costs for one month. 

How do people spend their money in Iraq?

Most Iraquis spend their money in the market, on food, and other necessities. Apart from that, the biggest part of the expenses for people there is rent. Restaurants and transportation also is an important part of the expenses. Clothes and shoe shopping are last on the list. Statistics show that less than 3 percent of all the expenses are on clothing.

Prices in Iraq

These are some of the prices you can find in Iraq.  

Transportation

Transportation again is affordable in Iraq especially if you use public transport. A monthly pass for public transport charges you 30 $ which is okay but expensive for some people. Yet the daily ticket charges are around 0.40 $, very reasonable. Taxis can give you a reasonable ride for 5 $ per hour. 

Markets

If you opt to make your food then it is much a cheaper and healthier option than eating street food. Iraqi markets offer a great variety of products and most of them are very affordable. You even come to know what all you are eating. 

Groceries $ 900 

Regular purchases of coffee/croissants/baguettes $ 120

Utilities

Utilities in Iraq aren’t cheap. You can count on spending cash of around 100 $ to cover the basic bills. Basic bills include electricity, heating, cooling, and water living in an apartment of around 80 square meters.

Prepaid mobile service is around 0.11 $ per voice minute. A cellphone plan is $ 35 a month. That is without the phone handset itself.

Electricity alone can be $ 110 for 3 months. And gas for heating or stove is around $ 60 for 3 months. Internet is around $ 40 per month. 

Restaurant

When you go to the restaurant the prices here aren’t too high but even neither low. The option of street food is always open, but if you want to have a meal in a restaurant you have to pay 5$. The mid-range restaurants will cost around 10$ per person. 

Lunch for two with wine five times a month $ 350

Sports and leisure

Sports and leisure arent cheaper here but it comes with an option for everyone but bills don’t. So if plan to go to the gym you need to count on spending around 50$ a month. Cinema tickets charge here around 9 $ each. It is rather considered an expensive pastime for the Iraqis. 

Rent

Rent isn’t as expensive as other utilities. It always depends upon the part of the city you rent an apartment in. Renting an apartment in the city center will usually charge you around 371 $. If you rent an apartment outside the city center it will charge you less. 

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City: 443,227 IQD

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside City: 289,072 IQD

Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City: 787,990 IQD

Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside City: 509,158 IQD

The majority of the rental properties are primarily found in metropolitan cities like Baghdad, Erbil, and many others. In Iraq, common types of rental are apartments with one bedroom or two or three bedrooms. These rentals are also available as furnished and semi-furnished properties. 

Clothing and shoes

Shopping for shoes and clothes isn’t that expensive so you can go ahead and give yourself a good style. Quality jeans charges around 30 $. Light pieces of clothes such as summer dresses and shirts cost less. Sneakers of brands like Nike cost around 50 $.

Healthcare

Vaccinations aren’t required though you might need some of these vaccinations. Vaccines such as tetanus, hepatitis B, and Diptheria for children. International students need to take the utmost care about this. Avoid drinking tap water or water at food outlets. Mineral water is more safe and even cheaper. Register for health insurance in your country if you travel from abroad. 

A health insurance monthly top-up that gives you access to hospitals is $ 40.

Average salary and wages in Iraq

The average salary in Iraq is 800,000 Iraqi Dinars (or 550 US Dollars) per month. Salaries in Iraq are quite high compared to neighboring countries.  That makes sense as the expenses here are rather high as well. Rent here costs around 300 $ and utilities 100 $ per month. There are people in Iraq who aren’t able to meet their ends and pay all the expenses.
People with a monthly wage of 210 $ per month are bound to face the problems of paying for their necessities. With such low income, they can’t indulge in any sports and leisure activities or even buy new clothes.

Is Iraq safe for ex-pats?

Expats, or foreigners, in Iraq, generally work either on a short-term contract in oil & or natural gas. Some of them even work as NGO employees. Expats in Iraq are generally residing in secure compounds. Though these arrangements at times tend to restrict freedom. Most ex-pats here report feeling secure. 


Source: numbeo 

The cover image above was taken in Aker, Iraq. Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash