Understanding the Cost of Living in the U.S. for an Indian Family

Understanding the Cost of Living in the U.S. for an Indian Family

If you are trying to make up your mind about relocating to the U.S. to chase the American dream, then you are not alone. Every year people become legal residents in the USA so that they can take advantage of the economic benefits of living in a first-world country.

In the same way, a lot of people move to India to experience its culture and affordable lifestyle. Yet, you have to keep in mind that living in New York City and living in Delhi are two very different experiences, especially when it comes to the cost of living.

Are you planning on relocating temporarily, or do you want to retire or move to either of the countries permanently? Either way, you must have an idea about what the cost of living would be as an expatriate.

Here is a quick comparison, based on what you would be spending in New York City and what you would be spending in New Delhi.

Comparison of Common Expenses in the USA and India

The cost of living in the USA is higher than the cost of living in most other countries. Many people consider New York one of the most expensive cities in the world. The cost of living in India is affordable even in urban areas and city centers. Let’s take a look at different categories of expenses:


·         USA

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is USD$3,415 (₹ 251,060), while one-bedroom apartments outside the central areas cost around $1,996 (₹ 146,753). The monthly rent for three-bedroom apartments in the city center is $6,610 (₹ 485,925). The rate is $3,482 (₹ 256,011) outside of central areas.

·         India

A one-bedroom apartment in the city center in most urban cities in India will cost approximately ₹ 17,770 per month. A one-bedroom apartment outside the central areas might cost ₹ 9,991. Bigger three-bedroom apartments for family accommodations cost ₹ 43,793 in the city centers. It will cost ₹ 22,688 outside the central areas.


·         USA

At an inexpensive restaurant, they might charge you $20 (₹1,470) for a meal for two. A high-end restaurant could charge $100 (₹7,351) for the same.

·         India

To get a meal for two in an inexpensive restaurant, you will pay around ₹ 300. The charge will be ₹1,500 in an expensive restaurant. Domestic liquor costs up to ₹ 150 for 0.33 liters. Whereas imported liquor might cost you ₹ 250 for 0.33 liters.


·         USA

To afford basic monthly utilities like electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal, you have to pay around $146.26 (₹ 10,751). Phone bills can be for $0.11 (₹ 8.09) per minute, and internet bills are around $64.35 (₹ 4,730) per month. Gym memberships for a single adult can cost around $86.44 (₹ 6,354) a month, depending on the gym.

·         India

Monthly electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal for a small apartment is ₹ 5,035. Phone bills prepaid for ₹0.88 per minute, and internet bills are ₹ 803 per month. Gym memberships for a single adult can cost you around ₹ 1,677 a month.


·         USA

One-way tickets for local transportation cost $2.75 (₹ 202.15) on average, while a monthly pass costs $127 (₹ 9,335). The minimum fare for a taxi ride is $3.50 (₹ 257.28). They will charge an extra $1.86 (₹137.03) for each kilometer traveled.

·         India

One-way tickets for local transport are around ₹ 30, and monthly passes are ₹ 1,000. Getting a taxi can cost you around ₹ 50, and an added ₹ 19 for each kilometer travelled.

Childcare and Education

·         USA

Private Preschool can cost up to $2,479 (₹ 182,244) monthly for one child. Yearly fees for one child in international primary schools can add up to $39,681 (₹ 2,917,010).

·         India

Monthly fees for private kindergarten schools are around ₹ 5,467. International Primary Schools charge up to ₹ 150,124 yearly.


·         USA

High-end branded clothes are available for sale at retail for the following prices:

  • Jeans- $58.08 (₹ 4,269)
  • Summer Dress – $41.80 (₹ 3,072)
  • Running Shoes – $90.13 (₹ 6,625)
  • Leather Business Shoes – $143.41 (₹ 10,542)

●        India

High-end branded clothes retail in India for the following prices:

  • Jeans- ₹ 2,372
  • Summer Dress – ₹ 2,595
  • Running Shoes – ₹ 3,870
  • Leather Business Shoes – ₹ 2,707

A Final Word

To summarize, consumer prices in New York City are 257.33% higher than in Delhi (rent not included). Rent rates in NY are 1,109.36% higher when compared to Delhi. Restaurant prices are also 315.69% higher in New York, and groceries retail for a 275.79% higher rate in NY than in Delhi. Yet, you have to pay a higher price for the latest electronics from selected brands like Apple in India. This is because of the cost of shipping and duties imposed.

This comparison between the cost of living in Delhi and New York will help you check the contrasting cost of living in both countries. A quick calculation based on what you will be earning in both countries will give you a rough idea on which country is more profitable for living. Also, consider the fact that we have focused on only two cities. You won’t be spending as much in India if you live in Kolkata instead of Delhi. On the other hand, your expenses if you live in South Mumbai might be on par with your expenses in suburban New York.

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