Cost of Living in Ireland
Expats will find that the cost of living in Ireland is manageable, but varies depending on the town or city. Dublin is the most expensive area to live. The Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2012 ranked the city as the 72nd most expensive city out of over 200 cities surveyed. In the past ten years the cost of living in Dublin has continued to drop, with the city once being amongst the top ten most expensive cities.
Expat salaries in Ireland are typically supported by well-paying jobs that enable them to enjoy a high quality of life. Accommodation will take the biggest chunk of an expat’s salary, followed by groceries, healthcare and education.
Accommodation costs in Ireland
In response to the recent recession, Ireland’s property bubble has popped and expats will find that accommodation costs have dropped from the astronomically expensive heights they formerly occupied.
A room in a shared house in Dublin will cost around 400 EUR, while a self-contained apartment can cost upwards of 1,000 EUR per month. Rent is usually paid monthly and in advance. A deposit of at least one month’s rent is usually expected to secure accommodation.
Monthly utilities have also gone down in recent times, averaging around 120 EUR per month, which includes electricity, water and heating.
Food and entertainment costs in Ireland
The price of groceries in Ireland varies widely, depending on which supermarket you choose to do your shopping in:
- Lidl and Aldi are German discount supermarkets with cheap prices for bulk buying.
- Dunnes Stores, Tesco and Supervalu offer similar prices with regular special offers.
- Superquinn is a smaller supermarket chain with slightly higher prices than the main shops.
- Spar and Centra are smaller shops with higher prices but longer operating hours.
Maintaining a social life and eating out in restaurants, especially in Dublin, can be expensive. A beer or a glass of wine at a pub will cost around 5 EUR. A ticket to the cinema is between 7 and 12 EUR, depending on the time of day and the cinema, while entrance to a night club can cost between 7 and 15 EUR.
Cost of education in Ireland
Public education in Ireland is free to all children resident in the country, including expats. Most expats choose to send their children to public schools due to the high standards of education offered at these schools. Parents may be expected to pay for school uniforms and books, as well as extra-curricular activities, but will not pay anything for tuition.
On the other hand, private and international schools in Ireland are expensive and parents wishing to send their child to a private school can expect to pay upwards of 5,000 EUR a year.
Cost of healthcare in Ireland
Although public healthcare in Ireland is available for free, with some services requiring a subsidised fee, for all residents, most expats choose to use private health facilities. Patients at private hospitals are required to pay the full cost of treatment, which can be expensive. Most employers provide private health insurance, and this is something that expats should ensure that they have in place before moving to Ireland.
Cost of Living Chart (prices based on Dublin, 2013)
Unfurnished one bedroom apartment in city centre
|Furnished two bedroom apartment||1,300 EUR|
|Milk (1 litre)||1.20 EUR|
|Rice (1kg)||1.50 EUR|
|Loaf of white bread||1.50 EUR|
|Pack of chicken breasts (1kg)||5 EUR|
|Coca Cola (2 litre)||2.24 EUR|
|Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro lights)||9.21 EUR|
Big Mac meal
|Bottle of beer (local)||5 EUR|
|Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant||30 EUR|
Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)
|Internet (8MB – average per month)||32 EUR|
|Hourly rate for a domestic cleaner||11.87 EUR|
|Utilities (gas, water, electricity)||120 EUR|
|City centre bus fare||2.50 EUR|
|Petrol/Gasoline (per litre)||1.62 EUR|