This article focuses on the how people perceive the cost of living in their neighborhoods. The research consisted of an online survey conducted on our platform covering 700 respondents, with a +/- 4% margin of error when reported to the Romanian online population. The survey was active between 5th and the 7th of December 2017.


There are numerous online indexes, rankings, and calculators that look into measuring the cost of living worldwide. Some take into account current and timely information on world living conditions including cost of living, housing indicators, health care, traffic, crime and pollution. Numbeo compares the cost of living in numerous countries and also comparing them to the U.S. standards. In this sense, the cost of living in Romania is 48.2% lower than in United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). Rent in Romania is 73.4% lower than in United States (average data for all cities). These data are based on 24140 entries in the past 18 months from 1646 different contributors. See more on restaurants, markets, transportation, utilities, sports and leisure and other issues regarding Romania here.

Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey finds that factors like the instability of housing markets and inflation for goods and services contribute to the overall cost of doing business in today’s global environment. Mercer’s survey finds Asian and European cities – particularly Hong Kong (2), Tokyo (3), Zurich (4), and Singapore (5) – at the top of the list of most expensive cities for expatriates. The costliest city, driven by the cost of goods and security, is Luanda (1), the capital of Angola. Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates are Seoul (6), Geneva (7), Shanghai (8), New York City (9), and Bern (10). The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer’s survey, are Tunis (209), Bishkek (208), and Skopje (206). According to the 2017 city rankings Bucharest ranks 181, Warsaw on 180, Budapest on 176 and Sofia on 184.

According to Business Magazine the most disadvantaged cities in Romania regarding the cost of living are Reşiţa, Alexandria, Vaslui, Focşani, Piatra-Neamţ, Satu-Mare, Tulcea, Călăraşi, Botoşani şi Brăila. On the other hand, Braşov was considered the most advantageous city, followed by Cluj-Napoca, Oradea, Sibiu, Piteşti, Timişoara, Târgu Mureş, Craiova, Bucureşti, and Iaşi.

Looking at Bucharest, Titan was considered the most advantageous neighborhood in terms of the cost of living, followed by Sălăjan, Balta Albă, Brâncoveanu and Baba Novac. At very low distances they are followed by Aviaţiei, Tineretului, Băneasa and Drumul Taberei, and at the bottom of the ranking are the following neighborhoods: 1 Mai, Vitan, Obor, Ferentari, and Lujerului.

In our article, we focus on the perceived cost of living in Bucharest. By cost of living, we understand the daily spending, like money spent on food, utilities, rent or installment, costs for clothing or shoes, transportation money, or another spending (for entertainment, hobbies etc.)


Asked to what extent they believe that Romania's economy will improve in the next year, almost all (92.8%) said it won't.

Romanian economy

At the same time, most respondents (74.4%) say they are not pleased with their living standard. In this sense, both at the macro level (the overall Romanian economy) and at the personal level (living standard) people are generally unhappy.

financial situation in Romania

Another worrisome result shows that less than a quarter consider that the financial situation in Romania will improve in the next year. These data are also affected by the numerous talks, debates, and protests concerning the changes in the Fiscal Code.

perceived cost of living

Regarding the perceived cost of living in their neighborhood, half of the respondents consider that it is neither high nor low, while more than a quarter consider it to be high.

neighborhoods in Bucharest

The perceived cost of living by items shows that the food basket and utilities, together with rent and clothing/shoes are scored the highest. Only transportation is considered by most neither high nor low.

cost of living

When thinking about the neighborhoods in Bucharest, the first districted is ranked as the most expansive, while the other districts are perceived in an equal manner. This shows that the first district (Sector 1) composed of Dorobanți, Băneasa, Aviației, Pipera, Aviatorilor, Primăverii, Romană, Victoriei, Herăstrău, Bucureștii Noi, Dămăroaia, Grivița, 1 Mai, Pajura, Domenii and a small part of Giulești are perceived to have the highest scores when it comes to rent, buying an apartment, utilities or food.

expensive neighborhood

On the other hand, the fifth sector is perceived to be the least inexpensive, followed by the sixth district and the fourth one. The third and second district are considered almost equally expensive. Most of the respondents live in Berceni, Titan, and Colentina.

inexpensive neighborhood

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