The People's Republic of China is a very interesting country with a great history, culture, and tradition. Unprecedented economic development has greatly improved the standard of living of Chinese citizens, creating massive infrastructure and qualitatively improving other critical areas, including education and health care.

The population of China exceeds 1,425 million people, of which about 92% are ethnic Chinese or Han Chinese. The country's largest cities, Shanghai and Beijing, have about 24.3 million and 21.7 million residents, respectively. Below we will tell you about prices and costs of living, taxes, popular professions, salaries, education, medicine, pros and cons of living in China in 2024.

Living in China

Pros and cons of living in China

Life in China for foreigners today does not look something extreme and unattractive, as it was a few decades ago. For example, the state offers good conditions for qualified migrant workers or entrepreneurs planning to invest or start their own business in China. Let us highlight the positive and negative aspects of living in Chinese territory.

Pros of living in China

  • China has varied and delicious cuisine, many attractions and places for active recreation.

  • The strong economy allows foreigners to find decent jobs in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and other major population centers.

  • Living in China is cheaper than in many EU countries.

  • Most Chinese are friendly to foreigners.

  • China has an excellent infrastructure and public transport system.

Pros and cons of living in China

Cons of living in China

  • The mentality of the Chinese people is very different from the European nations.

  • The Chinese language is very difficult to learn.

  • Many regions have a low level of medical care.

  • In some cities, Europeans feel uncomfortable in public places because of the excessive attention to the appearance different from Asian.

  • Air pollution significantly reduces the quality of life in China.

Prices and cost of living in China

China is one of the most visited countries in the world. The annual flow of tourists reaches 65 million people. A significant advantage of China is relatively affordable cost of living. Renting a one-room apartment in the central part of the city will cost about 4,220 yuan ($620) per month, and in remote areas about 2,395 yuan ($350). The price per square meter of real estate in the center is 65.1 thousand yuan ($9.6 thousand), and outside the city 37.4 ($5.5 thousand).

Prices in China in 2024

  • Bread (500 g) – ¥11.73

  • Milk (0.6 L) – ¥14.10

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – ¥12.61

  • Chicken fillet (1 kg) – ¥25.83

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – ¥5.65

  • Chinese cheese (1 kg) – ¥94.47

  • Bananas (1 kg) – ¥9.80

  • Apples (1 kg) – ¥13.18

  • Gasoline (1 liter) – ¥8.56

  • Cab (1 km) – ¥2.50

  • Public transport fare – ¥3

  • Monthly bus pass – ¥200

  • Utilities (85 sq. m.) – ¥386.94 per month

  • Cell phone service (month) – ¥91.19

  • Internet – ¥87.84 per month

Note. Prices are quoted in local currency, Chinese yuan (¥). The exchange rate of one ¥ today is 0.14 American dollars and 0.13 Euro.

Tax rates in China

Tax rates in China in 2024

Corporate income tax – 25%. In addition, from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019 small companies with annual turnover up to 500,000 yuan could pay a corporate tax of 20%.

VAT – 17 (prime rate), 13, 9, 6, 3 and 2%. In particular, a reduced rate of 11% is provided for retail trade, catering services, real estate and construction, transportation and logistics.

Dividends (interest, royalties) – 10%

Social contributions – up to 39.02% of payroll.

Property tax – 1.2% of the value of the object or 12% of the rent amount.

Construction and maintenance of city infrastructure – 1, 5, 7%

Income tax – 3 to 45%

Jobs and wages in China

The huge amount of cheap labor among the locals practically makes it impossible for unqualified foreigners to find jobs in Shanghai and other attractive Chinese cities. Technicians and medical workers stand out among the in-demand professions. In addition, jobs in China are available for English teachers, translators, musicians, models and dancers.

In terms of wages, China is steadily approaching the developed European countries. Depending on the region, the official minimum wage in 2024 ranges from 1,450 to 2,690 yuan per month, the equivalent of 200–370 American dollars. The average salary in China is 9,500 yuan per month ($1,315). Experienced professionals in major cities earn an average of $1,350.

Higher education in China

Higher education in China

Development of higher education system is one of the priority tasks of the Chinese authorities, since the state has managed to achieve such outstanding economic results mainly due to scientific and technical progress and innovations. Now in China there are 2880 higher educational institutions with about 37 million students, including 442 thousand foreigners from 205 countries.

Six Chinese universities are represented in the top 100 of the prestigious international QS World University Rankings 2024. The highest position is occupied by the University of Beijing – 17th place. In addition, Tsinghua and Fudan Universities are popular. On average, one year of study in China costs a foreign student 3.3-9.9 thousand U.S. dollars.

Medicine in China

China's health care system includes both public and private medical facilities. The best clinics with modern equipment are located in large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. In rural areas the situation is much worse. Basic medical insurance covers 95 percent of the population, but the government covers no more than 50 to 60 percent of the expenses. The government has set a goal of making basic medical care accessible to all Chinese citizens in the coming years.

In conclusion, the average life expectancy at birth in China in 2024 is 76 years, with women living about 78 years and men 74.

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