If you’re thinking about moving to a new country, it’s crucial to have some idea on how to plan your budget. I’ve already written an article with prices of some basic products and average salary (How Much Can I Earn In Poland?). This time I would like to tell you the cost of living in Poland on the basis of statistics.

Główny Urząd Statystyczny (GUS) – Central Statistical Office – allows copying and processing of their data, so I’ve decided to translate and present some parts of the report Sytuacja gospodarstw domowych w 2016 r. w świetle wyników badania budżetów gospodarstw domowych  (Situation of the households in 2016 in the light of household budgets survey results).

GUS will publish an English version its 2016 household budget survey in Autumn. For now you can find a previous edition of this annual report here.

 

Cost of living in Poland: average income and expenditures

The average level of available monthly income (personal income minus taxes and insurance contributions, the money that you can actually spend or save)  per capita in a household was  1475 PLN in 2016.

The level of monthly expenditures per capita was 1132 PLN.

In 2016 expenses accounted for 76.7% of available income.

If you already live in Poland and keep track of your budget these numbers may surprise you. Data vary by types of socio-economic groups, number of family members and where you live, so scroll down in order to find your focus groups. Before we peruse data for those categories, let’s compare the general cost of living in Poland in the past twelve years.

 

Average monthly income and expenditure per person for the years 2004-2016

Average cost of living in Poland from 2004 to 2016. Source: GUS

Level of average monthly income and expenditure per capita in households and the share of expenditure in available income, 2004-2016. Source: GUS

  • Dochód rozporządzalny Available income
  • Wydatki – Expenditure
  • Udział wydatków w dochodzie The share of expenditure in available income

According to the report, in 2016 the material situation of all analyzed groups has improved. Households earned and spent more money. The income surplus has increased, which means that people generally saved money more easily (although the poorest part of society still spent more than they earned).

 

Cost of living in Poland: Over half of those tested consider their situation mediocre

Similarly to 2015, over half of tested households considered their material situation mediocre.

The percentage of households considering their situation rather good or very good has increased from 28,5% in 2015 to 33,5% in 2016.

The percentage of households considering their situation rather bad or bad has decreased from 15,7% in 2015 to 13% in 2016.

You need to remember that the improvement of the quality of life in Poland resulted partially from the new social programme supporting families with children, called “Rodzina 500+”. This type of benefit represented 16,8% of available income per person for families participating in the project. I hope to describe how expats can use this program in July. Join me on Facebook and subscribe my newsletter if you find this topic interesting and want more details.

 

Which socio-economic group do you belong to?

There are five basic socio-economic groups of the population:

  • OgółemTotal
  • PracownicyEmployees
  • RolnicyFarmers
  • Pracujący na własny rachunekSelf-employed
  • Emeryci – Retirees (no longer working)
  • RenciściPensioners (unable to work due to health problems)

Data vary from group to group.

Cost of living in 2016 for various economic groups

Average monthly available income and expenditure per capita in households and the share of expenditure in available income by socio-economic groups in 2016. Source: GUS

  • Dochód rozporządzalny Available income
  • Wydatki – Expenditure
  • Udział wydatków w dochodzie rozporządzalnym The share of expenditure in available income

 

Cost of living in Poland when you have a family

I believe that if you have a family, you will be especially interested in two graphs presented in the report. The first one gives some idea of cost of living in Poland by number of children. The second one shows average budgets of households by various socio-economic groups.

Cost of living of family members

Average monthly available income and expenditure per capita in households and the share of expenditure in available income by biological type of household, 2015-2016. Source: GUS.

In Polish official statistics we have the following biological types (demographic types) of households:

  • Ogółem – Total
  • małżeństwa bez dzieci – Marriage without children
  • małżeństwa z dziećmi na utrzymaniu – Marriage with children
  • małżeństwa z 3 i więcej dzieci – Marriage with 3 or more children
  • matka lub ojciec z dziećmi – Mother or father with dependent children

*Authors of the project include common-law relationships in the category of marriages

Deep colors represent 2016, faded colors represent 2015 for comparison:

  • Dochód rozporządzalny w 2015 r. – Available income in 2015
  • Dochód rozporządzalny w 2016 r. – Available income in 2016
  • Wydatki w 2015 r. – Expenditure in 2015
  • Wydatki w 2016 r. Expenditure in 2016
  • Udział wydatków w dochodzie rozporządzalnym w 2015 r. – The share of expenditure in available income in 2015
  • Udział wydatków w dochodzie rozporządzalnym w 2016 r. – The share of expenditure in available income in 2016

 

Graph 9 presents average monthly available income and expenses for an entire household by socio-economic groups in 2016. Here you can compare your family’s budget with the statistics. Most of my readers are employees – is your disposable family income close to 4885 PLN? Do you spend about 3670 PLN every month?

Average income and costs of living of families

Average monthly disposable income and spending on household and proportion of expenditure in the disposable income by socio-economic groups in 2016. Source: GUS

  • Dochód rozporządzalny Available income
  • Wydatki – Expenditure
  • Udział wydatków w dochodzie rozporządzalnym The share of expenditure in available income

 

The groups:

  • OgółemTotal
  • PracownicyEmployees
  • RolnicyFarmers
  • Pracujący na własny rachunekSelf-employed
  • Emeryci – Retirees
  • RenciściPensioners

 

The structure of spending

The structure of spending

Structure of average monthly expenditure per capita in households (in % of total expenditure) in 2016. Source: GUS.

The average person in Poland spends the most of their money on food and non-alcoholic beverages (24,2%) and on housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (19,6%).

  • żywność i napoje bezalkoholowe – food and non-alcoholic beverages
  • napoje alkoholowe, wyroby tytoniowe alcoholic beverages, tobacco
  • odzież i obuwie – clothing and footwear
  • użytkowanie mieszkania i nośniki energii  housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels
  • wyposażenie mieszkania i prowadzenie gosp. domowego furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house
  • zdrowie – health
  • transport – transport
  • łączność a) communication, including expenditure for Internet services
  • rekreacja i kultura b) recreation and culture, excluding expenditure for Internet services
  • edukacja  education
  • restauracje i hotele – restaurants and hotels
  • pozostałe towary i usługi miscellaneous goods and services
  • wydatki pozostałe – other expenditures
  • kieszonkowe – pocket money (allowance/spending money)

Obviously that kind of structure of spending can give you only a general idea of your future budget. Proportion of spending on food and accommodation differs for various economic groups. Let’s analyze, for example, the share of food in total expenses.

 

Cost of living in Poland: share of food and non-alcoholic beverages in total budgets

Food in the structure of spending of various economic groups

Share of average monthly expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages per capita in the total expenditure of households by socio-economic groups, 2015-2016. Source: GUS.

  • OgółemTotal
  • PracownicyEmployees
  • RolnicyFarmers
  • Pracujący na własny rachunekSelf-employed
  • Emeryci – Retirees
  • RenciściPensioners

 

The best place to live in Poland is…

In 2016 available income exceeding the national average occurred in six voivodeships:

  • mazowieckie
  • dolnośląskie
  • pomorskie
  • śląskie
  • lubuskie
  • zachodniopomorskie

Households from the Mazowieckie Voivodeship had the biggest available income per capita – 1781 PLN (20,8% above the national average).

On the other hand, households from the Podkarpackie Voivodeship had available income of 1134 PLN per capita (23,1% below the national average) – which was the lowest level of income registered in Poland.

The range of average available income per person in Polish voivodeships equaled 43.9 percentage points. It was 4.8 p. points less than in 2015.

Map of average income

Indicator of average monthly available income per capita in households compared to
the national average in 2016. Source: GUS.

 

Spending exceeding the national average was registered in these voivodeships:

  • mazowieckie
  • dolnośląskie
  • łódzkie
  • śląskie
  • opolskie
  • pomorskie
  • lubuskie

In the Mazowieckie Voivodeship monthly spending per person exceeded the national average by 21,1%. The lowest level of spending — 20.3% below the national average — was in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship.  The range of levels of spending for Polish voivodeships equaled 41.4 percentage points (42.8 in 2015).

7a - map of average costs of living in Poland

Map 2. Indicator of average monthly expenditure per capita in households compared to the
national average in 2016. Source: GUS.

 

Cost of living in Poland: Village, town or city?

Both income and expenditures depend on the type of city that you live in. Graph 14 of the report presents the following data:

  • Dochód rozporządzalny w 2015 r. – Available income in 2015
  • Wydatki w 2015 r. – Expenditures in 2015
  • Dochód rozporządzalny w 2016 r. Available income in 2016
  • Wydatki w 2016 r. Expenditures in 2016
  • Udział wydatków w dochodzie rozporządzalnym w 2015 r. – The share of expenditure in available income in 2015
  • Udział wydatków w dochodzie rozporządzalnym w 2016 r. – The share of expenditure in available income in 2016

 

For the following types of cities:

  • Ogółem – Total
  • Miasta  ogółem – Urban areas in total
  • Miasta poniżej 20 tys. Towns below 20 thousand people
  • Miasta 20–99 tys. – Towns 20-99 thousand people
Cost of living in various kinds of cities 1/2

Average monthly available income and expenditure per capita in households and the share of expenditure in available income by class of locality in 2016 1/2. Source: GUS.

  • Miasta 100–199 tys. – Towns 100-199 thous.
  • Miasta 200–499 tys. – Cities 200-499 thous.
  • Miasta 500 tys. i większe – Cities 500 thous. and over
  • WieśRural areas
Cost of living in various kinds of cities 2/2

Average monthly available income and expenditure per capita in households and the share of expenditure in available income by class of locality in 2016 2/2. Source: GUS.

What is your cost of living in Poland?

I hope that these numbers will help prepare you to move here, or that you have enjoyed learning something new about Poland if you live here already. What is your budget and cost of living in Poland? Feel free to leave me a comment below. Let’s show people that even mundane topics like taxes and cost of living in Poland can start a great conversation 🙂

Find more useful articles here:

Work in Poland Category

 

Sources:

Sytuacja gospodarstw domowych w 2016 r. w świetle wyników badania budżetów gospodarstw domowych, Główny Urząd Statystyczny, Warszawa, 02.06.2017

Household budget survey in 2015, Główny Urząd Statystyczny, 13.09.2016

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