How much money do you need to live in Ukraine?Visitors to Elena’s blog often ask how much money do you need to live in Ukraine.

While the cost of living in Ukraine differs slightly between Lviv, Kiev, or Odessa, the average annual income per person in 2016 was only around 35,777 hryvnia (US$1,262), as reported by Ukrstat (see the table below).

Yes, it is the average annual income per person. Obviously, this is the amount of money a person living in Ukraine is able to survive on. However, of course, if you are a foreigner, it will cost you more.

Average annual income per capita and sustenance level in Ukraine

For the third quarter of 2017 the income per capita was reported as 11,660 hryvnia (for 3 months).

If we consider it as an average for the year, then it gives us 46,640 UAH ($1,645) annual income per person. It’s a big increase percentage-wise to the previous year (by 30%), but it’s still only $137 per person monthly or less than $32 weekly.

In 2016 yearly income per capita was 35,777 hryvnia ($1,234).

  • Average monthly wages in Ukraine are around 7,500 hryvnia (US $265).
  • If you calculate it weekly, then regular Ukrainians earn $61 per week.
  • However, actual typical wages are possibly lower: The government statistics service only considers enterprisers with 10 or more employees, so the whole lot of small businesses that pay minimum wages of $120/month are not included in the calculations.
  • At the moment the official sustenance level in Ukraine is 1,700 hryvnia ($60) a month. Yes, officially, a person should be able to survive on such money!
  • From 1 July 2018 the sustenance level will be increased to 1,777 UAH ($63).
  • From 1 December 2018 it will be raised further up to 1,853 UAH ($65).
  • Average pension in 2017 was 1,886 UAH ($67). In 2018 the government promised to raise pensions to 2,787 UAH ($98), reported.
Income and cost of living in Ukraine 2005-2016.

Official statistics on income and costs of living in Ukraine 2005-2016.

Income in Ukraine, 2017 data, official statistics.

Data: Ukrstat.

So, how much money do you need to live in Ukraine?

If you eat porridge, vegetable soup and bread, and have a place to stay (most Ukrainians own their apartments mortgage-free), you may be able to survive on the minimum wage. Local pensioners are obviously somehow managing to carry on living while only getting mere $67 monthly.

Many people work for the minimum salary of US $120 a month, going to work 5 days a week. Teachers and medical doctors are one of the lowest paid categories on employees. Usually these jobs are considered the female domain.

  • Cost of living is the highest in Kiev, the capital of the country.
  • Odessa and Lviv come next.
  • However, the living expenses certainly do not exceed local wages. Although some people work 2 jobs to make the ends meet.

We reported earlier how much people earn in different regions of Ukraine.

Wages in various provinces of Ukraine range from USD 213 to USD 296, except the city of Kiev. In Kiev workers take home $429 monthly ($5,148 annually). That’s the highest income in the country.

Wages in Ukraine by region

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Blake Westman
Blake Westman

Ok… I was visiting Kiev for some rest and relaxation. I was in a restaurant and a waitress began talking to me. We started dating and 2 weeks later she wanted me to propose in front of her mom. So I bought a ring and proposed on my last night in Kiev. She said yes. The next evening I flew home to Sacramento. We chatted by Facebook all the time and talked by video as much as possible. Suddenly she asked my income. I’m a student and don’t work. But I own plantation with buildings and collect money from rentals.… Read more »


Blake, you proposed after 2 weeks of dating and you are now arguing? Interesting…

Ms. Johnson
Ms. Johnson

Right. It seems many lonely Americans travel to these less financially well off countries to find someone. They find someone alright… many times both are not meeting for the right reasons. Clearly… this is an example.

Blake Westman
Blake Westman

Yes, Elena. I wanted to wait until summer and return to her. But she insisted that I propose in front of her mom. It was her mom’s birthday too. Something they both wanted. What to do? I already gave her money for a tourist visa. The interview in the embassy is soon. So wait to see what happens? Let her visit? Visit her again?


Blake, she’s not not going to get the visa. Not a chance.