Cost of living in Birmingham, England

Cost of living in Birmingham, England: let’s analyze costs of food, real estate, entertainment, and transport in this major city located in England’s West Midlands.

Are you considering moving to Birmingham for your career or to start a business? Check below the data for the cost of living in Birmingham, England, which is a major city known for its history, art, and culture.

cost of living in Birmingham

Birmingham Overview

Birmingham is a major city located in the West Midlands of England. The city is landlocked and has gentle rolling hills. It is a densely populated area that is ever growing and expanding.

Birmingham is the second most populated city in the United Kingdom and is famously called “City of a Thousand Trades”, as well as “Brum”. People from Birmingham are called “Brummies”. People from Birmingham have a distinct accent and dialect.

Birmingham is a very popular city to move to because it is a hub that is full of a variety of trades, as well as being in a beautiful location. You can escape to vibrantly green nature or casually stroll the urban streets. It has representation from a variety of countries.

Historically, Birmingham has ancient human history dating back to around 8000 BC. It began as a settlement in the Anglo-Saxon times and always an important urban and commercial center for merchants and craftsmen. In the Industrial Revolution, it expanded into a textile-manufacturing town. During World War II it suffered a lot of damage in the “Birmingham Blitz”. Today it is popular in both the business and tourism sectors.

Cost of Living in Birmingham, England

Birmingham is full of bustling businesses and is a center hub for many large national and international companies, as well as locally owned shops. British English is the main language used throughout the city, but because of the roles in business and culture, there are many other languages spoken as well.

Birmingham is a relatively affordable city to live in. The cost of living is not as high as London and is moderate. The real estate and rental markets, as well as utilities, will be the bulk of your budget. The most expensive areas of the city are located closer to the City Center.

The currency in the United Kingdom is the British pound. The conversion rate to the GBP is 1 dollar to 0.79 GBP as of May 30, 2024.

If you want to suggest your own values based on your experiences in this city, click on edit and insert the values. Upon moderation they will be calculated to make part of the average prices displayed below.

Food Price [EDIT]
1 liter of milk 1.20 USD
1 loaf of bread 1.30 USD
1 kg of tomatoes 2.00 USD
1 kg of chicken 6.50 USD
1 single meal cheap restaurant 12.40 USD
1 single meal high-end restaurant 40.00 USD
1 cappuccino or latte 3.15 USD
1 big pizza delivery 17.46 USD
Real Estate Price [EDIT]
1 bedroom flat (40 m2) rent per month 920.00 USD
1 bedroom flat (40 m2) utilities per month 130.00 USD
2 bedroom flat (80 m2) rent per month 1,350.00 USD
2 bedroom flat (80 m2) utilities per month 205.00 USD
Price per square meter (city center) 4,325.00 USD
Transport Price [EDIT]
1 single ride public transport 3.15 USD
Monthly public transport ticket 82.00 USD
1 km taxi or similar transport app 2.50 USD
1 liter of gasoline (1/4 gallon) 1.90 USD
Toyota Corolla (new) basic version 23,345.00 USD
Salaries Price [EDIT]
Minimum Salary 1,650.00 USD
Average Salary (net) 2,200.00 USD
Extras Price [EDIT]
1 ticket to the movies (adult price) 10.00 USD
High speed internet per month 31.50 USD
1 month gym subscription 32.00 USD

Cost of Living for Students in Birmingham, England

Birmingham is a great city for students because it offers excellent universities in a bustling urban landscape. The level of education is set at a high standard with numerous top universities offering programs in the city. Some options for student housing are affiliated with the university and others are independent, like apartments or houses.

The cost of living is relatively affordable, even for students. There is also a great availability of jobs, which can help keep the cost down. As well, many universities offer scholarship programs, which can greatly assist in reducing the cost of tuition. Tuition fees in Birmingham are expensive, but less than many universities in the United States.

The universities main language is British English, but many will have courses that are available in other languages. Most of the higher education institutions will ask for proof of your language proficiency in English or ask that you complete a test.

Here are some main higher education institutions in Birmingham:

University of Birmingham

Birmingham City University

Aston University

Getting a Job in Birmingham

Birmingham has an array of different job opportunities because many large businesses and corporation have chosen the city to place offices. From business management to tourism, there are countless job opportunities for everyone. Keep in mind that competition may be stiff. You will want a strong resume with credible experience to stand out in the crowd. The average salary is decent in relation to the cost of living.

The main language used is English, which will be essential to living and working in the city. However, due to the array of jobs and careers, there are many opportunities where speaking a foreign language can give you an edge on your application or benefit you.

If you are a citizen of Great Britain or the European Union, you can start applying for jobs in Birmingham immediately, without having to wait or apply for papers or visas (as of 2019). If you are moving from abroad, remember that there is a lengthy process to obtain a work visa in the United Kingdom.

Here are some websites for job hunting in Birmingham:



Gumtree Jobs

Quality of Life in Birmingham

It is safe to say that the quality of life in Birmingham is high. The city is a gorgeous urban landscape that has a unique culture and with many art and museum spaces. It offers a thriving place to live that delivers on entertainment.

Birmingham is not among the safest cities in the UK, despite a good police work in the city. You should exercise the same level of caution in Birmingham that you would in any major city in North America.

The climate varies by season. It is known to have mild summers and cold winters. In summer the average temperature tends to stay in the low 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but winter can get quite cold. The majority of the time, it is warm and temperate. You will want to keep a four-season wardrobe and have any rain gear ready, as with any city in England.

If you are visiting Birmingham soon you may want to check some of our other UK guides. Check the where to stay in London and our article on the where to stay in Birmingham.

Other Resources for Expats and Travelers

Salaries Worldwide: check our articles on wages worldwide and understand better the economics of the countries you may be considering to move or invest.

Retire Abroad: check our retirement guides and maximize your retirement income and quality of life.

Jetradar: compare and find the cheapest air fares worldwide.