Indonesia is pretty affordable. Traveling around Bali, I felt like I could afford stuff that would definitely be out of my budget in other destinations. But how much money is really needed to be “rich” in Indonesia, when you look at the details?
A monthly income of ~$1,500 USD or more would arguably make you “rich” in Indonesia. That amount puts you in the top 5% of earners, along with attorneys, CEOs, and doctors. For net worth, you’d need ~$60,000 USD of assets to be in the top 1% in Indonesia.
I’ll expand on those numbers and more below, to help you understand what really counts as “rich” in Indonesia. We’ll look at average pay and net worth, cost of living comparisons, and a lot more!
What is Wealthy in Indonesia?
When we talk about being “rich” in Indonesia, we have to look at both how much money people have and what they earn. Let’s start with how much money people have.
As of 2021, to be among the richest 1% in Indonesia, you need ~$60,000 USD in assets (source). How does that compare to other countries in SE Asia?
Well, in Singapore, you need a lot more, ~$3.5 million USD, to be in the top 1%. In Malaysia, you need ~$485,000 USD. The Philippines is roughly the same as Indonesia, ~$57,000 USD. (source)
In 2021, there were an estimated 82,000 dollar millionaires in Indonesia. In the same year, the country’s adult population was 183 million. That means less than 1 in 2,000 Indonesian adults were millionaires as of 2021. (source)
Looking at the lower end of wealth, about 84% of adults in Indonesia own less than $10,000 worth of assets. And 30 million Indonesians only own ~$248 or less. (source)
What Is a Good Salary in Indonesia?
Now let’s talk about monthly income. First, let’s look at the lower end of things—minimum wage and lower-income jobs.
As of 2023, the minimum wage in Jakarta, Indonesia, is 4,901,798 IDR per month (~$322 USD) (source). And indeed, many lower-income jobs in Indonesia are reported to have similar monthly incomes to that:
- Mechanic: 4,560,000 (~$300 USD)
- Cashier: 4,840,000 (~$320 USD)
- Secretary: 5,590,000 (~$370 USD)
So, the lower end of Indonesian earners are making around ~$300 or $400 USD per month. But what about higher-income jobs? How much do richer Indonesians make?
“High Income” Earners in Indonesia
Here are reported monthly incomes for some better-paying careers in Indonesia:
- Attorney: 23,800,000 (~$1,560 USD)
- CEO: 27,300,000 (~$1,790 USD)
- Dentist: 29,300,000 IDR (~$1,930 USD)
Aside from these specific jobs, we can also look at broader salary distributions. What do the top 50% of earners make? What about the top 5%? As of 2023, Salary Explorer reports the following:
- The top 50% earn 10,500,000 IDR or more per month (~$690 USD).
- The top 25% earn 15,900,000 IDR or more per month (~$1,040 USD).
- The top 15% earn 17,900,000 IDR or more per month (~$1,180 USD).
- The top 5% earn 22,800,000 IDR or more per month (~$1,500 USD).
- “Almost everyone” earns 54,200,000 IDR or less per month (~$3,560 USD).
So, let’s recap: When it comes to monthly income, the low end in Indonesia is around ~$300 per month, while the median is ~$690 USD, and most of the top earners are in the range of ~$1,500 to $4,000 USD per month.
Cost of Living in Indonesia
Along with lower incomes, Indonesia also has a lower cost of living compared to many countries. For many aspiring expats, this is one of the big appeals of living in Indonesia.
For a quick overview, let’s look at the estimated cost of living in various Indonesian cities, according to Nomad List:
|City||Expat Cost of Living||Nomad Cost of Living|
|Canggu, Bali||$2,189 USD||$2,055 USD|
|Ubud, Bali||$1,881 USD||$1,938 USD|
|Jakarta||$927 USD||$1,292 USD|
|Surabaya||$611 USD||$899 USD|
|Senggigi, Lombok||$1,170 USD||$934 USD|
Obviously, your own costs will vary. But we can also compare the average cost of living in Indonesia to other countries, using Numbeo. This should give us an overall sense of the scale of prices.
The following table shows the “cost of living with rent” in Indonesia compared to other countries:
|Country||How Indonesia Compares|
|United States||Indonesia is ~198% cheaper.|
|Australia||Indonesia is ~183% cheaper.|
|Canada||Indonesia is ~152% cheaper.|
|United Kingdom||Indonesia is ~135% cheaper.|
|South Korea||Indonesia is ~117% cheaper.|
|Japan||Indonesia is ~80% cheaper.|
|China||Indonesia is ~30% cheaper.|
|Thailand||Indonesia is ~28% cheaper.|
|Vietnam||Indonesia is ~13% cheaper.|
|Philippines||Indonesia is ~13% cheaper.|
|Malaysia||Indonesia is ~4% cheaper.|
|Colombia||Indonesia is ~11% more expensive.|
|India||Indonesia is ~29% more expensive.|
Again, remember that the specific city will impact your costs a lot. Rent costs can be as much as 71% cheaper in Surabaya than Bali, for example. (source)
Digital Nomad Budget for Indonesia
As shown above, your budget in Indonesia will depend heavily on where you stay. While it’s still relatively cheap, Bali is more expensive than most of the rest of the country.
Assuming you’re accustomed to life in America or another highly developed country, you’d probably want at least $1,500 per month to “live well” in Bali, with $2,000+ or $3,000+ still giving you much better options.
In a cheaper city like Surabaya, $1,000 per month might be fine. But I still recommend $1,500+ per month as a minimum for anywhere in SE Asia. It just helps to have that wiggle room.
How much to “live like a king” in Indonesia? Well, again, location is going to matter. But $3,000+ USD per month would put you well into the top income percentiles, making ~double what an attorney makes in Indonesia.
So personally, I would target $3k/month to really “live like a king” in Indonesia.
What It Takes to Be “Rich” in Different Asian Countries
Read my other guides to what counts as “rich” in Asia—complete with salary data, net worth statistics and more: