Cost of living in Australia vs the world

Whilst the standard of living in Australia has remained consistent,  we’ve seen the rise and rise of living costs throughout the last decade. Wherever you live, prices have gone up. Despite this collective rise, the cost of living still varies dramatically from country to country. For some emigrating to Australia, prices will be comparably similar to what they are used to in their home country. In a worldwide study this year, Australia was indexed as the 16th most expensive country in the world. Many European countries and East Asian island nations such as Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong scored far higher than Australia. However, this means that for most relocating to Australia, there will be a few day-to-day changes to their finances they need to be aware of.

So what does it cost to live in Australia?

Expatistan, a respected global collaborative cost comparison database, suggests that the estimated monthly total cost for a family of four living in Australia is $6,076 (AUD) and for a single person the cost is $3,254 (AUD).

Comparing some everyday essentials, here is a breakdown of what you should expect to pay on average for different goods and services in Australia (all prices in AUD).

Shopping costs

  • 1 litre of whole milk = $1.30
  • 12 eggs, large = $5.35
  • 1 bottle of red table wine, good quality = $19.00
  • 1kg of apples = $4.26
  • 1kg of potatoes = $3.24
  • Bread for 2 people for 1 day = $2.19

Housing costs

  • Monthly rent for a 85m2 furnished accommodation in a normal area = $1,897
  • Monthly rent for a 45m2 furnished accommodation in a normal area = $1,438
  • Utilities for one month (heating, electricity, gas etc) for 2 people = $194

Transportation costs

  • 1 litre of gas = $1.50
  • Monthly ticket of public transport = $150.00

Personal Care

  • Short visit to a private doctor = $69.00
  • Standard men’s haircut in expat area of the city = $28.00
  • Tube of tooth paste = $3.46
  • 4 rolls of toilet paper = $3.36

Entertainment costs

  • Basic dinner out for two in a neighbourhood pub = $55.00
  • 2 tickets to the movies = $35.00
  • Cappuccino in expat area of the city = $4.67
  • 1 cocktail in a downtown club = $17.00
  • 1 beer in a neighbourhood pub = $9.00
  • 1 month of gym membership in a business district = $72.00

Higher Earnings

The good news is that while you are living in Australia you will generally receive higher than average earnings compared to other countries. According to OECD statistics, in 2018 the average Aussie take home salary hit a healthy $53,000 (USD), which scored it the 8th best paid nation in the world. 

Standard of living in Australia

This favourable wage to cost of living comparison definitely contributes to Australia consistently topping the global tables for ‘best standard of living’. Both Melbourne and Sydney featured in the top three ‘most liveable’ cities in the world last year in the Global Liveability Report by The Economist. 

Living Cheap

Unlike many pricey European countries, Australia is a nation where residents can still ‘live cheap’. For those on a budget, bargains can still be found from a variety of low-price stores. Australia also enjoys beautiful weather and many free outdoor activities which can save a few extra dollars on the weekends too! 

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