The Cost of living in Australia

If you are considering immigration to Australia, you probably want to know how much it’s going to cost you to live and work there. Following are some basic things you should know about living and working in Australia in terms of cost, lifestyle and places to live.

Living in any Australian city

Obviously the cost of living in Australia varies depending on where you work and live. City living is more expensive than rural Australia and tourist spots can be exorbitant. Each city has its more and less expensive suburbs and inner city living varies, again, depending on where you chose to live.

Sydney is ranked amongst one of the most expensive cities in the world. A three bedroom house in Sydney can cost twice as much in rent (at an average of $4000 per month), than in any other Australian city. The most expensive suburbs of Sydney are its Eastern Suburbs, home to the famous Bondi beach, and some Northern Beach suburbs.

Melbourne offers more reasonable housing and a more established art/theatre culture, whereas Sydney is faster and more oriented to the beach.

Brisbane is a newer city; more reasonably priced and is fast catching up in terms of city pulse.

Cost of food

Food is expensive in Australia, especially when compared to the United States. The cost of transport and gas coupled with a quite high minimum award wage (almost $16 per hour) makes the cost of labor high, so it costs quite a bit to get your tomatoes ($3 -$4per kilo) to the supermarket from rural Australia which is quite a distance from the city centers. But the high wages and the strong Australian dollar contributes to the high standard of living that Australians enjoy.

The quality of food is excellent, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood are plentiful. Though a good steak will cost about $50 in a restaurant, so you might choose to shop at a local market and focus on the abundance of available fresh leafy greens and a chicken breast at $10 per kilo.

Cost of Furniture and clothes

Again, furniture, white-goods and clothes are quite expensive in Australia. The population of the country is only some 22 million, spread mostly along the coastal cities, so transport, gas and high labor costs mean you will pay about $100 Australian dollars for that pair of jeans that may cost you $30 in the USA. The country doesn’t have the population to drive costs down. Clothes can be expensive but there are discount stores. Generally the quality of clothing in Australia is quite good with a strong high end fashion culture.

If you are considering immigration to Australia from the United States or from Asia, it may pay you to bring in a container of furniture and white-goods, but check voltage compatibility on electrical goods before you do so.