Living in Australia is a dream for many people of all ages across the globe. Whether you’re retired, a student or moving for work, living in Australia will present you with different financial challenges. To make your dream of living in Australia a reality, it’s a great idea to understand the cost of living beforehand. Discover the costs associated with living in Australia in 2021 and what to expect when you get there.
What does the cost of living mean?
Regardless of your salary or savings, the cost of living will be a significant factor to consider before you make the move to Australia. But what does the cost of living mean? In terms of Australian cities, a simple way to illustrate this would be to ask: “How many goods and services does 1,000 AUD purchase in a certain location?” For instance, 1,000 AUD tends to get you more goods and services in Perth compared to Sydney.
The cost of living can affect your choice of occupation and where to live. The costs of living will also directly affect many factors such as your ability to save for a home or car, pay off debts, whether to have a child and send money to family overseas.
How much is the average salary in Australia?
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the average annual salary in Australia is 86,253 AUD (£47,619). However, this figure can vary due to several factors including the type of occupation (skilled or unskilled), the location and the terms of the work contract.
How much does it cost to live in Australia’s major cities?
Australia attracts a large number of migrants and skilled workers from places such as China and Thailand. And the most popular destinations in Australia for these expats are Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. These cities offer more opportunities for employment and better lifestyle, healthcare and education options. But how much does it cost to live in each one?
Take a can of Coca Cola, for example. Same can, different city – and as you’ll see, different prices. A can of coke in:
- Adelaide costs, on average, 3.41 AUD (£1.88).
- Brisbane costs 3.39 AUD (£1.87).
- Melbourne cost 3.22 AUD (£1.78).
- Sydney costs 3.15 AUD (£1.74).
- Perth costs 3.09 AUD (£1.71).
While soft drink prices aren’t the ultimate measuring stick of costs in Australia, they do give a brief glimpse of price differences around the country. We’ve used some calculations by ‘cost of living’ experts Numbeo to produce the table below.
|City||1-bed flat (city centre)||1-bed flat (other)||Monthly utility bills||Monthly travel pass||Eating out for two|
|Sydney||2,583 A$||1,841 A$||188 A$||218 A$||100 A$|
|Melbourne||1,834 A$||1,391 A$||207 A$||159 A$||80 A$|
|Brisbane||1,665 A$||1,211 A$||208 A$||160 A$||100 A$|
|Perth||1,460 A$||1,047 A$||221 A$||171 A$||92 A$|
|Adelaide||1,361 A$||1,006 A$||214 A$||101 A$||80 A$|
*Some figures have been rounded up to the closest Australian dollar (AUD/A$)
Did you know? You can set up a bank account in Australia from overseas. Kick-start your move Down Under by reading our guide to opening a bank account in Australia.
What is the minimum wage in Australia?
Australia’s minimum wage is among the highest in the world. According to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), the national minimum wage is 19.84 A$ (£10.95) per hour or 753.80 A$ (£416.12) per week.
What is the best city to live in Australia?
In The Economist‘s annual list of the best cities in the world to live in, three Australian cities ranked in the top ten. The latest list, released at the end of 2019, compared 140 cities based on their:
- Economic stability.
- Healthcare system.
- Culture and environment.
Melbourne came in second place, Sydney third, and Adelaide was in the tenth position.
While the ranking doesn’t take the cost of living into account, some cities stand out for their affordability to migrant workers. Among them is Adelaide, the state capital of South Australia.
For example, the cost of renting an apartment in Adelaide is about half the cost compared to Sydney. If you like eating out, you’ll be glad to know that dining in a typical restaurant in Adelaide is roughly 15% cheaper than in Brisbane.
And Adelaide has everything you can expect from an Australian city: splendid landscapes, fantastic coastal stretches and a modern city centre. In addition, residents of Adelaide benefit from free public transport in various parts of the city.
What is the cost of living in Australia for students?
Studying in Australia is an unforgettable experience. On top of world-class universities, Australia boasts excellent weather, beautiful beaches and thriving restaurants, sports and arts scenes. Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, in particular, are appealing options for many students, as they’re located on the coast, where the cost of living tends to be much lower.
Regardless of where you study, Australia can be pricey for overseas students. As well as tuition fees, you’ll need to pay for your flight to Australia and other moving costs. However, as investments go, getting a qualification in one of Australia’s top-rated universities can open many doors in the future.
You’ll also need a student visa beforehand which costs 620 AUD (£343) plus 8.18 AUD (£4.60) in fees. With a student visa, you can work 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during holiday periods.
It’s quite common for international students to live in private shared accommodation. The average price for a single room in a shared house is around AUD 200-400 (£110 – 220) per week.