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A Comparative Look at the Cost of Living in Australia

Cost of Living in Australia
Australia has one of the strongest economies in the world and has less debt than the majority of other highly-developed countries. The nation is expected to have continued economic growth and has bypassed the threat of a recession for 26 years.

Partially due to the strong economic atmosphere, the cost of living in Australia is significantly higher than countries with comparable economies. It costs approximately 12% more to live in Australia than in the United States. Public transport, name-brand clothing, hotel rooms and sodas are all far more expensive in Australia than in many U.S. cities.

While the high cost of living in Australia may be a deterrent for many, one must also consider the methods in which these figures are drawn. One source points out that the Deutsche Bank survey, that the Australian cost of living is based on, must choose specific brands for comparison. Not only is it possible for the availability of these brands to vary from country to country, but prices can also fluctuate from season to season, depending on the industry. However, the cost of living in Australia is still considerably more expensive at face value.

It is also important to note the difference in wages between Australia and other economic leaders when considering the cost of living in Australia. The minimum wage is set at $14.02 in Australia, which is higher than any other developed country. For comparison, the federal minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.99 and $11.61 in the United Kingdom.

However, the poverty rate in Australia is comparable to more developed countries. From 2003 to 2004 and 2013 to 2014, the poverty rate in Australia rose from 11.8% to 12.6%. Whereas the poverty rate for the U.K. in 2013 was around 15% and 14.5% in the U.S.

While there are various factors for judging the livability of a country, Australia appears to be faring exceptionally well when taking into account that its stats are very similar to the most economically sound countries in the world. Australia’s GDP, according to the 2017 OECD data, is $9,555 less than that of the U.S., but $5,119 more than that of the U.K.

Although the cost of living in Australia may be higher than many other countries of its standard, the standard of living seems quite comparable. Australia continues to be a strong economic leader with every intention of staying that way.

Emma Tennyson

Photo: Flickr