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The cost of living in Australia

By September 16, 2019January 23rd, 2023FinGlobal

The cost of living in Australia

September 16, 2019


Australia has recently become known as an expensive country to live in – with a high cost of living quickly eating into your monthly salary. For South Africans planning to immigrate to Australia, the cost of living in Australia versus South Africa is essential to get an understanding of what their quality of life will be in Australia.


Cost of living in Australia versus quality of life

While the cost of living in Australia may be high, most expats agree that the quality of life in Australia outweighs this. This is often put down to the fact that many of the aspects that make Australia such a great country to live in are free – like the wonderful parks and beaches. The great weather is also a huge bonus, enabling families to enjoy many outdoor activities together.

The very latest 2019 Mercer Cost of Living Survey ranked Sydney as the 50th most expensive city of the 209 cities surveyed worldwide. This was followed by Melbourne at 79th position, Perth at 87th position, Canberra at 96th position and Brisbane at 103rd.

Expats moving to Australia on provisional visas must also find out whether they qualify for Medicare, as private healthcare in Australia is expensive and temporary residents can’t escape from these fees.


South Africa versus Australia’s cost of living

A website called provides a detailed comparison of the cost of living between South Africa and Australia and reveals that Australia is 31.8% cheaper than Australia. Highlights from the website show that:

  • You can pay 78.4% more when you eat out in Australia compared to South Africa. A basic meal with a drink at an inexpensive restaurant in South Africa will cost you R114.30, while the same in Australia at current exchange rates will cost R172.38.
  • Australia is also pricey when it comes to groceries, which cost 63.6% more.
  • The good news is that public transport in Australia is 9.5% cheaper than South Africa.
  • Housing is more expensive in Australia and you can pay up to 2.3 times more for rent. For example, a 1-bedroom apartment in a downtown area in South Africa will cost your R4 808 for rent, but in Australia you will pay R11 980 for a similar apartment.
  • Childcare is 4.4 times more expensive in Australia.
  • You will also pay 20.5% more for clothing in Australia.

When it comes to the quality of life, life in Australia is a lot better according to the same website. You will live 18.5 years longer in Australia, where the average life expectancy is 82 years versus 64 years in South Africa. You will also make 3.7 times more money and are 79.7% less likely to be unemployed.


If you are a South African living abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through the financial emigration process, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today for your free and no obligation consultation and quote.

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