How Does The Cost Of Living Compare In Australia VS The USA?

Australia is an excellent option if you are considering relocating from America to an English-speaking country. First, it has an excellent economy and systems, especially in the education and healthcare sectors. 

The Australian continent has a lot to offer if you love adventures, from its beautiful beaches, diverse landscapes, and unique wildlife. If you intend to move to Australia, understanding how the cost of living compares for the two countries is essential. 

This guide highlights some of the differences and what you should expect.


It Depends On Where You Look

There is conflicting information about how the cost of living in Australia compares to the cost of living in America, with some sources showing Australia as the most expensive. In contrast, others portray America as the most expensive.

The cost of living in Australia will differ with the city or the specific aspect you are looking at. Below is a breakdown of the average costs based on particular expenses.


If you are looking for a one-bedroom rental house in New York, you can expect to pay around $3,500. The same house would go for around $2,500 in Sydney, the most populous city in Australia.

The cost can go significantly lower if you relocate to a smaller town. Surprisingly, buying a home in Australia is relatively more expensive than in America.

If you intend to buy a home in the city, you should expect to pay an average of $6,900 per square meter compared to $4,400 in an American city. The cost goes lower for smaller cities or outside the city, but you can still expect to pay slightly more than you would in America.

Utility Bills

One main area where Australia beats America in terms of cost is utility bills. On average, the cost of electricity per KWH in Australia can be as high as 29 cents compared to 13 cents in the US. However, the cost of electricity can vary based on region, source of the electricity, consumption, and provider. 

Luckily, an online comparison tool, such as this iSelect electricity comparison resource, can help you get the best electricity rates in any region in Australia. However, keep in mind that the utility bills for a 900 sq ft apartment in Australia will be around $220 on average compared to $150 in the US.

Child Care

If you are moving with your family, you must dig deeper into your pockets. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, raising a child in Australia costs between $13,000 to $18,000. 

This cost includes expenses such as food, transportation, and education. But this cost can vary with the age of the child and location. In the US, this cost will range from $4,000 to $22,000 a year. 


Owning and operating a car in Australia is relatively more expensive than in the US. Factors that push the cost of owning and driving a car up include gas, toll, and registration fees. 

As of November 2022, the fuel cost in Australia was $4.33 a gallon compared to $3.90 in the US. The good thing is that Australian cities have some of the most reliable public transport systems, so you may not worry so much about getting to and from work. 

Market Prices

The cost of essential consumer goods in Australia is almost equal to that of the same goods in America. So you may not save much or need to spend so much more to stock up in Australia as you would in the US.

Going by the above costs, there isn’t much difference between living in the US and Australia. So if all you want is a change of environment, moving to Australia can be a good move. Also, Australia’s population is relatively lower than the US, so there will be less competition for jobs, meaning making a decent living should not be a problem.

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