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Cost of Living in Australia

For decades, Australia was considered a relatively cheap country in which to live but, due to increased tourism, the 2000 Olympics pushing prices up across the board and the continually changing Australian dollar, Australia is now officially on the high side.

In fact, Australia's cost of living rose faster than anywhere else in the world in the year to March 2004, due mainly to the appreciating Aussie dollar and booming house market (source – Mercer HR 2004).

Sydney climbed a staggering 47 places to 20th place on the list of the world's most expensive cities to live in, pipping Rome, Amsterdam and Los Angeles for cash-draining potential. Melbourne moved 44 spots higher to 67th position, Brisbane rose to 87th from 144th place and Perth was94th, compared with 121st in 2003. Of course Tokyo was still the world's most expensive city, ahead of London and Moscow.

A report by Mercer Consulting (March 2005) ranked Australia's major cities in the world's top 30 for quality of life, with the cost of living in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth being less than half that of the world's most expensive cities.

Mercer's study also revealed that Sydney's housing rents are considerably higher than the rest of Australia and New Zealand. Sydney is now an expensive city in which to live, especially as wages are much lower than in the UK and taxes are some of the highest in the world. These are key facts which cannot be ignored if you are contemplating making the decision to permanently migrate there.

Having said this, not all of you will be planning on moving to Sydney, and Australia certainly has many more equally exciting and beautiful cities. Increasing numbers of British are shunning New South Wales' high cost of living and heading to Australia's other large cities including Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Melbourne, all of which are vibrant and cosmopolitan and considerably less expensive.

Just as people's incomes vary greatly, so does their ability to spend. Cost of living in Australia is comparatively less expensive than in Europe, especially the UK. However, earnings are also lower and taxes higher. What will have a big bearing on your cost of living is your individual lifestyle. Prices for essentials such as food, drink and clothes are relatively low, with manufactured goods being generally expensive because many are imported.





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