Australia Cost of Living v/s USA

Cost of living in Australia vs USA

Americans are moving to Australia. Well, mesmerizing beaches and booming nature is one reason. Not to forget that the quality of life is also second to none there. 

Well, before you pack your bags, you might wanna know more about the cost of living in Australia. Technically, it’s the first thing that you should consider.

And this is where we came in!


Our editors have done detailed research to provide you with the accurate and latest information on Australian living expenses. 

So, why not just skip to the good part?

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What Is The Cost Of Living In Australia Compared To The US- The Moment Of Truth

Australia is 4.6% more expensive than the US. To live comfortably in Australia, you’ll need roughly $3500 (USD), while you can enjoy the same level of comfort at $3200 (USD) in the US.

Keep in mind that the declining AUD is one of the main reasons why the US expats find “the land down under” cheap.

But technically, by any means of comparison, living in Australia is expensive compared to the US.

For your quick understanding of the currency difference, here’s your quick math dose: $1000 (USD) is equal to $1498 (AUD) as of 02 May 2023.

Cost Of Living In The US VS Australia – Detailed Comparison

We will compare the 7 main aspects of life, from the quality of life to the cost of entertainment.

1. Salary in Australia vs USA

Minimum Hourly Wage In Australia: $21.38 AUD ($14.25 USD)

Minimum Hourly Wage In the USA: $7.25 USD (50% less)

The minimum wage difference explains pretty much everything. Different jobs in Australia pay different salaries.


The unskilled sector, too, pays a good sum of money in salaries, and to do such jobs, you do not need higher educational qualifications. 

  • The average monthly salary in Australia is $7,570 (AUD) after tax
  • The average monthly salary in the USA is $6,228 (USD)

The average net salary of an individual after tax in Australia is AUD 40,000- 50,000 per annum.

Whereas the average net salary of an individual after-tax in the USA is USD 50,000- 55,000 per annum.

2. Rent In Australia VS Rent In USA

If you are coming from America and planning to settle down in Australia, then you should be aware of the house rent & the cost of utilities at both places.

Rent In Australia VS Rent In USA

Go through the comparison table mentioned below to know more about the same:-

Monthly Rent of a 900 sqft house at an expensive area$ 3,200$ 2,376
Monthly Rent of a 900 sqft house at a normal area$ 2,248$1,782
Utilities for 1 month for 2 persons in a 900 sqft flat$ 216$ 190
Monthly Rent of a 480 sq ft house at an expensive area$ 2,040$ 1,646
Monthly Rent of a 480 sq ft house at a normal area$ 1,534$ 1,273
Basic Apartment Utilities for 1 month for 2 persons in a 480 sq ft flat$174$ 127

Overall the rent cost is considered the same in both countries. Usually, the rent is higher in the main cities.

Not to mention that North vs South is also a big debate in Australia too. So, Buckle up a bit!

3. Healthcare In Australia VS USA

The citizens of Australia and the permanent residents of the country can access and enjoy healthcare services at no or little cost through Medicare. 


Medicare has been serving people since 1984 and making healthcare services accessible to them.

An individual has to pay 2% of their taxable income as the fund for the Medicare system, and it covers almost all medical expenses.

Whereas, the private hospital policy costs around $2,00 every year excluding the extra costs worth $ 850 per year. 

If talking about the cost of healthcare in the USA, then an individual has to pay $7,470 and a family has to pay $ 21,342 as the health insurance cost. 

4. Condition of Public Transport

Undoubtedly, Australia is way ahead when it comes to public transport. The vehicle condition is better. Even the roads are better as compared to the USA.


As per the research by the National Library Of Medicine, in the land down under only 5.3 road incidents are reported per 100,000 persons.

While in the USA, the number goes up to 12.5 per 100,000. 

Though the tickets and gasoline may feel expensive, the ensured safety is worth paying the high price. Have a quick look at the comparison table given below for better understanding:

One-way ticket of a local transport$ 4.40$ 2.20
Monthly transport pass$ 150.00$ 60.00
Taxi at a normal tariff rate$ 4.20$ 3.25
Taxi for a distance of 1 mile$ 3.46$ 2.60
Taxi for 1 hour waiting$ 51.00$ 30.00
1 gallon of gasoline$6.43$ 3.71

5. Food Prices In Australia vs USA

If you compare prices in the USD, then definitely the food is cheaper in Australia as compared to the USA. 


Usually, a person needs around $200 (AUD) to buy enough food for a month. While in the US, you can buy the same amount of groceries for $170 USD. So, basically, it all depends on you.

Milk (1 gallon)$ 6.33$ 4.61
A loaf of Bread$ 2.58$ 3.53
Rice (white)$ 1.24$ 2.53
Eggs (Regular)$ 4.78$ 3.25
Potatoes (1lb)$ 1.50$ 1.17
Tomatoes (1lb)$ 2.38$ 1.94
Apples (1 lb)$ 2.06$ 2.06
Chicken Filets (1 lb)$ 4.93$ 4.22
Cheese (1 lb)$ 5.04$ 5.03
Beef (1 lb)$ 8.36$ 5.03
Boneless chicken breast (1 lb)$ 6.00$ 4.50
Water (1.5 lt bottle)$ 2.30$ 1.80
Bottle of Wine$ 15.00$ 12.00
A meal in an inexpensive restaurant$ 20.00$ 15.00
Meal at a mid-range restaurant (2 people)$ 95.00$ 60.00
Regular Cappuccino$ 4.52$ 4.35

6. Cost Of Entertainment In Australia VS USA

Before you read ahead, let me clarify that “by entertainment” I mean watching movies in the cinema, gym, and sauna.


Don’t be surprised to see the huge difference between the gym cost in the US and Australia.

Entertainment TypeAUSTRALIA (AUD)USA (USD)
Fitness Club for 1 month (1 Person)$ 66.53$ 37.12
Rent of Tennis Court (1 Hour)$ 20.25$ 15.65
Movie Tickets (2 people)$ 37$ 26
Theater Tickets (2 people)$ 251$ 179
3 Course dinner at an expensive restaurant (2 people)$ 93$ 78
A Cocktail in a Downtown Club$ 18$ 12
Gym membership for 1 month (1 person)$ 71$ 50

Keep in mind that in big cities, you are expected to pay around 20% more.

It is also worth mentioning that the tipping culture in the land down under is also very high. So, the tip is expected, and be generous. 

7. Education In Australia VS USA

For permanent residents and citizens of Australia, the cost of public schools is free. But as an expatriate parent then you have to spend a couple of hundred dollars on your child’s public school fees. 


If you plan to send your child to private institutions and universities for further higher studies in Australia, then have a quick look at the comparison table given below for a better understanding: 

Private Institution Fees$ 10,000$ 6,840
Fees for an Undergraduate Degree$ 20,000 – 48,000$ 15,000 – 33,000
Fees for a Postgraduate Degree$ 28,000 – 53,000$ 20,000 – 57,000

Done with all the facts and numbers? Now, let’s find out which is the best city to live in Australia.

You might want to consider a few things first. As most of the Aussies live around the coast and the middle land is one big giant desert.

Best Cities In Australia 

Melbourne and Sydney are the most expensive countries in Australia and on the worldwide ranking, they stand at 71st and 42nd place respectively.


But when it comes to Melbourne vs New York, Melbourne is still affordable. 

Have a quick look at the top 6 cities to live with your family. We also got you covered with living expenses. So, you don’t have to worry even a bit.

Sydney, New South Wales$ 1,450$ 5,250
Melbourne, Victoria$ 1,300$ 4,650
Brisbane, Queensland$ 1,350$ 4,800
Perth, Western Australia$ 1,300$ 4,700
Hobart, Tasmania$ 1,250$ 4,400
Adelaide, South Australia$ 1,160$ 4,100

Pros & Cons of Living in Australia

After you have learned about the cost of living in the US vs Australia, we would also like to share some points of advantages and disadvantages of living in Australia that you should consider before actually moving into the country.  


Pros of moving to Australia

  • High standards of living
  • High-quality healthcare
  • People here are friendly and have a welcoming nature
  • The average annual salary is high
  • Can enjoy watching unique and exotic wildlife
  • Great climate with best sporting activities
  • Best education system
  • Getting citizenship is not complicated process

Cons of living in Australia

  • High prices of houses
  • High cost of living
  • This country is remote from the rest of the world so you may feel isolation anxiety & homesickness. 
  • Obtaining a work visa is an arduous task
  • Academic fees are quite high
  • The cost of health insurance is high
  • Lack of activities in small Aussie towns

How is life in Australia – Time To Find More About OZ Land!

Australians live a high quality of life. Cities of Australia like Melbourne & Sydney rank in the top ten globally in terms of liveability.


The people here are friendly, and helpful, and have varied cultures. 

Most people here are visitors & foreigners, and they enjoy recreational activities, blissful beaches, delicious foods, city life, etc.

This is indeed an expensive country where you need a good salary to survive and enjoy yourself. 

Highest Paying Jobs In Australia

Every profession has the same level of respect here. But some jobs in Australia for foreigners do come with high salary packages and perks as compared to others.

Have a quick look at the table given below to know more:

Anesthetic$ 386,065
Medicine Specialist$ 304,752
Financial Dealer$ 275,984
Psychiatrist$ 235,558
Legal professionals$ 188,798
Mining Engineer$ 184,507
CEO$ 164,849
Quantitative Analyst$ 153,539
Software Engineer$ 138,933

Lately, there is a huge demand for software engineers in Australia. Apart from it, farmers do earn well.

The one thing that I really love about Australia is that even at the lowest per-hour salary ($21.38 AUD), you don’t have to work over 38 hours to live comfortably here. 

Do Australians Like Americans?

The Australian and US relationship is quite good. Citizens from both countries have a “visa on arrival” status.


In general, life in both countries is pretty much the same. Both shared the same language and followed the same principles of democracy. 

In Australia, everyone is welcome. The one thing that the land down under doesn’t have is racism.

Everyone is treated equally regardless of their color, gender identity, and orientation. So, yes for Americans, Australia is just like home away from home.

How do you get citizenship in Australia?

For gaining citizenship in Australia, you have to fulfill certain norms, such as:-

  1. You should be above 16 years of age.
  2. Must be a permanent resident in Australia for four years.
  3. You should have lived in Australia for four years, including living for 12 months as a permanent resident. 
  4. You should have a good character and should be aware of the duties & responsibilities of a citizen. 


Life in Australia is simply good and serene. There is not much difference in both countries.

On average, you just need around 5% more to live at the same American standard here, but the high wages and living standards mitigate this fact too.

The cherry on top is that getting an Australian visa for American citizens is also not hard. There is not so much cultural difference.

The standard of living is pretty much the same. So, be assured that it’s going to be your home away from home, but at an affordable cost.