Cost of Living in Australia Vs Canada

Whether you prefer the Land Down Under or the Great White North, both Australia and Canada offer a high standard of living with an excellent quality of life. The cost of living, however, varies significantly between the two exceptional countries.

Australia is comparably more expensive than Canada by approximately 17%, and as of 2023, ranks 13th in the list of countries with the highest cost of living, whereas Canada ranks 25th.

Both countries offer a multicultural environment, diverse natural attractions, as well as higher education and health care standards, but what makes a significant difference is the cost of living and the monthly expenses. Canada is ideal for families who’d like to settle down, while Australia is better suited for people who like to be out and about.

Each has its pros and cons, but Canada is the more affordable option when it comes to the cost of living. Let’s break down the various factors you should take into account when considering moving to Australia or Canada.

Australia Vs Canada: Housing

Housing in Australia is undoubtedly more expensive than in Canada, despite both having similar housing structures. A one-bedroom apartment in Australia will cost approximately $2000 in the city center, while the same in Canada will cost $1600.

However, it’s important to note that a new Canadian law has taken effect as of January 2023 where foreigners are not allowed to purchase properties in the country. Although there are exemptions in place for immigrants and permanent residents of Canada who are not yet Canadian citizens.

Here’s a cost comparison of renting and owning properties in Australia and Canada:

Housing ExpensesAustraliaCanadaVariance
Rent for a 1-BR apartment within the city~AU$2,196.34~$1,527.80~CA$1,637.38~$1,226.98-19.50%
Rent for a 1-BR apartment outside the city~AU$1,707.15~$1,187.51~CA$1,388.39~$1,040.4-12.20%
Rent for a 3-BR apartment within the city~AU$3,649.7~$2,538.77~CA$2,620.35~$1,963.57-22.50%
Rent for a 3-BR apartment outside the city~AU$2,564.51~$1,783.90~CA$2,283.68~$1,711.29-3.80%
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment within the city~AU$10,519.45~$7,317.43~CA$8,921.59~$6,685.44-8.40%
Price per Square Meter to Buy an Apartment outside the city~AU$7,581.36~$5,273.67~CA$6,633.91~$4,971.15-5.50%

Tip: Interested in buying a property in Australia or Canada? We have created a transferring money to and from Australia guide (also one dedicated to the Canadian residents) that showcases the best companies to work with if you need to send large sums of money between the two countries.

Australia Vs Canada: Employment and Salaries

Both countries have strong economies and have lucrative employment opportunities available for locals as well as foreigners. But that does not equate to instant employment.

In Australia, skilled labor is always in high demand. Farm work, fruit picking, and other seasonal work are always available, especially for people who want to try living in Australia before committing to relocating.

Meanwhile, in Canada, employment opportunities in construction, engineering, healthcare, and mining are always available, but factors like location and skills will impact employment. For instance, if you want to be involved in the tech industry, you should head to cities like Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver, where tech start-ups are based.

In terms of compensation, Australia offers a higher compensation rate than Canada primarily because employers of white-collar jobs pay significantly higher. Canada’s workforce is mainly from blue-collar industries and thus receives reasonable salaries but they are rewarded with a cheaper cost of living.

In Australia, the minimum wage offered is AU$ 21.38 per hour (~$14.88), and employees receive 20 days of mandatory paid leave plus 10 days of paid sick days.

As of 2022, Canada offers a minimum hourly wage of CA$ 15.55 (~$11.66), and employees have two weeks of paid leave every year.

Below are some jobs in Australia and Canada and the average salary you can expect.

General LaborerAU$55,575~$38,685.76CA$31,870~$23,905.69
Registered NurseAU$56,000~$38,981.60CA$72,935~$54,708.54
Web DeveloperAU$135,000~$93,973.50CA$71,760~$53,827.18

Australia Vs Canada: Basic Groceries and Dining Out

The prices of essential commodities in Canada are higher than in Australia. Expect to pay at least 17.1% more in Canada for groceries and food.

1 liter milkAU$2.12~$1.48CA$2.69~$2.02
1 kilo riceAU$3.06~$2.13CA$4.22~$3.17
One dozen eggsAU$5.49~$3.83CA$4.10~$3.08
1 kg local cheeseAU$12.92~$9.01CA$14.44~$10.83
1 kg bananaAU$3.78~$2.64CA$1.85~$1.39
1 kg chicken filletAU$12.12~$8.45CA$14.49~$10.87
1 kg orangesAU$4.28~$2.98CA$4.60~$3.45
1 kg applesAU$4.74~$3.30CA$4.81~$3.61

Of course, once in a while, eating out to treat yourself and your family is nice. There are many dining options in Australia and Canada, but dining out in Australia costs you more.

And on average, here’s how much you need to include in your budget when dining out:

Dining OutAustraliaCanada
A meal in an inexpensive restaurantAU$25~$17.42CA$20~$15
A meal in a mid-range restaurant (cost for two)AU$110~$76.65CA$86.86~$65.15
A meal at McDonald’sAU$14~$9.75CA$12.00~$9

Australia Vs Canada: Taxes

You pay less tax in Australia than in Canada. The practical tax rate of Australia is 23.6% compared to Canada’s 28%. Though in Australia, the higher your income, the higher your tax.

The sales tax in Canada is categorized into two types, while Australia implements a 10% tax on what they refer to as Goods and Services Tax or GST.

Australia Vs Canada: Monthly Utilities

Essential monthly utilities cost more in Australia, whereas mobile and internet connection costs are cheaper in Canada. Transportation is 3.5% more expensive in Canada compared to Australia.

Monthly UtilitiesAustraliaCanada
Basic monthly utilities inclusive of electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for an 85m2 apartmentAU$289.79~$201.81CA$187.92~$140.89
1 minute of prepaid mobile tariff without a planAU$0.67~$0.47CA$0.36~$0.27
Internet connectionAU$84.03~$58.52CA$83.70~$62.75
A monthly pass for transportationAU$162~$112.82CA$100~$74.97
1 liter of gasolineAU$2.01~$1.40CA$1.82~$1.36

Australia Vs Canada: Health Care

Both Australia and Canada have robust healthcare systems. Medicare is available to everyone in Australia, although many Australians still opt to use their private insurance when it comes to dental care and health conditions requiring a specialist.

The Australian government funds approximately 70% of the country’s health care system through the Medicare levy, income tax, and other private financings by its residents. Medical levy is a program where taxpayers pay 2% of their taxable income. This amount is reduced if an individual’s monthly income is below a certain threshold.

Canada provides free primary healthcare as per the Canada Health Act and Medicare. The health ministry offers a wide range of health-related services, but it doesn’t cover the expenses for all procedures, especially if deemed not medically necessary, such as cosmetic surgery.

Both countries offer exceptional healthcare services that are readily available and conveniently accessible for all residents.

Australia Vs Canada: Childcare

A major perk of living in Canada is its low cost of childcare, approximately 19.1% lower than that in Australia.

In Australia, residents are eligible to use childcare services irrespective of ability, citizenship, ethnicity, and family circumstances. The same is practiced in Canada, and both countries have child care primarily shouldered by the parents.

Childcare CostAustraliaCanada
Private preschool for one child for one monthAU$2,104.08~$1,443.46CA$1,048.15~$809.11
Middle school for one child, for two semesters or one academic yearAU$110~$76.65CA$86.86~$65.15

Australia Vs Canada: Crime Rate

Australia and Canada are both highly developed countries, but this doesn’t mean they are spared from crimes. The good news, however, is that the crime rate in both these countries is significantly lower compared to the rest of the world.

In theory, the more progressive and stable a country’s economy is, the fewer crimes are committed. This is because fewer people are below the poverty line and are less inclined to commit desperate acts of crime to survive.

Homicide RateGlobal RankingGun Death RateGlobal RankingStabbing Death RateGlobal Ranking
Australia1.31 per 100k#1490.18 per 100k#1560.48 per 100k#125
Canada1.51 per 100k#1420.5 per 100k#1190.49 per 100k#122

According to the 2023 World Population Review, Australia ranks #75 with a crime index of 43.03 and a population of 26,439,111, while Canada ranks #82 with a crime index of 41.89 and a population of 38,781,291.


Australia and Canada are both exceptional countries that have a lot of services and safeguards in place for their citizens. Despite the apparent similarities, Canada is considerably cheaper to live in, whereas Australia is more expensive but with higher salaries as well. If you’re considering migrating to either of these countries, make sure you consider the cost of living as that can significantly impact your overall quality of life.


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