Cost Of Living In Australia Vs US

The United States and Australia are two countries on the list of attractive destinations for international migrants. There are several reasons to consider moving to the US or Australia, including an excellent education system, enhanced quality of life, and better job opportunities.

But if money is the most significant factor influencing your decision, consider comparing the cost of living between the two countries. Based on our analysis, the cost of living in Australia is 5% lower than in the United States.

However, a difference of 5% means not everyone will find living in Australia more affordable than living in the United States.

Cost Of Living Comparison: Australia vs USA

With its beautiful beaches, unique natural landscapes, and warm climate, Australia is one of the best countries to live in and explore. Besides its natural landscapes, you will also enjoy the modern lifestyle with excellent healthcare, education, and work prospects.

But the United States doesn’t lag far behind.

The United States provides the best economic opportunities in the world. With an equally stunning landscape, the US also has a welcoming climate and boasts a culturally diverse population. Although, the healthcare system might not be as appealing.

Whether you choose the United States or Australia, enjoying the gifts these countries offer comes at a cost. Let’s see some of the basic costs of living in the US and Australia.

Australia vs US: Housing

Housing in Australia is cheaper than in the United States. The rental costs in the US are 16.7% higher than those in Australia. Here are the various housing arrangements to consider based on affordability and your requirements.

Rent Prices

Rent Per MonthAustralia (USD)US (USD)
A 1-bedroom apartment in the city center$1,518.88$1,706.40
A 1-bedroom apartment away from the city center$1,179.73$1,375.74
A 3-bedroom apartment in the city center$2,531.49$2,844.96
A 3-bedroom apartment away from the city center$1,772.43$2,245.20

Apartment Purchase Prices

If you’re looking to purchase an apartment in the US or Australia, this data might prove more relevant to you.

Apartment PricesAustraliaUS
Price per sq. ft. for an apartment in the city center$675.34$417.46
Price per sq. ft. for an apartment away from the city center$487.89$281.70

Unlike rent, purchasing an apartment is more expensive in Australia.

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

Australia vs US: Salaries

In the United States, you can expect to earn an average monthly net salary of up to $4,189.66 after taxes. This is 15.1% more than the average monthly net salary after taxes in Australia, which amounts to $3,638.71.

The average salary you earn per month may vary depending on the job or industry you’re working in. Here is a comparison of the average wages for popular jobs between the two countries.

Average Annual Salary

OccupationsAustralia (USD)US (USD)
Operations Manager$59,772.11$69,819
Software Engineer$56,139.56$90,774
Graphic Designer$39,398.62$48,966
High School Teacher$5,1637.00$53,023

The USA does provide a better economic opportunity to salaried individuals looking for better pay. However, you might also want to consider income and sales tax rates to understand how much you’ll take home monthly.

Australia vs US: Food

One of the major expenses to consider, food is divided into two categories, grocery expenses and dining out costs.


Grocery shopping in Australia and the US will cost you pretty much the same if you have a varied grocery basket. However, if your basket consists of more chicken, cheese, and cigarettes, you might end up paying more in the US.

GroceriesAustralia (USD)US (USD)
Milk (1 gallon)$5.53$3.86
Eggs (12 regular)$3.80$4.01
Local cheese (1 lb.)$4.05$5.29
Chicken Filets (1 lb.)$3.80$5.39
Beef (1 lb.)$6.70$6.80
Bread (1 loaf)$2.02$2.95
Apples (1 lb.)$1.48$2.18
Bananas (1 lb.)$1.18$0.73
Tomatoes (1 lb.)$2.24$2.05
Potatoes (1 lb.)$1.12$1.24
Water (1.5 litre bottle)$1.72$1.92
Bottle of wine$12.44$13.00
Cigarettes 20 pack (Marlboro)$27.6448.99

Dining Out

Dining out, at any kind of food service establishment, is slightly more expensive in Australia than in the United States. Here are the prices for dining out at various establishments and popular menu items served.

Costs at restaurants, fast food chainsAustralia (USD)US (USD)
Cappuccino (regular)$3.46$4.65
Fast food combo meal$9.67$9.66
A basic meal in an inexpensive restaurant$17.28$17.11
A basic meal for two at a mid-range restaurant$76.01$70.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz bottle)$2.61$2.29
Domestic beer (1 pint draught)$6.22$5.00
Imported beer (12 oz bottle)$6.91$6.50

Getting a fast food meal combo or dining out at a restaurant will cost you pretty much the same in the US and Australia. However, regular beer drinkers might prefer moving to the US over Australia. In comparison, cappuccino addicts might find the US more to their liking.

Australia vs US: Taxes

Income tax in the US is levied at the federal and state level. The state-levied tax rates can vary widely, with some states not levying any tax on personal income. However, the federal income tax charged is between 10% and 37%.

In Australia, income tax rates are progressive and between 0 and 45%.

Sales tax in the US varies from state to state and is between 2.9% – 7.25%. In the US, local jurisdictions also have permits to collect sales tax. Alternately, Australia levies a standard Goods and Service Tax (GST) of 10%.

The effective real estate taxes in the US vary by state and home value. In 2022, the property tax rate across the country is between 0.29% – 2.46%.

On the other hand, property taxes in Australia are levied at the state and council levels. This puts their property tax rate between 0.3% – 1.1%.

For more clarity, here are the details on major tax rates in the US and Australia.

Income Tax0% to 45%10-37% federal income tax + flat or progressive state tax
Sales Tax10%2.9% to 7.25%
Real Estate Tax0.3% to 1.1%0.20% to 2.46%

Australia vs US: Utilities

Utility prices include expenses for electricity, water, internet, gas, and other services.

Utility expenses can vary significantly between individual households because of different utility requirements. The requirements of every household may also vary based on their appliance type and energy consumption.

Depending on the geography and climate, certain households may require more heating/cooling, water, or lighting, and others, less.

Here are the different values to consider while calculating your utility expenses.

Utilities Per MonthAustralia (USD)US (USD)
Utilities for a 480 sq. ft. apartment$120.49$127
Internet – 60 Mbps and above, unlimited data, cable/ADSL$58.09$69.37
Prepaid mobile tariff local per minute – no plans or discounts$0.46$0.16
Streaming Services$48.25

Australia vs US: Childcare

If you’re moving with children, don’t forget to calculate childcare and other associated costs in your cost of living expenses.

Childcare Service TypeAustralia (USD)US (USD)
Preschool, full-day, or private childcare per child per month$1,557.81$1,167.01
International Primary School per child per year$13,305.05$16,583.04

As it turns out, childcare can be expensive or cheap in either country based on the age of your child.

Australia vs US: Crime Rates

The United States ranks 56th in the global crime rate with a crime index of 47.81, whereas Australia ranks 75th with a crime index of 43.03.

While Australia is considered one of the safest countries in the world, the US falls far behind. The safety parameter can make a lot of difference to one’s standard of living and economic prospects. This is especially important to factor in if you’re moving to a new country with your family.

Here are some crime rate comparisons between the countries.

Crime RatesAustraliaUS
Homicide Rate1.31 per 100k5.4 per 100k
Gun Death Rate0.18 per 100k4.12 per 100k
Stabbing Death Rate0.48 per 100k0.6 per 100k


Whether you choose to move to Australia or the United States, both countries have a lot to offer. Use our guide to calculate your cost of living expenses in both countries for your unique living requirements and determine which will work out for you.


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