It might be known as the ‘Lucky Country’, but Australia also tops the chart as the world’s most expensive country. Deutsche Bank’s annual world consumer price index for 2015 shows that Australia is the most expensive country to live in, coming in at more than 12 per cent more expensive than the USA.
Six Australian cities feature in Mercer’s annual cost of living index, which ranks 207 cities worldwide in order of most expensive by measuring the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location including transport, food, clothing and the cost of housing. In 2015, Sydney ranked 31st, Melbourne 47th, Perth 48th, Canberra 65th, Brisbane 66th and Adelaide 71st.
House prices in Australia have increased strongly over the past two decades, including by comparison internationally, leading to a higher cost of living. Prices are at historic highs with Australia’s median house price rising to almost $660,000 (£311,110).
But Australians are feeling the pressure from more than just property prices. When it comes to basic goods and services the cost of living in Australia is more expensive than most other places. For example, two litres of soft drink in Sydney will cost 51% more―and just 18% more in Melbourne―than in New York. Australians pay more than Americans whether it’s buying Adidas runners or a pair of Levi’s jeans, but less than most Europeans for the same items. Public transport fares in Sydney are higher than any other city in the world.
Australia’s cost of living may be higher, but the good news is so are wages – the average monthly wage is around $4200 (£1979) after tax.