19 Reasons Expats Love Australia Despite the Cost of Living

Australia By Elizabeth Rozas Jan 25, 2023

Despite the rising cost of living in Australia, there is always a steady stream of expats setting down roots all over the country. From the culturally rich capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne to the rugged, wide-open spaces of the many national parks, Australia has much to offer to those seeking a different way of life. This article gives 19 reasons why immigration remains high and explores the reasons for moving to Australia.


1. Friendly locals

Australians have a reputation for being approachable and very sociable. They love to spend time with family and friends and are generally welcoming towards immigrants.

2. Laid-back culture

Australian culture is not uniform across the whole country and is a diverse mix of many blended cultures. However, the generally recognised core concepts of Australian culture include:

  • Mateship
  • Egalitarianism
  • Authenticity
  • Optimism
  • Humility
  • Informality
  • Easy-going
  • Common sense
  • Humour


3. Family-friendly

Australia is a great place to bring up children and society is generally family-friendly with good healthcare, childcare, and education. In addition, it offers a healthy outdoor lifestyle as well as a generally safe and economically stable environment.

4. Active expat communities

In 2021, just under 30% of Australia’s population was born abroad. Around 1 million immigrated from UK and over 700,000 people moved from India to Australia. [1] This large migrant population means that there are highly active expat communities all over the country.

Society and benefits

5. Excellent healthcare system

Australia has a very good public healthcare system which provides safe, high-quality medical care for all Australians and anyone in receipt of a permanent residence visa. If you are coming to Australia on a temporary residence visa or a student visa, you must have private health insurance in place.

6. Safe, clean public transport in cities

As Australia is so vast, the most common form of transport is by road. However, in and between the major cities, the public transport network of trains, trams and buses is known to be safe, clean and reliable.

7. Top universities

Australia has 8 of the top 100 universities in the world according to QS World University Rankings 2023 data, with Australian National University in Canberra the number one Australian university (30th in the world). Universities in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane also rank in the top 50 in the world.

8. Low to moderate crime

Australia generally has a lower crime rate than the US and is on a par with countries in Northern Europe. If you are moving from India to Australia for example, then you will find the crime rate generally comparable except for bribery and corruption which is reportedly much more prevalent in India than in Australia. [2]

9. Typically strong economy

The Australian economy, according to the OECD June 2022 forecast was growing steadily with Real GDP projected to increase by 4.2% in 2022 and 2.5% in 2023. Australia has returned better economic growth than many other developed nations such as UK and US following the COVID-19 pandemic. While cost of living can cause problems, particularly in times of inflation, Australia’s economy, overall, does seem to be rather resilient.


10. Short working hours

Australians tend to have a shorter working week than their US and European counterparts – on average 31 hours a week, so there’s more time to spend on leisure and with family and friends. This compares very favourably with India, for example, where the average working week is around 46-50 hours. For people considering moving from India to Australia, this is one of the biggest advantages.

11. Higher wages

In addition to shorter hours, average wages in Australia are comparatively higher than many other developed nations. To use India again for comparison purposes, the average monthly wage (as of November 2022) in Mumbai after tax is AUD 963 vs. AUD 7,109 [3]. Although the cost of living is significantly higher in Sydney than in Mumbai, because of the higher wages, purchasing power in Sydney is around 158% greater.

12. Good benefits

Workers in Australia are generally looked after very well by their employers with a range of mandatory benefits including Medicare, superannuation (retirement fund), personal leave, workers compensation insurance and flexible working options. Non mandatory benefits include life & disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, employee assistance programme, childcare places and subsidies, bonus, stock options to name a few.


Family and leisure

13. Fun outdoor lifestyle

Australia is well-known for its outdoor lifestyle which attracts many immigrants each year. With its approximately 34,000km of coastline, it boasts some of the world’s best beaches. If you enjoy the great outdoors, you can go hiking, surfing, diving, fishing, and even skiing in Australia.

14. World-renowned restaurants

Australia’s food scene is thriving. Whilst its hard to get a definitive list of the world’s best restaurants, it’s fair to say that food is a big part of life in Australia. You can find top-class restaurants in big and small cities alike, with multicultural cuisine offered in cities across the nation.

15. BBQs

Australians love their al fresco cooking and dining, so you’ll never be very far away from someone having a BBQ. Many Australians even cook their Christmas dinner on the beach.

16. Thriving arts scene

From the iconic Sydney Opera House to authentic Aboriginal experiences, there’s so much to see and do in Australia that it’s impossible to be bored.

17. Vineyards

Australia is the world’s fifth largest wine exporter and exports around 60% of its total production each year. [4] It is estimated that there are around 2,000 wineries in Australia with most situated in South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria.

18. Sporting venues and clubs

Sport is a huge part of the national culture in Australia with the national sport being Aussie Rules Football. While rugby has significant participation numbers, cricket is actually the most popular sport. In many towns and cities, you will find all sorts of sports clubs to join where you can make friends, socialise and play your favourite sports. It’s a great way to build community, especially as an expat.

19. Climate

It’s a myth that it’s always warm in Australia. In fact, in Sydney, the temperature ranges from 8-27C and in Cairns, it’s between 17-31C. The warmest places in Australia tend to be smaller towns located in the rural outback. When it comes to average rainfall, Australia gets around 70 days per year vs. 107 days in France, for example, so if you are French and you are looking for a drier climate, you might consider moving from France to Australia.[5]


Managing money in Australia

There are many attractions of moving to Australia but when you settle, you’ll need to ensure you can manage your money well given the cost of living, especially if you are in one of the capital cities. Like many expats, you may wish to send money from Australia back home. The Western Union money transfer app makes this process very straightforward. You can send money in person from one of our agent locations across Australia (including many post offices) or you can complete the money transfer right from your laptop.

If you require further help to make cross-border payments, you can check our FAQs.