UPDATE: This article was updated on May 12, 2017.
Germany and Australia are both included in the list of countries where people prefer to live and work. We compared the two based on the categories that you would need to consider when moving to another country. Find out which country suits your desired lifestyle.
Germany’s economy runs on a social market system, meaning it relies on free trade and capitalism as balanced by social policies to regulate the competition. Its economic sectors include services, construction, industry, agriculture, forestry, and mining. The economy is characterized by highly qualified labour force and a developed infrastructure. It is currently enjoying a very low unemployment rate of 3.9%.
Working culture here is quite rigid, and may or may not include the after-work or Friday drinking/socializing that is the norm in Australia, UK, or US. On the upside, a good work-life balance is experienced by employees in Germany, as a result of their average working time at 35 hours per week.
Much like Germany, Australia’s economy is primarily driven by its service sector, comprising 65% of its GDP. Other sectors (and biggest employers) include mining, manufacturing, agriculture, finance, tourism, media, education, and logistics. Unemployment here is higher by a small margin at 5.9%, but still very low in overall scale.
Compared to Germany, the working culture here is quite the opposite. Socializing while on work is okay and doing it after office hours is encouraged. At a maximum of 38 working hours per week, it is higher than the 35-hour average weekly working hours in Germany.
Germans generally can’t be bothered to buy a house. Despite the well-oiled economic machinery, it still sports the lowest home-ownership population in the developed world at 51.90% as of 2016. The renting sector is highly regulated and monitored by the government which resulted to policies and prices very much favourable to the renters.
Owning a house has always been the Australian dream, but it is yet to be the norm. Approximately, 31% of residents here live in fully-owned properties, 28.7% rent their home, while 33.3% of homes are mortgaged. The contributing factors to this situation include the soaring house prices, as well as consideration of proximity to work (Australia is a huge country).
Germany has a very efficient transport system which is logical for a country whose economy relies on equally efficient workers getting to and from their work during the week. The public transport not only services big cities, but reaches the small towns as well. Scheduling, ticket fees, and discount details can be found in official websites, thus increasing access by the commuters.
Modes of transportation mainly include the U-Bahn (subway/underground), S-Bahn (suburban commuter rail), Straßenbahn (streetcar), Trambahn (tram), Stadtbahn (light rail), buses, and taxis.
A one-way train ticket here costs AU$4.14, while a monthly pass is at around AU$108.53. Starting taxi tariff is AU$5.43 with also AU$2.95 for the first one kilometre. A Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) will set you back AU$29,623. Gasoline is at AU$2.11 for every litter.
Like Germany, Australia also has a good public transport system. However, driving is the most used mode of transport in the country, and this number continues to rise. It is followed by train, walking (the country has a very good culture of walking), and then bus. All Australian cities have reliable, affordable public bus networks and train lines, while taxis also operate nationwide. These train lines include commuter rail networks, trams, light rails, and rapid transits.
Fares are less expensive here compared to Germany. A one-way ticket sets you back by AU$3.93, while going for a monthly pass will increase it by AU$130.00. A kilometre ride of taxi is AU$.2.17. If you want your own car, a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (or any equivalent new car) will cost you AU$25,040 and AU$1.31 for every litre of gasoline.
Dining etiquettes and practices here is different compared to what the rest of the world is doing.
Upon entering a restaurant, you don’t wait to be seated, you find a table and be seated (unless a sign tells you to wait). Sitting with strangers is quite a norm especially in pubs and bars where long tables can usually be found. Just politely ignore the other person and go on with your meal or drink.
Most restaurants don’t serve water immediately and free bread rolls and butter are very rare. Most restaurants do not accept credit card payments, so be on the lookout for any Visa or MasterCard logos before entering if you won’t be paying in cash.
Like Germany, Australia has its share of dining practices.
For instance, business discussions over a non-business dinner is not encouraged. Heading straight to business talk on a lunch/dinner meeting is also frowned upon.
When going for an exclusive restaurant, you are expected to make reservations first and confirm. In an informal joint, you might be expected to share a table. Be open to conversations when invited. Australians are not known to decline a friendly chat.
Dinning etiquette here dictates that the one who does the inviting settles the bill, although the guest is expected to make an effort to pay.
German health care is a two-pronged, multi-payer health care system consisting of Statutory Health Insurance and Private Health Insurance. It is compulsory for the whole population in Germany.
Employees earning below a specific income are automatically enlisted at the Statutory Health Insurance at common rates for all members, and is settled through a joint employer-employee contribution.
Medicare, the Australian government’s universal public health insurance scheme, provides residents with free treatment as a public patient in a public hospital and free or subsidized treatment for optometrist, dental care, and psychology services, as well as treatment by doctors.
The extent to which the health care system is used is adjustable among Australian citizens, overseas visitors, and temporary and permanent visa holders. Their needs, entitlements, and expectations are influenced by many components such as the nature and degree of their health status, age, gender, location, and cultural background.
Check here to know more about the Australian public health care system.
Weather and Climate
Germany’s size make its climate vary across different areas, but it is temperate overall. Winter months can be freezing in the west and well below freezing in the east of the country.
The weather conditions can differ throughout the day, though may not as erratic as Australia, so be sure to bring along sweater and a jacket to shield against the cold and rain.
Given this, extreme temperatures are a rare occurrence.
Central and Southern Hills temperature is quite constant with continental influences, while Baltic Coast and North German Plain has little variability due to the influence of the sea. While Bavarian Alp’s winters can be cold with frequent snowfalls.
Due to its enormous size, Australia goes through differing climates in various areas. This is reflected in the severely hot climate of the Kimberley region in the north-west of the continent and the below zero temperature of the Snowy Mountains in the south. Due to expansive land area, there is not one one seasonal calendar that covers the whole continent.
Depending upon where you are in the continent at a certain month, the seasons may vary.
To find out more about the climate and weather patterns in each of the states in the country, check our blog here.
Benefits of Citizenship
Advantages of German Citizenship include:
- Entitlement to travel across the EU, Switzerland, UK without having to apply for a visa
- Access to health, pension and unemployment benefits
- The right to vote
- Ability to run for public office
- Eligibility for financial support to study in a public institute
- Automatic entitlement to a work permit
- Eligibility of spouse to apply for citizenship after three years of living in the country
- Children will be entitled to German citizenship
- Gain consular protection while abroad
Advantages of Australian Citizenship include:
- Ability to work for the federal government
- Children will be Australian citizens
- The right to vote
- Ability to run for public office
- Avoidance of deportation
- Entitlement to a Australian passport
- Access to consular help
- Eligibility for the deferral of education fees
- Full residence rights in New Zealand
- Ability to adopt
- Possibility to represent Australia in international sporting events
For a more detailed information about these benefits, check our blog here.
Germany and Australia are both economic titans capable of supporting its people, immigrants and citizens alike, through their high employment rates, massive job opportunities, health benefits, affordable housing options, and efficient public transport. It all boils down to a matter of preference of which lifestyle you are wanting to adapt.
If you don’t mind the language barrier, can survive the rigorous office culture and appreciate short working hours, then Germany is for you. The temperate climate and the consistency of the weather in most areas is also a tremendous help.
Australia, on the other hand, is perfect for you if if you are extremely sociable, used to tropical climates, love walking, appreciate occasional chats at the office and drinking out after work. Although, you would have to endure the varying weather conditions.