For decades, the United States has been the land of milk and honey. The place of endless options and infinite possibilities. It is the Promised Land for anybody from a third world country trying to get out and have a better quality of life. It is the center of every dreams and goals and aspirations. It has been that way until the previous one hundred years or so.
Then the world discovered a thriving island continent smacked between South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Like the United States, this country was also a former British colony, and unlike the United States, it merges and maintains its native identity and the influence of its former masters. Currently, Australia is one of the wealthiest counties around and provides an excellent alternative to those who are looking for a different life abroad.
And speaking of life abroad, the current events in the United States, i.e. the recent Presidential Elections which brought forth business magnate Donald Trump as the victor, caused a few to reconsider moving to a different country, Australia being one of them. These folks somehow sees the results as unfavorable to them and their future and think the life abroad is far better.
So, is moving out to Australia worth it? We have compiled the numbers for you so you may have a more sound and informed decision.
If you have a professional position, you are more likely to be paid higher here than in Australia, and with a large margin. However, do not expect the same edge if you are working in a minimum wage job. But in the general, you are more likely to make more money in the US, albeit on a small margin, with a median income US$30,616 compared to Australia’s US$29.875.
Also, as far as top notched company and dynamic job opportunities especially in the IT industry are concerned, the United Sates has Google, Facebook, and the rest of the Silicon Valley to provide excellent working environments.
If you are an independent, career-driven, corporate-ladder scaling lady, Australia is your country. The gender gap in the salary scale here (yes, it’s still a thing everywhere) is smaller, with the Australian women earning 83% of the blokes’ salary
Not to mention, you are less likely to live in poverty in Australia. The UN Human Poverty Index indicates that 12.2% of Australians live on less than half of the median income, as compared to the 17% in the United States.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the Obamacare, is the driving force behind the US’ efficient health care. Enacted by (soon to be former) President Barack Obama (hence the moniker) in March 2010, it aims to improve health insurance quality and affordability, decrease the uninsured rate by broadening insurance coverage and lower the costs of healthcare.
It also introduced further mechanisms including mandates, subsidies and insurance exchanges. The law requires that insurers accept all applicants, cover a specific list of conditions and charge the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex.
However, with Trump taking over the Oval Office, the future of Obamacare seems to be dismal, as the Republican champion plans to repeal the act.
The Australian health care is divided into two systems: the Private and the Public systems.
The Private system gives access to a private treatment in either a public or private hospital or specialist services. But there’s a catch. To permit them to private facilities, they need first to purchase a private health insurance, which levies a 1% tax on them. This takes off the burden and frees more room for the lower and middle class citizens to take advantage of the public system.
The Public system, on the other hand, is being taken care by Medicare. Australian citizens and permanent residents are entitled for this coverage funded both by government and tax levy. This allows them to have access to general practitioners and hospital services, for very low, if not free, costs. (For more information regarding Australia’s heath care system, check our blog here). Of the healthcare’s total expenditure, 70% of these is from the government.
Overall, Australia’s health care system is freely accessible to people no matter the income or type of insurance. And since most of the health care is disbursed for by the governing bodies (with people having health insurance on top of that) it helps to lower the overall taxation per calendar year.
The USA is one of the global leaders in medical research, modern treatment methods, and facilities. And they are continually creating discussions in pursuit of bettering this, as well as finding cures to the world’s deadliest diseases. No to mention, the culture of fitness, working out, and active lifestyle is constantly spreading across the country in various forms and methods. Gyms and fitness are also a common sight in both cities and suburban areas alike.
However, the United States still has an uphill battle when it comes to the overall heath and quality of life of its citizens. The country ranks first in the global scale when it comes to obesity, with more than one third of the population considered to be obese. This condition is known to cause fatal illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Life expectancy is at 76 years old for male and 81 years old for female. Infant mortality here is 6.6 deaths for every 1,000 live births, while you have 13% probability of not reaching the age of 60. Also, there will 2.3 physicians and 3.3 hospital beds available for 1,000 people.
There are 1.2 million people living with HIV or AIDS (60 times more than of Australia). The number of teenage pregnancy is at 494,000 (ranking first in the world). And deaths due to vehicular accident is at 15.5 per 100,000 people.
Australia also got its hands on ground breaking health research projects that not only will benefit the country but also the world. These include research for healthier and safer giving births in rural areas, a humanitarian doctoral research program, and food innovations for reduction of malnutrition.
When it comes to the overall health, the Aussies are doing better. Only one in five Australians are obese. Life expectancy in men is 80 years old while for women is 84. Infant mortality is at 4.61 deaths per 1,000 live births, and you have 9% chance of not reaching the age of 60. The county has 2.5 physicians and 7.4 beds per 1,000 people.
HIV and AIDS cases is at 20,000. Teenage pregnancy is less than 12,000 births. And deaths due to vehicular accident is at 10 per 100,000 people.
Public housing here is managed by federal, state and local agencies to give subsidized assistance for low-income households. To allow people to reside in more convenient locations instead of moving away from the cities to find lower rents, public housing is priced way below the market rate. From the of one or more concentrated blocks of low-rise and/or high-rise apartment buildings, housing here has now moved to a variety of settings and formats. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development operate and fund these complexes through the state and local housing authorities.
Much like in the US, public housing in Australia is provided by departments of state governments, though they operate on the groundwork of the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement, in which both federal and state governments provide the funding for public housing. And like in the US, it is very affordable, which encourages families to buy landed houses instead of renting.
Mass transit here is quite diverse. It include buses, trolleybuses (like in San Francisco), trams (all across the country), and ferries (in coastal areas). Trains include rapid transit (i.e. metros, subways, undergrounds, etc.), light rail, and commuter rail.
A one way ticket costs around $2.25 while a monthly pass is at around $73. A kilometer taxi ride is at $1.62, while a litter of gasoline is at $0.59. All of these are well below the Australian pricings.
Australia relies heavily on trains. The country has electric commuter rail networks, trams, light rails, and rapid transits. Taxis are also available. But fares are much higher.
A one way ticket costs around $2.97, while a monthly pass is at around $98.89. A kilometer taxi ride is at $1.52, while a litter of gasoline is at $.95. All of these are above the American pricings. Getting your car here is a win though, as car prices are lower by 13% to 14% compared to United Sates.
Despite the constant push by health expert for home cooked meals, Americans are still finding dining outside the easiest way to nourish themselves. Which is still a win, though. Since dining out here is still more economical than in Australia.
At $50.00, you can already have a three-course fancy meal for two in a mid-range restaurant. You can dial it down by dining at an inexpensive restaurant for only $12.00. While for $7.00 can buy you a meal at McDonalds.
If your thing is cooking at home, a grocery with all the basic necessities like milk, bread, eggs, potatoes, chicken breasts, beef, onion, lettuce, bananas, wine, beer, and a pack of cigarettes, among others, will set you back $140.00.
Despite the very low unemployment rate and impressive quality of life, Australia has a very high cost of living. And that includes dining out where it has become part of their culture (the country has restaurants lining its streets, especially in Melbourne area).
A three-course fancy meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can set you back by $60.00, while dining at an inexpensive restaurant costs $14.00. A McDonalds isn’t any cheaper, either, as it costs $8.00. The same list of grocery item above clocks in at $123.08.
Taxes here are levied at federal, state, and local government level. The income tax system is progressive. Meaning the more money a person makes, the tax rate go higher. Federal income tax comes in when the person earns a certain amount. As for the corporate tax, it currently sits at 35% (higher than in Australia) and Value Added Tax is from 0% to 11.75% for the state and local taxation.
The country’s federal structure complicates the tax system here. Taxes are levied by the federal government, state government and local government. Income tax is levied only by the federal government. Personal tax allowance is AU$18,200 after which tax rates range from 19% to 45%. Capital gains are treated as part of income for taxation purposes.
As for the corporate tax, it currently sits at 28.5%–30% and Value Added Tax is at 10%, but 0% on essential items.