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Canberra cheapest of Australian cities, crowdsourcing site says

The view from Mt Ainslie lookout over Canberra.

The view from Mt Ainslie lookout over Canberra. Photo: Karleen Minney

Canberra has been named as the 26th most expensive city in the world, but one of the cheapest major cities in Australia to live in, by a website that crowdsources living expenses from around the globe.

Sydney was the most expensive of the Australian cities and the 11th-priciest city in the world and 25 per cent cheaper than first-placed London, based on groceries, electronics, rent and other everyday items, according to expatistan.com.

Canberra came in as 15 per cent cheaper to live in than Sydney, and ranked as the sixth most-expensive Australian city in the list, behind Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. There were no other Australian cities included.

Living in Canberra was also 35 per cent cheaper than London, the most expensive city on the list.

The website sources information from almost 200,000 users to calculate the average price of drinks, food and accommodation, claiming to cover 1600 cities around the world. While the data is, by definition, movable and the website FAQs leave it to users to fix figures that are wrong - it relies on daily input from its users - the founder of the site, Gerardo Robledillo, claims a degree of fidelity.

''The index is updated every time that a user enters a new price for any city,'' he said. ''As a reference, we get between 500 and 1000 new prices every day.''

Included in the index for Canberra were food items, like the “daily menu in the business district” ($17) and a bottle of good quality red table wine ($17), housing costs like monthly rent for “85m2 furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area” ($2410) and hourly rate for cleaning help ($28), and entertainment costs like a cocktail in a “downtown club” ($15), and a pub dinner for two ($54).

Entertainment was generally seen as more expensive in Canberra than in Sydney and Melbourne, while Canberra fared well against all the other Australian cities in food and transport costs.

with Charmaine Wong

17 comments so far

  • Having just been out in Sydney for NYE.. I can safely say that Sydney is a lot cheaper for food, drinks and alcohol than Canberra and my workmates from Melbourne are always complaining that food in Canberra is expensive and that you can get quality dumplings for 2 dollars in Melbourne. So I have to disagree with this "crowdsourcing" site unfortunately.

    Commenter
    Andy
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    January 06, 2014, 10:45AM
    • I'm with you. I just got back from a family holiday in Melbourne. Drinks, food and public transport all way cheaper. My extended family are in Sydney and they complain about Canberra prices when they go out. This obviously doesn't look at other expenses a family might have either. I'm currently paying $18 each per swimming lesson for my kids, group lessons too. My sister in Sydney was telling me she gets hers for 12 each per lesson. Big difference that adds up in the end.

      Commenter
      Dazz
      Location
      Ngunnawal
      Date and time
      January 09, 2014, 11:19PM
  • It is actually amusing that little old Canberra is the 26th most expensive city to live in the entire world. Seriously??? As good as Canberra is to live, it is not exactly up to being worth the big dollars asked or even close. Still jobs going, massive oversupply of units and houses, a quickly slowing economy. A big correction is coming (well underway) and soon.
    Anyway well done to labor-greens for creating what was an anti family, high dual income EL+ childless couple only city.

    Commenter
    Pp
    Date and time
    January 06, 2014, 11:10AM
    • Agree, Canberra is expensive and the level of customer service is appalling at most food and drink venues and major department stores. Get over yourselves Canberrans, get out to the real world and not just 'down the coast' to make fools of yourselves. Batemans Bay only tolerate Canberrans or Yogi's for the money that they spend.

      Commenter
      Anti Canberra
      Location
      Young
      Date and time
      January 06, 2014, 11:24AM
      • Hilarious!!! Batemans Bay relies on Canberra tourists to survive so not sure if tolerate is the right word, maybe depend on would be more accurate. And if your idea of the real world is Batemans Bay then you need to get out more.

        Commenter
        Matt69
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        January 06, 2014, 2:21PM
      • So does Young, so I wouldn't be too critical.

        Commenter
        Anti Small
        Location
        Town Thinking
        Date and time
        January 06, 2014, 2:55PM
      • Is the real world located in Young?

        Commenter
        XR
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        January 08, 2014, 6:15PM
    • Canberra is 35% cheaper than London? Let's put this into perspective; London has 8.3m people, Canberra has 350k. How about we compare similar sized cities in the UK, Europe or the US. Hazard a guess but any comparible city will be a distant second to Canberra.

      Commenter
      Wing Nut
      Date and time
      January 06, 2014, 11:36AM
      • What does the population have to do with the direct cost of living? By your educated comments, small towns like Bungendore, Braidwood and Bega must be bloody cheap to live in. Oh hang on, no they're not!

        Commenter
        XR
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        January 08, 2014, 6:18PM
    • what? Canberra isn't the cheapest place to live. Rent is one of the highest in the country (as it's constantly reported as being) and food isn't cheap. When I visit my parents in Sydney I find fresh food at the local Colesworth generally cheaper than my local Colesworth and petrol is routinely 10-20c a litre more too.

      I lived in Adelaide for years and the cost of living was certainly lower there (although electricity prices were higher).

      Commenter
      Peter for PM
      Date and time
      January 06, 2014, 12:20PM

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