Expats say Australia is the ‘best country to live in’ over America and the UK

By Shania Obrien and Carina Stathis For Daily Mail Australia

23:50 24 Jan 2024, updated 00:16 25 Jan 2024

A friendly debate over whether America or Australia is a better place to live has yielded several compelling reasons for why people are better off Down Under.

Both Aussies and expats alike applauded the country’s stability, healthcare, labour protections, annual leave perks and natural beauty. 

The debate began after a young American man revealed his Aussie girlfriend wanted him to move to Australia after graduation.

The computer science major admitted that while he was tempted, he didn’t want to leave the U.S. because of its high-paying jobs in his industry.

‘I have a STEM background and I’m looking for a good work-life balance as well as good pay, and also to be able to live with my girlfriend,’ he wrote on Reddit.

A friendly debate over whether America or Australia is a better place to live has yielded several compelling reasons for why people are better off Down Under

A record 500,000 migrants are expected to have arrived in Australia in just a year during a cost of living and housing crisis – especially from Ireland and the US.

In the year 2023 to August, a near-record 413,530 overseas migrants moved to Australia, with the level doubling compared with the same time in mid-2022.

A man who immigrated from the US said that Australia won ‘hands down’.

‘Better work-life balance and worker protections, free healthcare, no gun violence in schools. Australia also has the best beaches and so much beautiful nature – forests, mountains, snow, we have it all.’

He also pointed out that the Computer Science major could have both: ‘You can easily find a job with a US tech company while living here and enjoy the benefits of high pay and shares while living in the most beautiful country in the world.’

READ MORE: I visited Australia for my ‘dream’ holiday – and it was nothing but mediocre beaches, ugly scenery and boring cities

A few pointed out that raising families Down Under was safer due to the gun control laws.

‘I miss America but the quality of life is fantastic in Australia,’ a woman said. ‘I’ve also had a few too many close calls with active shooters to feel comfortable raising children in the US.’

And while many claimed living in America was ‘cheaper’, several Americans revealed that it wasn’t the case.

‘In my experience, America actually has many hidden cost-of-living expenses that make it deceptively expensive to live in,’ one said.

The US has extra goods and service taxes, an expectation to leave tips, and expensive healthcare.

The US has extra goods and service taxes, an expectation to leave tips, and expensive healthcare

A doctor shared that the state of the healthcare system alone is enough of a reason to leave America.

‘American private health insurance will drop you the second you get expensive, assuming they don’t deny you tests you need to diagnose a problem first,’ they said.

‘Good school districts have school shootings too, and regardless of whether one actually happens your children will go through highly traumatic active shooter drills.

‘I’m an Australian doctor. If I think, using my trained and experienced medically qualified judgement, that a patient needs a test, procedure, or medication, I write an order for it and it happens.

‘If I were practising in the US, I’d have to convince some call centre drone with no medical training that they needed it and no, some cheaper, utterly ineffective thing wouldn’t do. 

‘Sometimes people die because their cancer advances too far for treatment before they get the tests approved. I would not work in the US at twenty times the pay.’

Despite that, a young woman from Ireland claimed Aussies make far less money than she expected when she moved to Sydney.

‘Where are the people in Australia that are making money? Where are you? Because I’m in Sydney and there’s no money to be made,’ Keely McGrath said in a now-viral TikTok video. 

‘You’re paycheck to paycheck here and I don’t care what anyone says because everyone I know is paycheck to paycheck. Very minimal savings. What’s the story?’ 

Keely said she’s aware FIFO workers in rural areas or traffic control employees earn a decent income compared to most corporate workers.  

‘I know lots of my friends do traffic control and they’re making bank because they go to the mines and do two weeks on, one week off, and get their food and accommodation paid for,’ she said. 

‘But normal people? People who aren’t doing that, if people are just working 9-5. Is there money to be made here? ‘Cause I don’t see it. 

‘I ain’t seeing it, I ain’t hearing about it, I ain’t accumulating money. I’m probably more broke and more stressed than I’ve ever been in my entire life.’ 

Keely McGrath, from Ireland, was shocked by the cost of living in Australia and questioned how locals manage to save any money at all

According to population and migration numbers from Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ireland’s current housing crisis is often cited as a key reason why thousands are moving abroad, including to Australia. 

The CSO also estimated that 4,700 people left Ireland for Australia from April 2022 to April 2023. 

Meanwhile Australian households have been put under immense strain this year as the cost of living soared. 

The Reserve Bank in November raised interest rates for the 13th time in 18 months, adding to the most severe pace of monetary policy tightening since 1989. 

The Commonwealth Bank is now forecasting six interest rate cuts in 2024 and 2025 – starting in September next year as Australian inflation moderates faster than predicted.

Stephen Halmarick, the chief economist of Australia’s biggest home lender, is expecting 0.75 percentage points of rate cuts in 2024 followed by another 0.75 percentage points of easing in late 2025.

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