Australia vs Germany: How do the countries compare?

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australia vs germanyAre you considering a move from Germany to Down Under? Then you’ll want to read this article, where we explore how Germany compares to Australia.

We’ll do that by looking at data from some of the world’s renowned organisations and publications to see what life is like in each country. Of course, we’ll also share some basic facts worth knowing.

1. Snapshot comparison, courtesy of the OECD

For a side-by-side comparison of Australia and Germany, we’ll use each country’s scores on the latest OECD Better Life Index:

 AustraliaGermany  
Life Satisfaction: Happiness and well-being7.58.1
Health: Life Expectancy and Health9.3

Life expectancy at birth in Australia stands at 83 years.
7.1

Life expectancy at birth in Germany stands just above 81 years.
Income: Household disposable net income5.9

The average household net adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 37 433 per year.
4.8

The average household net adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 38 971 per year.
Jobs: Employment figures8.6

Roughly 73% of Australians between the ages of 15 to 62 have a paid job, and Australians earn USD 55 206 per year on average.
8.9

Roughly 77% of Germans between the ages of 15 to 62 have a paid job, and Germans earn USD 53 754 per year on average.
Work-life Balance: The ability to combine work, family commitments, and personal life4.4

In Australia, about 13% of employees work very long hours in paid work and spend 14.4 hours per day on average on their personal life.
8

In Germany, about 4% of employees work very long hours in paid work, and full-time workers devote 15.6 hours of their day on average to personal care and leisure.
Education: Quality of and access to education8.6

The average Australian student scored 499 in reading literacy, maths and sciences.
7.6

The average student in Germany scored 500 in reading literacy, maths and sciences.
Community: Social networks and a sense of community7.7

93% of Australians believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need.
6.2

90% of Germans believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need.
Safety: Personal security7.4

About 67% of Australians feel safe walking alone at night.
8.3

About 76% of Germans feel safe walking alone at night.
Housing: Housing conditions and affordability8.27
Environment: Local living environments8.97.7
Civic engagement: Voter turnout and broader public engagement8.95.3

2. Australia’s cost of living is higher than that of Germany – but its purchasing power is higher

According to Numbeo, your cost of living will be higher in Australia. For example, consumer prices are 20.30% higher, rent is 36.27% higher, and groceries cost 47.16% more.

However, Australia’s purchasing power is higher, so you’ll get more bang for your buck when living Down Under.

Let’s compare some everyday costs by looking at Sydney and Berlin. To keep things equal, we’re using USA dollars for our comparison:

Groceries:

 SydneyBerlin  
1L Milk1.251.07
Loaf fresh white bread2.271.48
12 Eggs3.582.88
1kg Cheese8.7613.58
1kg Chicken Fillet8.268.08
1kg Apples3.002.56
1kg Bananas2.451.80
1kg Tomatoes4.643.36
1kg Potatoes2.231.74
Lettuce2.031.32

Rent:

 SydneyBerlin  
1-Bedroom apartment in the city centre1,782.991,254.12
3-Bedroom apartment in the suburbs2,223.711,610.97
Basic utilities for 85m² apartment128.28304.84

3. Australia has four of the world’s most liveable cities, according to The Economist

The 2021 Global Liveability Report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) includes 140 cities from around the world, and Australia has four cities in the top 10:

  • Adelaide (3rd)
  • Perth (5th)
  • Melbourne (8th)
  • Brisbane (9th)

Cities had to do exceptionally well in their quality of life assessments to rank in the top 10 positions. The EIU looked at each city’s stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, infrastructure, and – unique to 2021’s report – how COVID-19 affected its quality of life.

4. Australia is the 12th happiest country in the world – Germany is the 14th

The World Happiness Report uses global survey data to report how people evaluate their own lives in more than 150 countries.

Australia scored 7.162 and Germany 7.034, placing the countries at numbers 12 and 14 overall on the Report.

Respondents were quizzed on happiness factors such as social support, the freedom to make life choices, and freedom from corruption.

5. Australia and Germany are two of the safest countries in the world

Australians and Germans live in countries free from domestic and international conflict, and both countries have high levels of societal safety and security. That makes Australia and Germany two of the safest countries globally, as illustrated in the Global Peace Index.

In the latest Index, Australia ranked as the world’s 16th safest country, while Germany ranked in 17th place, tying with Croatia.

6. Both countries offer free healthcare

Australia and Germany offer free healthcare. Here’s how each healthcare system works:

 AustraliaGermany
Public healthcare systemAustralia’s Medicare and public hospital system provides free or low-cost healthcare for Australians. Germany's free healthcare scheme is called GKV (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherun), and Germans who work and earn less than EUR64,350 a year must take part in it.
Who qualifies?Medicare is available to:

- Australian and New Zealand citizens
- Permanent residents
- Temporary residents covered by a Ministerial Order
- People from countries with reciprocal agreements
Available to all residents. Non-residents must have private insurance coverage to access healthcare.
What does it cover?Medicare covers part or all of the following services:

- Seeing a GP or specialist
- Tests and scans, like x-rays
- Most surgery and procedures performed by doctors
- Eye tests by optometrists
- Some medicines

Medicare doesn’t cover:

- Ambulance services
- Most dental services
- Glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids
- Cosmetic surgery

GKV covers:

- Primary care with registered doctors
- Hospital care
- Basic dental treatment

GKV does not cover consultations with private doctors, private rooms in hospitals or:

- Alternative or complementary treatments
- Dental implants
- Glasses and contact lenses for adults
Private health insuranceAustralia has private health insurance cover in addition to Medicare. There are two kinds of cover:

1. Hospital cover for some or all of the costs of hospital treatment as a private patient
2. General treatment cover for some non-medical health services not covered by Medicare, such as dental, physiotherapy and optical services.

Australians are allowed to have either hospital cover or extras cover as well as both together. The Government provides a means-tested rebate to Australians to help with the cost.
Germans can choose to opt out of the state insurance plan and take out private health insurance cover but only if they:

- Earn more than EUR64,350 a year
- Is self-employed
- A civil servant or other public employee

Private health insurance covers a much wider range of medical and dental treatments than GKV.
More about each country's health care - Australia has a Telehealth service through which you can see a health professional by videoconference or telephone if you can’t go to their office

- You are free to choose your own doctor
- Public health insurance covers children until the age of 18
- Vaccinations for children in Germany are free
- Employers in Germany contribute up a to maximum of EUR317.55 a month to private health insurance fees

Further reading: www.expatica.com; www.health.gov.au; www.servicesaustralia.gov.au

7. Australia is MUCH bigger than Germany

Do not underestimate how big Australia is. Australia stretches across nearly 7.7 million square kilometres, making it the sixth biggest country in the world.

Germany, in comparison, takes up only 350,000 square kilometres – and can thus fit into Australia 22 times.

Let’s add some perspective, shall we? Driving from Hamburg in Germany’s north to Munich in the south will take you 7 hours and 51 minutes. But a road trip from Perth on Australia’s west coast to the Gold Coast on the east coast is estimated to take you nearly four days!

8. But Germany’s population is bigger than that of Australia

You might be surprised to learn more people live in Germany than in Australia. Roughly three times more, to be exact.

According to the Federal Statistic Office, Germany is home to 83.2 million, while there are 25.750 million living in Australia, according to the latest estimation of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

That might seem strange due to the size difference between the countries but keep in mind that large parts of Australia are dry, arid and almost entirely uninhabitable.

In summary

Your quality of life is not going to be affected by moving to Australia. In fact, it might improve! 

Both countries score highly in the OECD Index, and you’ll still have free healthcare. Australia is home to some of the most liveable cities in the world, though, and the Australians’ “No worries, mate” approach to life is the happier nation. 

If that convinces you to make the move Down Under, contact us to find out how you can make this dream a reality.

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