Best State to Live in Australia: Top Picks for Lifestyle and Opportunities

April 17, 2024

If you could live anywhere, you’d probably choose the best state to live in Australia, right?

You’d think about job opportunities, quality of life, and maybe even the social progress index.

In 2024, both locals and expats are spoilt for choice, with Australia’s cities and states offering unique lifestyles and opportunities.

Whether you’re seeking vibrant city life or the tranquillity of coastal or inland regions, this guide will help you find your perfect spot in this cosmopolitan and diverse country.

Top States for Specific Demographics

Different demographics have varying priorities when it comes to choosing the best state to live in Australia.

Whether that’s access to education and family-friendly amenities for families, employment opportunities for young professionals, or healthcare and community services for retirees, Australia has diverse options tailored to each group.

Best States in Australia for Families

  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT): Known as Australia’s best place to live, the ACT boasts high-quality education, with extensive public school options and reputable universities. It also features numerous parks and outdoor spaces ideal for family activities.
  • Victoria: For families, Victoria, and particularly Melbourne, is noted for its excellent healthcare, top-tier education, cultural diversity, and a plethora of lifestyle choices, making it a particularly attractive option for those with children.

Melbourne is often considered one of the best places to live for both Australians and expats. Its diverse suburbs cater to various lifestyles, from the cosmopolitan city centre to the scenic coastal areas.

Best States in Australia Young Professionals

  • New South Wales (NSW): Sydney, the state’s capital, is a vibrant hub for finance, technology, and creative industries, offering immense career opportunities for young professionals.
  • Queensland: Contrastingly, Brisbane in Queensland is praised for its affordable cost of living, which couples well with professional prospects in growth industries such as healthcare and engineering.

Best States in Australia For Retirees

  • Tasmania: The island state offers retirees a relaxed lifestyle with its picturesque landscapes, mild climate, and a lower cost of living than much of mainland Australia.
  • South Australia: Adelaide is often referred to for retirees due to its affordable housing, accessible healthcare services, and a strong sense of community amongst its residents.

Quality of Life Factors

Evaluating the best state to live in Australia involves a multifaceted assessment of quality of life factors. These elements play a crucial role in determining the overall satisfaction and well-being of residents.

Healthcare System

Australia’s healthcare system is robust, providing residents with high-quality medical care. The country has a mixture of public and private healthcare, with the public system, Medicare, offering free or subsidised services.

States differ in the availability of services and waiting times, impacting the overall healthcare experience.

Education System

The education system across Australia offers a wide range of opportunities, from public and private schools to vocational and higher education institutions.

Major cities often feature a higher concentration of educational resources, including world-renowned universities.

Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities can greatly vary from one state to another. Certain regions have thriving industries that offer various job prospects.

For instance, cities like Sydney and Melbourne are known for their strong economies with diverse job markets.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Australia is influenced by a variety of factors including housing, groceries, utilities, and transportation.

Cities like Sydney and Melbourne are typically more expensive, whereas other states may offer a lower cost of living with a comparable quality of life.

Climate and Environment

Australia’s climate and environment differ dramatically between states, from the tropical north to the cooler southern regions.

The diverse landscapes offer a range of lifestyles, with some people preferring the warm coastal areas of Queensland, while others enjoy the temperate climate of Tasmania.

Economic Considerations

Selecting the best state to live in Australia involves analysing several economic factors, including the performance of the state economy, housing market conditions, and the environment for business growth and innovation.

State Economy Overview

The economic health of a state is crucial for providing jobs and maintaining living standards. Queensland’s economy has recently been rated as the strongest in the country, driven by a range of industries from tourism to agriculture.

In contrast, Victoria now outpaces other regions as the most dynamic economy, spurred by retail spending and business investment.

Housing Market

Affordable housing is an essential aspect of economic considerations when choosing a place to live. Trends show that the cost of living in Melbourne is 18% cheaper than in Sydney, demonstrating a significant regional variation in housing affordability.

Data suggests that cities like Hobart and Darwin are comparatively more cost-effective, with the price of real estate reflecting local economic conditions.

Business Growth and Innovation

The capacity for a state to foster innovation and support businesses correlates with its economic prosperity. South Australia, once known more for its traditional manufacturing, has seen a surge in economic performance thanks to its growing tech sector.

On the west coast, Western Australia’s relative economic growth leads the way, highlighting its strong resource-based industries.

Cultural and Recreational Amenities

The scene depicts a vibrant city skyline with iconic cultural landmarks, surrounded by lush green parks and recreational facilities. The sun sets behind the mountains, casting a warm glow over the bustling city

Australia offers a rich tapestry of cultural and recreational amenities, ensuring that residents can enjoy a lifestyle that is both vibrant and diverse.

From the sun-drenched outdoor activities to a flourishing arts scene, each state presents unique opportunities to enjoy life.

Cultural Diversity

Australia is celebrated for its multicultural society, with each state hosting a myriad of cultural festivals and events. Fremantle, in Western Australia, is renowned for its excellent education and healthcare, as well as a rich cultural scene and community spirit.

  • Food and Festivals: Food festivals, markets, and international celebrations are common in most Australian cities.
  • Community Events: Many areas have community centres that offer a range of cultural activities, embracing the diversity of their populace.

Outdoor Activities

The Australian love for the outdoors is catered to by extensive natural landscapes. Cairns is cited as a very special city to live in, with proximity to the Great Barrier Reef allowing for a host of water-based recreation.

  • Beaches: Coastal cities boast beautiful beaches, ideal for surfing, swimming, and other water sports.
  • National Parks: There are numerous hiking and camping opportunities in the national parks across the states.

Arts and Entertainment

The arts and entertainment scene in Australia flourishes with state capitals offering a gamut of experiences.

Brisbane stands out for its urban sophistication and a thriving arts scene which includes galleries, theatres, and live music venues.

  • Galleries and Museums: These institutions display Australia’s historical and contemporary art scene.
  • Live Performances: Theatre productions and live music are an integral part of the cultural landscape, often highlighting local talent.

Discovering Happiness Across States

When considering where to live, the happiness of the local population is an important factor. For those curious about what is the happiest state in Australia, research and surveys can provide valuable insights into the overall satisfaction and well-being of residents across the country.

Embracing the Australian Lifestyle

Australia’s appeal lies in its variety; whether you’re drawn to the cosmopolitan life of its major cities, the serene beaches, or the rugged beauty of the outback, there’s a place that feels like home.

For expats and locals alike, Australia’s states and territories offer a canvas to build a life filled with adventure, opportunities, and tranquility.

Final Thoughts

In 2024, living in Australia continues to be an attractive prospect for people from all walks of life.

Whether you’re an expat seeking a new beginning, a professional looking for opportunities, or simply yearning for a change of scenery, Australia offers a wealth of options to suit every lifestyle and preference.

FAQ Section on ‘Best State to Live in Australia’

What is the cheapest state to live in Australia?

Tasmania is the cheapest state to live in Australia, with an average house price around AUD 300,000, and the overall cost of living is lower compared to other states.

Which state has the best job opportunities in Australia?

New South Wales, specifically Sydney as its capital, presents a wide array of job opportunities across various sectors such as finance, technology, healthcare, and professional services, making it a major economic hub in Australia.

What is the best city to live in Australia as a foreigner?

For expats, Melbourne shines as the cultural capital, renowned for its vibrant arts, music, and culinary scenes, making it an appealing city for creatives and professionals.

Brisbane is highlighted for its sunny disposition, Perth as the west coast gem, Adelaide as the festival city, and Canberra earns praise for its serene lifestyle.

You can learn more about how foreigners can buy property in Australia through Soho’s guide.

What is the safest city to live in Australia?

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, and the Gold Coast are recognized among the safest cities in Australia, offering various lifestyles and amenities while ensuring security for their residents.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
Share this article
Soho logo

Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier 

Soho logo
Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier.