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Average weekly household expenditure on goods & services (dollars)

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This FACT indicates the total household expenditure on goods and services over a week in each city. While housing comprises the largest proportion of household expenditure, there are other costs of living which influence the affordability of cities. The ABS Household Expenditure Survey, conducted every five years, collects information on household expenditure on housing, transport, energy, water and a range of consumer goods and services. This is an important source of information, and affords important insight into the cost of living in each city.

Data from the 2009 & 2010 survey shows that Canberra households spend the most on goods and services in Australia, the average expenditure per household totalling $1,321a week. The city with the lowest is Adelaide with $1,128 per week. This point makes it an interesting destination for thrifty and financially savvy travellers, and partly explains the increasing interest in Adelaide as an Australian holiday destination.

Another point of interest is the rising cost of living in each of the Australian cities: between 1998 and 2010, household expenditure in Canberra has increased more than any other capital.  Household expenditure in Brisbane and Perth is now equivalent to that of Sydney and Melbourne, also demonstrating a large increase in cost.

Low is good

Source: State of Australian Cities, 2011

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