Expats moving to Perth will soon discover the many charms of Australia’s fourth-largest and fastest-growing city. Perth is the capital of Western Australia, which is by some margin the largest state in Australia. The southern and western borders are formed by miles of seemingly endless, faultless coastline, while the eastern border is the gateway to the Outback.
Living in Perth as an expat
There are more than 2 million people living in Perth, about a third of whom were born outside of Australia. The expat community living in Perth is diverse and includes residents from Britain, New Zealand, South Africa, China and India among others. With so many expats calling Perth home, new arrivals should have no problem meeting fellow foreigners and feeling welcome.
Although the aftermath of the mining boom has made the job market here somewhat less attractive than it has been in the past, there are still opportunities for those in the city's developing sectors, such as healthcare, tourism, construction and professional, scientific and technical services.
Accommodation in Perth is varied in type, quality and affordability, although fairly expensive and rising in price. There is limited availability, especially for those on lower incomes. Expats who are willing to commute can get better deals in Perth's outlying suburbs.
Plus, commuting is made easy by the city’s reliable bus network, extensive rail facilities and a number of taxi services. Families, or those who wish to explore beyond the city’s limits, may find owning a car useful, and with good roads and signage, driving is a breeze.
Public healthcare in Perth is excellent and benefits from Australia’s universal healthcare scheme, Medicare. Expats on resident visas are eligible for free or subsidised healthcare in public hospitals, while certain medicines are also covered.
Cost of living in Perth
Although Perth is cheaper than many other Australian cities, the average cost of living is still relatively high. Perth was ranked 107th out of 227 cities evaluated in the Mercer 2023 Cost of Living Survey, making it Australia's most affordable major city, with Sydney taking the title of most expensive.
While Perth may not be the cheapest expat destination, the standard of living in the city is well worth the cost and, in most cases, expats earn good enough salaries to live comfortably here.
Expat families and children in Perth
Perth offers many great schooling options for expat children, including exceptional (and free) public schools, private schools, independent schools and a few international schools.
The lifestyle in Perth is laid-back, interesting and eminently family friendly. Parks abound, and families can explore all manner of museums, galleries, restaurants and outdoor activities. The city also has loads of entertainment aimed specifically at kids, with a variety of water sports being particularly popular.
Climate in Perth
Perth has a pleasant Mediterranean climate and enjoyable weather almost all year round. Summers are hot and sunny, but tempered by the ‘Fremantle Doctor’, while winters are cool, but not unpleasant.
Overall, Perth has a lot to offer and is generally considered well worth the high cost of living. Its quality schooling, excellent standard of living and beautiful seaside environment are just a few of the things that make Perth such an attractive expat destination.
►Find the perfect place to life with our guide Areas and Suburbs in Perth
What do expats say about living in Perth?
"I think overall the quality of life is very similar to Canada with some things better and some worse." Canadian expat Mike shares his experiences of living in Perth.
"Perth has some beautiful open green spaces and we’ve really embraced the outdoor lifestyle." Lara, a British expat, shares her thoughts on life in Perth.
"Perth is a beautiful city by the Swan River. I love its relaxed feel, the beautiful beaches, the many parks, the friendly people." Portuguese expat Sami shares what she loves about living in Perth.
Are you an expat living in Perth?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Perth. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance. 20% off premiums booked before 31st March
Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.
International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.