British Expats Article - A Mea Culpa?

- Posted in Australia by Tomon 02 October 2008

A few weeks ago, we wrote an article for British Expats called "Would You Be Better Off in Oz?"

The article, it seems, set off a bit of controversy in the British Expats discussion area!

In the interest of transparency, I would like to share our background research so that we can be entirely open about where those numbers came from.  Interestingly, our original versions of this article, and in places where we use it in promotional material, the piece contains full citations.  We removed them from the version on British Expats in the interests of brevity.  It is an editorial decision that we regret!  (You'll have to forgive the boring statistical explanation below.)

The figures in all of the comparison tables are based on the exchange rate of 2.12 Australian dollars to the British pound, as provided by on August 2nd 2008. powers the exchange rate calculations on our site, among others.

Salary figures were sourced from's August 2008 data, which is in turn based on industry and government publications.  We also used an Australian State and Territory funded employment information source called My Future, found at my

If any readers are interested, MyFuture is actually a great source for highly specific career, wage and qualification information!  You can find detailed industry and occupation information at MyFuture.

We are confident that the average salaries we listed were accurate at the time the document was written: 02/08/2008.

Our cost of goods research was from the UK Office of National Statistics (numbers circa July 2008) and from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which uses the average cost of goods in the eight capital cities of Australia.

As for property prices, these were sourced from the 2008 Real Estate Market Outlook provided by the Real Estate Institute of Australia.  Our UK housing prices were, in turn, sourced from the UK's site:

I hope that addresses where we got our numbers, but I also recognise the feeling that we have been misleading.  We painted a rosy picture of life in Australia in an article that reads more like a sales pitch than the kind of neutral exploration of life abroad that British Expats is known for.

I'd like to extend an open invitation to British Expats members (Hi BE readers!) to poke away at our research, ask questions, and share their opinions and experiences with us.  That's the great power of online community!

-Tom Blackett is the Online Editor for the Visa Bureau.