While costs of living are increasing in New Zealand and wages are not increasing to match, Australians are enjoying longer lives and lower unemployment.

Figures included in Statistics New Zealand's annual report, New Zealand in Profile 2012, compared the living standards of New Zealand and its five main tourism markets: Australia (1,111,000), the United Kingdom (220,000), the United States (188,000), China (132,000) and Japan (79,000).

New Zealand has higher unemployment levels than Australia, with 5.3 percent of the working population unemployed in Australia compared to 6.8 percent in New Zealand.
People are also living longer in the Lucky Country. The male life expectancy at birth in New Zealand is 78.8, compared to 79.4 across the Tasman, while the female life expectancy at birth here is 82.7, compared to 84.4 in Australia.

Australia's GDP per capita is higher, at US$54,000 compared to US$31,000 in New Zealand. The Consumer Price Index is higher in New Zealand, at 5.3 percent compared to 3.6 percent.


Food prices in New Zealand have skyrocketed in the past five years, with the biggest increases in the price of cheese (51.3 percent), bread (40.9 percent increase), and fruit (30 percent increase).

Meanwhile New Zealanders' average weekly earnings have increased from $738 in 2006, to $898 last year.

- Herald Online Staff