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City Face-Off Perth vs Geelong

City Face-Off: Perth vs Geelong

Australia has a lot of wonderful cities like Perth and Geelong that welcome anyone looking for a new home. 

Perth, the beautiful capital of Western Australia, is famous for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture. Meanwhile, Geelong is a bustling port city in Victoria that is known for its stunning waterfront and amazing people.

So, which city is the better place for you?

If your top priorities are cost of living and safety, then Geelong is the better pick. However, Perth is the preferable option if your top priorities are real estate prices and cultural diversity.

Curious as to how I arrived at that conclusion? I’ll discuss the factors I used to compare them, like cost of living, real estate prices, and more below.

Cost of Living in Perth vs Geelong 

Cost of Living in Perth vs Geelong
The cost of living in Perth is 20% higher than Geelong’s. In Perth, it’s $2,251 per month, but in Geelong, it’s only $1,843.
The difference is especially noticeable if you look at their transportation and utility costs.

For a more detailed look into the cost difference between Perth and Geelong, here’s a breakdown of common living expenses in both cities.

The data presented here are statistics provided by in October 2023.

ExpensesAverage Cost in PerthAverage Cost in Geelong
Housing (Average Rent per Month)
1-bedroom apartment (downtown)$1,877$1,305
1-bedroom apartment (low-demand suburbs)$926$976
3-bedroom apartment (downtown)$1,918$1,979
3-bedroom apartment (low-demand suburbs)$1,435$1,293 
Utilities (Average Monthly Bill)
Utility bill (one person per month)$124$77.8 
Utility bill (family of four per month)$216$120
Internet plan (50 mbps per month)$55.2$48.9
1-way ticket (local transport ticket)$3.09$2
Monthly pass (local transport ticket)$113$54.7 
Gasoline (1 L)$1.3$1.26 
Milk (1 L or 1 qt)$1.62$1.23 
Bread (0.5 kg or 1.1 lbs)$2.08 $2.1
Rice (1 kg or 2.2 lbs)$2.06 $1.7 
Eggs (a dozen)$4.42$3.83
Cheese (1 kg or 2.2 lbs)$11.8 $7.03 
Chicken breast (1 kg)$8.67 $9.09
Potato (1 kg or 2.2 lbs)$2.36$2.24
Eating Out
Fast food meal$10.1$8.78 
Dinner in a mid-range restaurant (for two people)$73.3$54.3 

As the table shows, Geelong generally has cheaper goods and services.

A key reason why Perth tends to have higher prices on most goods and services is its geography. As one of Australia’s most isolated cities, travelling to Perth via anything aside from an aeroplane will take you days or weeks.

The huge distance businesses need to cover to transport their products to The City of Lights translates to higher transportation costs. Those costs are then passed on to Perth’s residents in the form of higher prices on most of their products.

As for Perth’s high rent, that’s because all capital cities in Australia have strong rental property demands due to the increase in immigrants and international students coming into the country (7news).

Interestingly, Geelong has also been subjected to high rental prices ever since the start of 2023 (ABC News). 

That’s probably because the city has become one of Australia’s fastest-growing cities and has experienced rapid gentrification in most of its suburbs.

However, despite Geelong’s rapidly rising rent prices, it can still be argued that the city is still the cheaper option, especially if you look at other costs like groceries.

That’s because, unlike Perth, Geelong is only a short distance away from most major cities in Australia, like Adelaide, Melbourne, and Canberra. In fact, Geelong is less than 100 kilometres away from Melbourne!

Another reason is Geelong is a prominent port city where a large portion of Australia’s imports arrive (GeelongPort). The Port of Geelong handles close to 12 million metric tonnes of cargo every year!

Real Estate Prices in Perth vs Geelong

Perth has lower real estate prices than Geelong.
According to reports published by Michael Yardney’s Property Investment Update and in October 2023, the average price for a single-family home in Perth is 38.7% lower than in Geelong.
An apartment unit is also 45.8% cheaper in Perth than in Geelong.

Here’s a table further comparing real estate prices in Perth and Geelong based on October 2023 data from the aforementioned sources.

Property TypePerthGeelong
Single-family home (inside the metropolitan area)$634,169$938,500
Apartment unit$431,474$687,500
Single-family home (outside the metropolitan area)$437,201

Diversity and Demographics in Perth vs Geelong 

While Perth and Geelong have diverse populations, there are more people in Perth who were born outside Australia.
According to statistics that Informed Decisions and Population U released in October 2023, only 17.7% of the residents living in Geelong were born outside of Australia, which is smaller than Perth’s 36%.

I should also mention that Perth has a larger land area and population size. The city also has a higher population density, meaning more people are living per square kilometre in it than in Geelong.

For a further look at the demographics of these two cities, here’s a table that shows their geographic location, land area, and more. 

The data listed here was provided by Population Australia and the Australian Bureau of Statistics in October 2023.

Geographic LocationWestern AustraliaVictoria
Size (Area)6,417.9 km2 1,329 km2
Population 2,224,475271,057
Female Population 50.6%51.4%
Male Population 49.4%48.6%
Median Age 32 years old39 years old
Life Expectancy at Birth 83.8 years old83.4 years old

Another demographic factor we should also discuss is the racial diversity in Perth and Geelong. For this section, we’ll use the ancestry records provided by Informed Decisions and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Take note that the data presented here was gathered in October 2023.

Nominated AncestriesPerthNominated AncestriesGeelong
South African1.4%Polish1.1%
New Zealander1.1%

While it can be argued that both cities have diverse populations, Perth is still more culturally diverse, as a larger portion of its population was born outside of Australia. 

But why is Perth a favourite destination among Australia’s immigrants?

There are many reasons why that’s the case. Historically, Perth served as an important gateway for many immigrants arriving from Europe after the end of the Second World War.

It’s why a noticeable portion of Perth’s population identifies themselves as having European ancestry like German and Italian.

Nowadays, the immigration rate in Perth is still going strong thanks to Western Australia’s continued economic growth despite the ongoing worldwide recession (ABC News).

It’s also great that the city has the lowest inflation rate among capital cities in Australia (Financial Review).

Nowadays, Perth is becoming a prime destination for immigrants from other places aside from Europe, like Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. 

In fact, some of the most used non-English languages in the city are Mandarin, Filipino, Arabic, and Afrikaans (Leba).

Unfortunately, Geelong doesn’t enjoy the same status as Perth.

A key reason why that’s the case is most immigrants don’t prefer settling in regional cities like Geelong (Geelong Independent). Unlike Perth, regional cities don’t have large expat communities where immigrants can assimilate themselves easily.

That’s why most immigrants arriving in Victoria prefer living in the nearby city of Melbourne rather than in Geelong.

Still, that doesn’t mean that no immigrants are settling in Geelong. In fact, the city has growing ethnic communities like Indian, Filipino, Thai, and Chinese.

Geelong is also seeing a massive rise in its internal migration rate as more and more people are leaving the nearby city of Melbourne due to its rising cost of living.

Career Opportunities in Perth vs Geelong 

According to data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in October 2023, both cities have healthy economies with job markets that are favourable for job seekers.
Both the states of Western Australia (including Perth) and Victoria (including Geelong) have an unemployment rate of 3.6%.

However, those living in Geelong have a higher net income compared to those in Perth.

According to, those living in Perth earn $3,379 per month on average after taxes, while Geelong’s residents earn $3,569 per month.

As for what possible jobs you can get in these two cities, we can get a rough idea based on what industries are the biggest in Perth and Geelong.

In Perth, the strongest industry is mining as of October 2023. After mining, the biggest industries in the city are oil extraction, construction, scientific services, and healthcare (Informed Decisions).

Meanwhile, the healthcare industry is the largest one in Geelong. It is then followed by industries such as construction, retail, education, food services, and public administration (Informed Decisions).

Crime and Safety in Perth vs Geelong 

Perth had more crimes than Geelong from June 2022 to June 2023, according to data from the Western Australian Police Force and Victoria Police.
Perth had 209,027 crimes recorded, while Geelong had 21,401.
Unfortunately, both Perth and Geelong have experienced an upward trend in their crime reports over the past few months after the lifting of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

While crime statistics are an effective way of determining a city’s safety, they aren’t sufficient when comparing two vastly different cities like Perth and Geelong. Compared to Geelong, Perth has a far larger population size and land area.

That’s why we must also compare them based on their crime rates.

Between June 2022 and June 2023, the crime rate in Perth was 9,396.69 for every 100,000 residents. 

Meanwhile, Geelong’s crime rate during the same time was 7,572.5 for every 100,000 residents.

Based on this data, we can now conclude that Perth experiences more crimes than Geelong.

Lifestyle in Perth vs Geelong 

Perth is the better city if you want a more efficient healthcare infrastructure as well as sunny weather on most days of the year. 
However, Geelong is better if you prefer shorter commute times as well as living in a cooler climate.

To help you understand how I arrived at that conclusion, let’s compare these two cities’ healthcare, weather, and public transportation.

Weather in Perth vs Geelong 

Perth is better if you love warm and sunny weather on most days of the year. Meanwhile, Geelong is great for those who prefer a milder climate with less heat.

Perth has a Mediterranean climate, while Geelong has a subtropical oceanic climate.

When it comes to Perth, the city’s Mediterranean climate allows it to experience mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Perth has an average annual maximum temperature of 24.6°C (76.3°F), and it has an average annual rainfall of 733 mm.

Due to Perth’s calm weather on most days of the year and lack of heavy rainfall outside the winter season, the city became known as “The Sunniest City of Australia.”

Thanks to Perth’s climate, you’ll definitely have lots of time enjoying different kinds of outdoor activities in the city!

However, a downside to Perth’s lack of rainfall and warm weather is that the city sometimes experiences intense heat waves, especially during the summer season.

That was especially true on February 23, 1991, when the city recorded its hottest day ever as the temperature peaked at 46.2°C.

As for Geelong, its subtropical oceanic climate lets the city enjoy mild winters and pleasantly warm summers that aren’t as hot as those in Perth. Geelong has an average annual maximum temperature of only 20.4°C (68.7°F).

Similar to Perth, this city also experiences little rainfall, as its annual average rainfall is only 439.2 mm.

While Perth is an amazing place to do some outdoor activities, the same couldn’t be said about Geelong, despite its low annual rainfall. 

That’s because Geelong’s weather can be quite windy on most days, which can interfere with activities like sports (Geelong Weather Services).

Still, Geelong’s colder climate can be a huge plus for those who don’t want to experience Perth’s intense heat during the summer season.

Healthcare in Perth vs Geelong 

In a survey by Numbeo, Perth has a higher healthcare system index compared to Geelong. 

Perth has a healthcare system index of 67.70%, which is higher than Geelong’s 55.39%. 

However, please take note that these indices were based on Numbeo’s visitor input.

If you want to know how the healthcare systems of these two cities were compared, here’s a table showing the following aspects that were used to evaluate the healthcare systems of Perth and Geelong.

The data presented here was gathered in October 2023.

Skill and competency of medical staff74.52%54.17%
Speed in completing examinations and reports67.83%56.82%
Equipment for modern diagnosis and treatment81.49%54.17%
Accuracy and completeness in filling out reports70.48%62.50%
Friendliness and courtesy of the staff71.52%47.92%
Responsiveness (waitings) in medical institutions52.24%39.58%
Satisfaction with cost57.95%50%
Convenience of location75.32%83.33%

Moving on, let’s also discuss the initiatives launched by these two cities’ local and state governments to improve their healthcare systems and infrastructure.

In Geelong, the city’s local government has provided several resources and support under its Healthy Mind program to those who are struggling with any kind of mental issue (City of Greater Geelong).

The state government of Victoria has also launched the Future Reset program, which aims to promote healthy eating among its constituents, including those living in Geelong (VicHealth).

As for Perth, the city also enjoys a large number of initiatives launched by both its local government and the Western Australian state government.

One important initiative launched by the WA Government is its school-based free vaccination program for those ages 7-10. Some examples of vaccines they offer are those for tetanus, HPV, and COVID-19 (WA Department of Health).

The WA and Perth governments have also launched the “Do I need the ED?” campaign to educate Perthites on what alternative healthcare options they can choose instead of visiting their nearest hospital’s emergency room.

The goal of this program is to help the city’s hospitals respond more effectively to more serious cases by reducing the number of non-critical cases that clog up their emergency rooms (WA Department of Health).

Transportation Options in Perth vs Geelong 

While both cities have well-developed public transportation infrastructures, Geelong has a slight advantage when it comes to their average commute times.

A survey on Numbeo reveals that residents of Perth have longer commutes than those in Geelong.

Those living in Perth on average have to spend 47.17 minutes on their commute, which is 8 minutes longer than the 38.86 minutes for those living in Geelong.

Perth has three main options for public transportation: trains, buses, and ferries. Geelong, on the other hand, has a public transportation network of trains and buses but no ferries.

Thankfully, public transport usage is strong in The City of Lights. According to Informed Decisions, 23.1% of Perth’s population primarily relies on the city’s public transportation network to go to their workplaces.

Sadly, the same couldn’t be said for Geelong, where only 2% of the city’s population heavily uses Geelong’s public transportation to go to work (Informed Decisions).

Moving on, let’s discuss the smartcard ticketing systems offered in these two cities. In Perth, there’s the SmartRider card, while in Geelong, there’s the MyKi card.

These cards can be used on any public transportation you’ll find within their respective cities. However, the MyKi card has the added benefit of being usable in other major cities in Victoria, including Melbourne.

If you’re interested in knowing what discounts you can enjoy when you use these cards, Perth’s SmartRider card automatically gives its users a 10% discount on all their fares.

Unfortunately, MyKi cards don’t offer discounts for standard users. However, it has the Myki Pass, which lets you travel in your chosen zone or area for a fixed period of time with a couple of free hours or days included.

Before we end our discussion about the public transportation systems of these two cities, let’s quickly talk about how the residents of Perth and Geelong can quickly travel to places outside of their cities.

Luckily for those in Geelong, their city’s proximity to other major cities in Australia makes it very easy for them to travel to other places outside Geelong. In fact, a train ride between Melbourne and Geelong will only take you an hour.

It’s also possible for Geelong’s residents to easily travel via train to other cities like Adelaide and Canberra, although it’ll take them a bit longer and they’ll need to switch train lines along the way.

Geelong also has the Avalon Airport, which you can use to quickly travel to further places like Darwin and Sydney.

Sadly, Perth’s residents don’t enjoy the same number of options as those living in Geelong. Their city’s isolated geography means it’ll take you days to travel via bus or train to other major Australian cities.

Perthites are thus left with no other option but aeroplanes to be able to travel to other places outside their city within a reasonable timeframe.

Perth vs Geelong: How They Stack Up

FactorsThe Better CityWhy
Cost of LivingGeelongThe cost of living in Geelong is 20% cheaper than in Perth.
Real EstatePerthThe real estate prices in Perth are lower compared to Geelong.
Diversity and DemographicsPerthBoth cities have diverse populations, but Perth has a higher proportion of residents who come from overseas, resulting in a richer mix of cultures.
Career OpportunitiesGeelongBoth cities have equal unemployment rates, but Geelong’s residents enjoy a higher monthly average net salary compared to those in Perth.
Crime IndexGeelongGeelong has fewer crimes recorded and a lower crime rate than Perth.
LifestylePerthPerth has a warm and calm climate that makes it a better place for outdoor activities, while Geelong has a cooler climate, but the city experiences windy weather on most days.
Residents of these two cities believe Perth has a more efficient healthcare system than Geelong.
Residents of Geelong experience shorter commute times, but Perth’s residents enjoy a 10% discount on their fares through their smartcard ticketing system.

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