Canberra’s demographics reflect the fact that the Australian capital was built especially for the purposes of government. The young, well educated population is highly mobile - many move to the city for a few years to advance their careers and then move away again.
Similarly Brits moving to Canberra will likely be doing so via pre-arranged jobs in government, IT or media.
Source: Flickr | Prescott Pym
The upside to living in the Australian Capital Territory is that things are set up for efficiency. Everything from transport and hospitals to the easily navigable city centre and location of schools is planned for career-focused, time-poor citizens trying to maintain a work-life balance.
Say goodbye to long, dreary commutes in UK cities, say hello to sunny suburbs a short drive from the city centre.
The downside is that work is very much king - which can be dull for partners or retirees. While recreational activities are aplenty in the countryside surrounding the city, the centre itself, once you’ve exhausted the museums and galleries, offers relatively little in the way of distraction. There’s no cafe culture to speak of and your local pub is likely to stretch the definition of the word local.
Comparing Canberra vs London
Weather compared to London
Contrary to expectations, Canberra’s climate sees more average annual precipitation than that of London, by about 4%, and nearly as many rainy days (106 compared to London’s 110).
Canberra’s rainfall though is balanced by summer temperatures which reach average highs of 28°C in midsummer (as opposed to London’s mere 23°C) and by nearly double the average annual hours of sunshine.
Cost of living compared to London
The cost of living is made marginally lower in Canberra than in London by lower rents and more affordable property.
On the other hand, fresh produce costs more (especially imported goods like European beer) and phone/internet costs are significantly higher than in the UK. Petrol is cheaper by about 30%, though.
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On average, Canberrans report themselves as having greater purchasing power than Londoners, feeling safer and experiencing better health care. They also report themselves putting up with far less pollution and spending significantly less time commuting.
Culture compared to London
While Canberra’s cultural attractions pale in comparison to those of the UK capital, the National Museum of Australia, National Gallery of Australia and the Canberra Theatre and Playhouse add a touch of class.
The way the city flows into the surrounding national parks - including Brindabella and Namadgi - nature reserves and forests should be the envy of every outdoorsy London dweller.