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The price of a pre-paid mobile phone is nearly nine times more in Sydney than Los Angeles, according to new cost of living research.

Cost of living was a key election issue and new research is showing why. Aussies are paying on average nearly four times more for their phone usage than their US counterparts, and nearly three times more than people living in the UK. When comparing individual cities, Los Angeles costs $0.11 per minutes compared to Sydney, which is nearly 9 times more at $1.00 per minute.

Surfing the web also costs considerably more in Australia than the US and UK, with Australians paying on average over 80% more than the UK, and over 25% more than the US.

The data does show, however, that Australians have the highest median monthly disposable salary after tax.

The comparison guide uses data collected primarily from Numbeo, which describes itself as the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide, and provides "current and timely information" on world living conditions including cost of living, housing indicators, health care, traffic, crime and pollution.

Users can use the tool from Budget Direct to make their own cost comparisons as well as compare info on crime rate and property prices, to help determine good locations for a holiday or a permanent move. Cities included include Los Angeles, London and New York, among others.

Check out the tool for yourself here and see if it would be cheaper, and perhaps more fulfilling, to live abroad.

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