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CA News 2024


How Kiwi consumers compare to US counterparts

In a world vibrant with diverse economies, cultures and lifestyles, there are stark contrasts between New Zealand, with its breathtaking landscapes and hub of adventure, and the United States, a vast nation known for its economic power and cultural melting pot.

But while these are great selling points, how a nation presents itself to the world and what it is actually like to live in are two very different things. How do these two countries, half a world apart, compare?

Gasoline is 72% more expensive in New Zealand than in the US.  Illustration by Vania Chandrawidjaja (source: 1News).


It’s no secret that Kiwis pay sky-high fuel prices, so it should come as no surprise that gas is significantly cheaper in the United States. Americans pay about US$3.73 (NZ$1.64) per gallon 91 – we’ve added 18.3% sales tax. In New Zealand the same petrol costs an average of NZD$2.85 per litre.

A gallon is about three and three-quarters of a liter, so after converting, Americans get some pretty significant fuel savings; New Zealand is 72% more expensive.


Auckland is New Zealand’s most populous city, while New York is America’s most populous city. If you compare their average rental prices, you’ll pay a whopping US$4,860 per month (NZ$8,216) for a two-bedroom apartment in the Big Apple.

Meanwhile, Auckland costs an average of NZ$2,360 for an apartment in the CBD. That makes New Zealand 71% more affordable. But where New York has Times Square, Auckland has Queen Street – not quite the same.


If you’re a little better off and want to buy something, you’re much better off in the United States.

The average US house price is US$392,500 ($663,517), which seems like a lot, but is nothing compared to New Zealand’s average of NZ$925,812. That turns out to be 40% more expensive than in the US.

But those prices mean nothing if we’re not talking about the first rung on the property ladder: income.

US workers earn 53% more annually than Kiwi workers.  Illustration by Vania Chandrawidjaja (source: 1News/Pexels).


The average wage in the United States is US$59,428 ($100,462) per year, which is much better than that in New Zealand, which averages US$65,749 per year. This means that American workers earn 35% more. In Aotearoa’s defense, Kiwis get 32 ​​days off every year, while US workers only get about 10.

Of course, your income often depends on your education.

Tertiary education

University education in New Zealand will cost you approximately NZ$6,000-NZ$10,000 per year. This does not include accommodation, only the course itself. Depending on what you choose to study, some degrees will cost more, and others will cost less. In the United States, an upstate public university will cost you around US$10,300 (NZ$17,412), which is 54% more expensive than downstate.

Ivy League schools are a different story, reaching as high as $90,000 (NZ$152,013) per year. There is no argument that university in New Zealand is much more affordable, and depending on existing rules you may qualify for either your first year or your final year as fee-free.

Doctor's appointments in New Zealand are 453% cheaper than in the US.  Illustration by Vania Chandrawidjaja (source: 1News/Pexels).


The US has a notorious reputation worldwide for its healthcare system, so it shouldn’t come as much of a shock that the average price of a doctor’s visit is no exception.

You may want to start saving now, as adults in America spend an average of $125 per visit. In New Zealand, the average price per appointment is NZ$38, which is 81% cheaper.

Well, there we have it. If it’s a choice between New Zealand or the United States, both have their pros and cons financially.

This information provides a snapshot, as there are many variables in cross-country comparisons. It was collected via averages and converted in April 2024.