Sophie Watson, 27.06.2017

The price of love: what does a typical date night cost?

JLo once sang about how her love don’t cost a thing, and the Beatles famously declared that money can’t buy them love. However, for most people in the dating game, it turns out that romance does in fact come at a price – our latest data analysis has shown that a typical Australian date night totals up to an average of $125.

Calculating the cost of a date night

With the recent revelation that Australians spend $12 billion on dating annually, we decided it was high time to delve into the cost of love and to discover how much Americans can expect to spend on a typical date night.

Defining a 'typical date night' as one that includes a mid-range dinner for two, a shared bottle of wine, two cinema tickets, and a 8 kilometre mile taxi ride home, we looked at the standard prices for each item to determine that an average date night in Australia will set you back $1251.

Of course, there are Australian cites where dating is a bit more costly. We applied the method above to find out the average cost for a date in 20 of America’s most well-known cities – and the most expensive city came as something of a surprise!

How much does it cost to date in Australia?

And Australia’s priciest city for romance is….Perth!

A typical date in Perth costs $138, making a date night in the city $11 more expensive than the average. It’s not the only big city to break the $130 mark either:  the aforementioned date will set you back $137 in Darwin, $132 in Dubbo and $130 in Melbourne.

At the other end of the scale is Newcastle. Indeed, for those looking to save a few notes, NSW’s second largest city might be the dating destination of choice: an average date night is only $103. That means those dating in Newcastle are spending $35 less than those in Perth – that’s enough left over for a coffee date the next day!

Other sub-$130 cities include Adelaide, where a date night is $122, Canberra, where it's $126, and Brisbane, which also comes in at $126. Gold Coast dating is a snip too with date nights coming in at $107. 

Cost of a date in 14 cities across the Australia

  1. Perth, WA: $138
  2.  Darwin, NT: $137
  3.  Dubbo, NSW: $132
  4.  Melbourne, VIC: $130
  5.  Cairns, QLD: $128
  6.  Hobart, TAS: $128
  7.  Sydney, NSW: $128
  8.  Toowoomba, QLD: $127
  9.  Brisbane, QLD: $126
  10.  Canberra, ACT: $12
  11.  Geelong, VIC: $123
  12.  Adelaide, SA: $122
  13.  Gold Coast, QLD: $10
  14.  Newcastle, NSW: $103

The cost of a date night around the world
As well as analysing Australian dating costs, we decided to make a global comparison, and so we examined the average cost of a date night in 25 of the world’s most interesting cities.

To make the comparison a fair one, we used the same criteria to describe a ‘typical date night’ (the meal, the wine, the movie, the taxi) and, converting global prices into AUD, we discovered that the average cost of a date worldwide is $114. That’s $13 dollars less than the American average of $127!

The world's most expensive city for dating

However, while the overall averages are quite even, when it comes to a city-by-city analysis, it seems Aussies are paying a fairly hefty price.
Indeed, at $128, an average date in Sydney is cheaper than the same date in many other global cities, including New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Auckland, London, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Oslo.

Oslo is in fact the world’s most expensive city for a romantic date night. A typical date in the Norwegian capital costs an eye-watering $180, making it $10 more expensive than the runner up, Tokyo, where a date night costs $170. Coming in third place is New York, whose $161 price tag makes it North America’s most expensive city to date in.

Of course, there are also global cities where dating is much cheaper than Australia. The cheapest city is Bogotá, where the typical date night is only $59. Second-cheapest is Cape Town, where the cost is $62, and third place goes to Mexico City, where a night out comes in at $68. 

Cost of a date (in AUD) in 25 major global cities

  1.  Oslo, Norway:  $180
  2.  Tokyo, Japan: $170
  3.  New York, USA: $161
  4.  Stockholm, Sweden: $153
  5.  Amsterdam, the Netherlands: $152
  6.  London, UK: $148
  7.  Hong Kong: $142
  8.  Auckland, New Zealand: $137
  9.  Paris, France: $133
  10.  Sydney, Australia: $128
  11.  Toronto, Canada: $124
  12.  Singapore: $117
  13.  Shanghai, China (PRC): $115
  14.  Rome, Italy: $109
  15.  Berlin, Germany: $105
  16.  Barcelona, Spain: $103
  17.  Seoul, South Korea: $103
  18.  Rio di Janerio, Brazil: $96
  19.  Moscow, Russia: $89
  20.  Taipei, Taiwan (ROC): $89
  21.  Nairobi, Kenya: $88
  22.  Mumbai, India: $73
  23.  Istanbul, Turkey: $72
  24.   Mexico City, Mexico: $68
  25.   Cape Town, South Africa: $62
  26.   Bogotá, Columbia: $59