Emigrating To Australia? What Expats In Australia Love About Life Down Under

Co-author: TJ Ryan
Australians are proud to admit that their nation is ‘the lucky country’ – often boasting about its great weather, lifestyle and prosperity. However, it’s not just the locals that are aware of this.

People from all over the world regularly express their admiration of Australia and their desire to live here. Our beaches, lifestyle and low dollar are all drawcards for those wanting to leave their home shores. But recent surveys show expats in Australia are also impressed by Australia’s work-life balance, and opportunities for career progression and entrepreneurs.

Australia is regularly ranked highly in countdowns of the most liveable countries. For example, Australia currently sits second in the United Nation’s 2015 Human Development Index, ranking after Norway, while Melbourne was named the world’s #1 most liveable city by The Economist for the sixth year in a row. In fact, Australia had three of its cities in the top ten (Adelaide also took out a tie for 5th, and Perth came 7th) – more than any other country except for Canada.

Australia a favourite destination for expats

It should come as no surprise, then, that Australia has just been announced as one of the top destinations for expats. HSBC’s 2016 Expat Explorer Survey gained insights from nearly 22,000 expatriates from all over the world about their experiences in different countries.

The report ranked Australia as the 11th best place in the world to be an expat – but came in 5th for being able to provide new experiences.

The top 20 countries overall were as follows:

  1. Singapore (same as 2015)
  2. New Zealand (same as 2015)
  3. Canada
  4. Czech Republic
  5. Switzerland
  6. Norway
  7. Austria
  8. Sweden
  9. Bahrain
  10. Germany
  11. Australia
  12. United Arab Emirates
  13. Hong Kong
  14. Taiwan
  15. Netherlands
  16. Spain
  17. Russia
  18. Oman
  19. Vietnam
  20. Japan

Source: HSBC

Emigrating to Australia good for business and career

And almost half of expats (47%) say Australia provides the opportunity to search for a new start in life or your career. 46% said moving to Australia has been a positive thing in progressing their career.

48% say they have been able to earn more in Australia than in their home country. That means more money they can send back to relatives back in their home country. For that, you’ll need an international money transfer that provides outstanding value for money – we can help you there:

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Over half (53%) of expats said they moved to Australia because entrepreneurs are viewed positively in this country, compared to a global average of 46%. Expat entrepreneurs also say that the Australian workforce provides entrepreneurs with the skills they need to succeed in business (50% compared to a global average of 37%). And we do have a fairly hard-working yet mellow working culture.

Almost half of expats (46%) agree that Australia is a great place to start a business, compared to 38% globally.

Graham Heunis, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for HSBC in Australia, said in 2015:

“It is no surprise that innovators and entrepreneurs are flocking down under. Australia is fertile ground for expats looking to set up businesses because it has a stable political environment, sound legal framework and strong financial, trade and people links to Asia.”

Quality of life good for expats in Australia

More than 2 in 3 expats in Australia (67%) say their quality of life has improved since moving to Australia, compared with 52% globally.

Nearly 1 in 2 expats in Australia (48%) say moving to Australia has helped them accelerate their progress in saving for their retirement, compared to 40% globally.

Graham Heunis of HSBC Australia said:

“Globally, expats are drawn to Australia’s beaches and lifestyle as they chase that elusive work/life balance, and now that the sand between their toes is combined with a low Aussie dollar, there are even more reasons for expats to call Australia home.”

Why expats say emigrating to Australia was the right move

While Australia’s overall ranking was 11th, this ranking is a combination of three different scores – for Economics (careers, business, and income), Experience (quality of life, safety, and culture) and Family (social life, education, and integration or tolerance).

In terms of economics, Australia ranked 18th out of 45 – perhaps not so much the “lucky country” as the “reasonably good” country. We came 8th for entrepreneurship, 10th for work-life balance, 12th for career progression opportunities, and 14th for wage growth.

Australia came 10th for work-life balance.

For experience, though, Australia ranked 5th. Naturally, rising house prices have put Australia behind, despite falling rental prices, setting us at 20th for property. But for integration (1st), financial services (2nd), healthcare (4th), health risks (6th), and quality of life (8th), moving to Australia certainly looks like a smart move.

Under experience, Australia came 1st for integration.

Family-wise, Australia ranked a disappointing 20th, a significant step down from 12th in 2015. This was largely affected by the cost of raising children in Australia (37th), the quality of childcare (32nd), and the quality of schools (30th). However, Australia did very well when it comes to making families from overseas feel welcome – we came 9th for integration and 19th for showing tolerance – and for quality of life, we came 2nd. We also have a positive culture for international students staying here while they study at university.

Australia also came 2nd for quality of life under the Family score.

According to the 2015 HSBC report, once expats arrive they don’t want to leave again, with almost three-quarters (73%) having been in the country for five years or more, and only 4% saying they are on a fixed-term Australia assignment with a set leaving date (compared with the global average of 13%).

Related article

Australia is the best place to be a Mum 

How expats in Australia can send money home

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