Expat Insider 2022: How does Australia compare to the world?

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InterNations has released the results of their annual Expat Insider survey – and Australia did well!

The survey quizzed expats on topics ranging from their financial situation to career prospects, and expats in Australia rated the country highly in most categories.

Overall, Australia ranked at the 9th position!

What expats think of Australia

Expats in Australia rated the country highly for offering employment prospects, a rewarding business culture, the multitude of leisure options and great weather, and the ease of settling in.


1. Great employment prospects

When it comes to employment prospects, 62% of expats in Australia are happy with the local job market. The global satisfaction rate is much lower at 47%.

Expats are also happy with their work-life balance. That might have a lot to do with Australia’s weekly working hours being less than elsewhere in the world. On average, expats Down Under work an average of 35.9 hours, while the global average is 40.2.

A Dutch expat said about Australia that “there is an emphasis on family and not career, and there is a good understanding of juggling both.”

2. Rewarding business culture

Most expats in Australia feel that the country’s business culture supports flexibility, and according to 65% of expats, it also encourages creativity and thinking outside the box.

What is more, the business culture also supports independent work and flat hierarchies.

Beyond that, 70% of expats feel paid fairly for their work versus 62% globally. Another 70% are happy with their job security, compared to the global average of 59%.

3. Plenty to do and great weather to boot

It should come as no surprise that expats in Australia love the leisure options in the country.

Australia ranked in 9th place for leisure options and snagged the top spot for opportunities for recreational sports! A South African expat said, “there are plenty of team sports for the children to play.”

Expats are also happy with Australia’s climate and weather, which doesn’t come as a surprise. Australia enjoys sunny summers, with mild winter temperatures in most parts of the country.

4. Easy to settle in

Starting over in a new country is hard! Thankfully, when you move to Australia, it’s easy to settle in.

No less than 75% of expats said they find it easy to get used to Australia’s culture, as opposed to 62% globally.

Furthermore, 65% of expats said they feel at home in Australia. It helps that 72% of expats perceive Australians as generally friendly and that 65% of expats have a personal support network.

An Iranian expat said Australia has a calm and relaxed environment, while a British expat reported that “there are no problems here, it is an easy lifestyle.”

The drawbacks? Housing and the cost of living

Any country has its drawbacks; for Australia, these are housing and the cost of living.

Only 50% of expats said it’s easy to find housing, and 61% are unhappy with housing affordability. The latter is much higher than the global average of 43%.

Expats in Australia are also unhappy with the general cost of living, ranking 30th out of 52 countries in the Personal Finance category. In this category, Internations quizzed expats on their satisfaction with their financial situation, the general cost of living, and whether their disposable household income is enough to lead a comfortable life.

However, despite Australia’s poor performance in personal finance, 71% of expats felt that their disposable household income did meet their needs.

How does the Expat Insider survey work?

For the 2022 Expat Insider survey, 11,970 respondents representing 177 nationalities and living in 181 countries or territories worldwide had to evaluate life abroad.

What factors into the ranking?

The overall ranking of each country was determined by the answers of respondents to questions across five categories:

  • Quality of Life: Travel and Transit, Environment and Climate, Leisure Options, Health and Well-being, Safety and Security
  • Ease of Settling: Local Friendliness, Finding Friends, Culture and Welcome
  • Working Abroad: Career Prospects, Salary and Job Security, Work and Leisure, Work Culture and Satisfaction
  • Expat Essentials: Digital Life, Admin Topics, Housing, Language
  • Personal Finance

Expats were also asked to respond to the question, “All things considered, how happy are you with your life abroad in general?”

Who responded to the survey?

The Expat Insider survey breaks down the statistics of respondents as follows:

  • Gender: 48% female, 52% male
  • Relationship status: 55% in a relationship, 45% single
  • Family status: 80% without dependent children abroad, 20% with dependent children abroad
  • Age: 45.9 years on average
  • Level of education: 82% with a university degree (2% with no degree, 8% high school graduate, 8% commercial/technical/vocational training)

What countries were in the top 10?

The top 10 countries overall were:

  1. Mexico (#2 in 2021)
  2. Indonesia (#31 in 201)
  3. Taiwan (#1 in 2021)
  4. Portugal (#5 in 2021)
  5. Spain (#16 in 2021)
  6. UAE (#18 in 2021)
  7. Vietnam (#10 in 2021)
  8. Thailand (#14 in 2021)
  9. Australia (#7 in 2021)
  10. Singapore (#13 in 2021)

Top findings from the top three countries

1. Mexico:

Expats in Mexico are happy with their finances and the ease of settling in. They describe the locals as friendly and find it easy to make friends among locals.

Expats are also happy with Mexico’s culinary variety, dining options, and natural environment, but 36% of expats are unhappy with the local air quality.

Regarding admin matters, 64% of expats found it easy to get a visa to move to Mexico, but 53% struggled with the local bureaucracy.

Overall, 91% of expats are happy with their life in Mexico.

2. Indonesia:

Just like expats in Mexico, those in Indonesia are happy with their personal finances. In fact, 64% said their disposable household income is more than enough to lead a comfortable life.

Indonesia also scored highly on the Expat Essential Index, mainly because housing is easy to find and afford.

Indonesia received its worst results in the Quality of Life Index. Expats are unhappy with the quality of medical care in Indonesia, the availability of green goods and services, and the infrastructure for cars.

Overall, 91% of expats are happy with their life in Indonesia.

3. Taiwan:

Taiwan ranks best in the Quality of Life Index. Expats find healthcare affordable and widely available, and they find Taiwan safe.

Taiwan also scores well for the ease of settling in and personal finances. In fact, 70% are satisfied with their financial situation.

When it comes to work, 85% of expats in Indonesia feel fairly paid for their work. However, expats are unhappy with the local business culture’s lack of flexibility, creativity, and flat hierarchies.

Overall, 73% of expats are happy with their life in Taiwan.

Want to read the complete Expat Insider survey?

If you want to know more about Australia’s performance on the 2022 survey, click here to download it from InterNation’s website.

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