Australia is ranked by expats to be among the top 10 countries to live and work abroad, with positive attitudes towards work-life balance and a flexible and creative business culture supporting the result.
The Expat Insider 2022 survey ranks Australia as number nine overall among countries that are the best to build a career abroad. Australia’s strong jobs market and appetite for work-life balance positions the country in second place on the Working Abroad Index, just behind Denmark.
The Working Abroad Index is among the many individual sub-categories assessed by the newly reconfigured survey that also measures the Quality of Life Index, Ease of Settling in Index, Personal Finance Index and Expat Essentials Index.
The survey analysed responses from almost 12,000 people located in 181 countries to evaluate their life abroad. The top five countries overall were Mexico, Indonesia, Taiwan, Portugal and Spain. Mexico beat the field because expats there were happy with their finances, the ease of settling into the country and the friendliness of locals.
New Zealand is ranked at 42 on the Working Abroad Index. However, its overall ranking in the survey positions it as the second worst of the 52 countries that qualified for the study, sitting just ahead of Kuwait.
Despite loving the natural environment, with a high 95 per cent rating, expats in New Zealand are struggling with their personal finances and the country’s high cost of living. Some 32 per cent also do not feel fairly paid for the work they do, compared with the 20 per cent global average.
Expats in Australia, on the other hand, are happy with their career prospects, ranking the country fifth in this sub-category - level with work-life balance. Expats in Australia work fewer hours per week (35.9 hours) than the global average of 40.2 hours. That led to 75 per cent of expats being happy with their working hours and 70 per cent being happy with their work-life balance.
“There is an emphasis on family and not career and there is a good understanding of juggling both,” says one Dutch expat quoted in the survey.
Perceptions about the jobs market is where Australia excels with expats, according to the survey.
“Over three in five expats (62 per cent) rate the jobs market in Australia positively (versus 47 per cent globally), and nearly twice the global average gives it the best possible rating (29 per cent versus 15 per cent globally),” says the survey.
Aussie business culture also gets a gong with 78 per cent of those surveyed agreeing that it supports flexibility, compared with 60 per cent globally, while 65 per cent believe that it encourages creativity and ‘thinking outside the box’ compared with a global average of 51 per cent.
Seven in 10 agree they are paid fairly for the work they do in Australia and the same number feel they have good job security.
The top three reasons expats move to Australia are to seek a better quality of life, for family and for education. Expats are most likely to be working in healthcare, IT and finance which account for a combined 35 per cent of those surveyed.
The lowest marks reserved by expats within each Australian sub-category were for housing costs, travel and transit infrastructure, and personal finances, all of which ranked at least 30 or lower out of the 52 countries. Many expats also found it harder to get a visa to move to Australia than other countries.
The Expat Insider 2022 survey is compiled by global expat network InterNations which was founded in 2007 by former German university students Philipp von Plato and Malte Zeek who met while they were studying in Switzerland. InterNations has since grown to be the world’s largest expat network with 4.5 million members.
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