Expatriate living

Ranked 5th for expatriate quality of life

In 2013, the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey ranked Australia fifth out of 37 countries for expatriates' quality of life in comparison to where they used to live, as well as their experiences of relocating and integrating into the local society.  

A significant majority of expats responding to the survey reported that their quality of life improved upon relocating to Australia, while 81% reported a strong connection with the country, compared to a global average of 66% for all expats surveyed.  

The enviable lifestyle enjoyed by these expats resulted in 84% of them signalling an intention to stay in Australia, well above the global average of 62%.  

Expats to Australia indicated that they found the food, weather and culture easy to adapt to, and identified friendly locals, a pleasant climate and nice scenery as major positives.  Australia's highest rankings were attained for organising finances and health care, fitting into the new culture and integrating into the community.  

Separate league tables produced as part of the Expat Explorer Survey reveal that over half of expats to Australia associate the country with strong economic growth, in contrast to a global average of one-third of all expats surveyed.  

Additionally, Australia was ranked seventh out of 24 countries in terms of raising children abroad, and achieved top spot for the measure on the improved health of expat children.  

Sydney's attractiveness as a location for expatriate workers was reaffirmed by its top 10 ranking in a list of the world's most liveable cities compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2013.  Sydney ranked seventh in the world and received perfect scores for health care, education and infrastructure.  

Quality of life is important for attracting foreign companies to specific countries, particularly in the Asia Pacific where conditions vary widely. Australia's high quality of life and multicultural society make it a very attractive place for expatriates from all over the world.

The expatriate experience, 2013
Country Ease of Setting Up Ability to Integrate Quality of Life Overall Ranking1
Thailand 3 3 1 1
Bahrain 6 23 2 2
China 15 2 4 3
Cayman Islands 1 24 3 4
Australia 2 14 8 5
Singapore 5 26 7 6
India 28 12 5 7
Taiwan 24 8 6 8
Spain 8 7 16 9
Brazil 20 1 17 10
Germany 12 11 12 11
New Zealand 16 27 14 18
Malaysia 9 30 13 20
France 10 9 26 21
United States 17 19 23 23
Japan 35 15 21 24
Hong Kong SAR 18 28 25 25
United Kingdom 13 13 30 27
Indonesia 27 6 35 31


1. Rankings are based on a weighted average of scores for the following three sub categories (which are in turn based on 29 indicators): setting up (16.7%), integration (16.7%), and quality of life (66.7%). For the quality of life sub-category, expats rated accommodation, food/diet, entertainment, healthcare, work/life balance, social life, commute to work and opportunities for sports and travel. For the 2013 survey, 7,000 expats from nearly 100 countries took part. A sample size of more than 30 respondents from each country was required for inclusion in each league table.

Source: HSBC, Expat Explorer Survey 2013.