Here's what expats love and hate about living in Australia

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  • Expats hate Australia’s high cost of housing, its political instability and poor nightlife.
  • But they love the lifestyle and safe environment.
  • Australia’s weather and healthcare also rank highly.

Expatriates says housing costs, political instability and the cost of living as the worst things about Australia.

But they also say Australia’s quality of life is high compared to their home countries.

The Australian Liveability Ranking, developed by international money transfer company WorldFirst, asked a panel of 755 expats and foreign-born residents to rate 20 aspects of life in Australia.

They were asked to score from one to 10 — one being very poor in comparison to their birth country, 10 being outstanding .

Here’s how they scored:

WorldFirst

The pool was made up of people born in the UK and the Republic of Ireland (30%), China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Korea (10%), India (8%), the Philippines (5%), North America (5%) and New Zealand (2%).

Australia’s rental costs (an average score of 5.2) and property purchase prices (5.5) came in at the bottom of the ladder.

Political instability, with a regular turnover of prime ministers, is also not favoured by expats and migrants. Australian politics was ranked at 5.9. Cost of living was also ranked at 5.9.

The public transport also scored low with an average of 6.3.

But the quality of life ranked the highest at 8.2 out of 10. In second place was safety (7.7), followed by Australia’s weather and healthcare, each 7.5.

In fifth place, with an average score of 7.4, was Australia’s wages, despite general stagnant wage growth.

Work and life balance came in sixth, with a score of 7.2, followed by career opportunities for migrants and expats (7.0), financial security (6.9) and job security (6.8).

“It is encouraging that migrants and expats rank Australia highly, with none of our offerings falling below a four,” says Patrick Liddy, Head of Foreign Exchange at WorldFirst.

“Even the worst aspects of Australia — our property and rental prices — scored above five, which means they are just above average.

“While it may seem that most people move abroad for work-related reasons, quality of life and safety are Australia’s biggest drawcards.”

HSBC’s latest Expat Explorer survey ranked Australia sixth best country in the world for expats. Quality of life ranked highly.

One expat told HSBC to research before coming Australia.

“There are strong similarities to the UK but it isn’t UK with sunshine,” said the expat.

“Don’t expect Australia to change to suit you — you need to accept Australia for itself and adjust your own outlook to align with it.

“Expect to become more self reliant. Australia is not a nanny state. Don’t become a whinging pom.”

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