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Why Do British Expats Move To Australia?

May 25, 2016

Reasons Why British People Move to Australia

New DIBP Skilled Occupations List for 2016-17

Update – The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have released the new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for 2016-17.

If you’re a skilled worker looking to make the move down under, the Government have updated the list of occupations eligible for immigration into Australia. You can check out the full list on the Federal Register of Legislation.

For Brits, Australia is the most popular destination when looking to moving abroad. Perhaps it’s the climate, the common language or the promise of barbeques at Christmas. It could also be due to location – after all, it is the farthest possible distance from the in-laws.

Whatever the motivation, few are disappointed with the decision, and we have some statistics (real ones, we didn’t make them up) which will help explain why the Land Down Under, Where Women Glow and Meusn Plunder, has such appeal for British folk looking for a change. We’ve gleaned some stats from HSBC’s Expat Explorer 2013 Survey and picked out some interesting facts and insights as to why Australia is such a popular expat destination.

Australia Expat Stats

According to the survey, expats find the weather, culture, scenery and friendly locals as the main attractions in Australia. 48% of expats in Australia feel they are well integrated into the community, a lot higher than the global average of 34%. More revealing is the fact that 81% describe themselves as feeling a “strong connection” to the country. These factors combine to ensure that the vast majority, 84%, of expats intend to stay there.

Not surprising is the fact that over a quarter of the expat population in Australia is retired, despite the higher costs of healthcare. It’s hard to imagine a more chilled out location to spend your golden years.

Australian Weather

Starting with an easy one, the weather in Australia is generally a lot better than back in the UK. With an average annual temperature of 17.3 degrees Celsius (compared to 9.3 in the UK), it’s not hard to see how the drizzly summers and freezing winters encourage people to head south. In Oz, winter temperatures rarely get below 7 degrees, which is a balmy Autumn afternoon for us here.


With most expats moving to cities near the coast, the legendary interior highs – up to 50 degrees have been recorded – have little impact on quality of life. Still, bring lots of sunscreen.

Cost Of Living in Australia

According to, the cost of living in Sydney is pretty similar to London. Food is broadly similar, with soft drinks, imported beer and bottled water being more expensive down under.


Transport-wise, Australia wins on fuel prices, monthly travel passes and the average costs of cars.

Rent will be a big concern for anyone not in a position to buy a property outright, and Sydney fares a little better than London, with average monthly rental costs of around 10% less. After-tax disposable income is also a little higher in Sydney, up to 25% higher than their UK counterparts.

Buying a house is always a trickier task than finding somewhere to rent, and in Australia it’s no different. If you’ve lined up a job, it’s vital to investigate exactly how far your potential purchase is from a town, your place of work and other amenities such as schools and shops. At the risk of stating the obvious, Australia is a massive chunk of land, and maps can be deceptive. The price of land can also be a surprise to many, as most major settlements are along or near the coast, meaning competition for building space can be tighter than you might expect.

Things To Know About Australia

One of the great things about Australians, from our experience, is their relaxed attitude to, well, almost everything. As casual as casual can be, expats are welcomed into communities and workplaces with ease.


You might be surprised at their relaxed nature, given the abundance of deadly animals in Australia. Killer snails are a real thing, as are the more well-known spiders – the Funnel Web being the scariest looking of the lot.

We also have saltwater crocodiles up north, the largest living reptile with the strongest bite of any animal. They’re responsible for only 1-2 deaths each year, most people falling victim while sleeping near rivers. So yeah, don’t fall asleep – anywhere.

Random Facts About Australia

Did you know an Australian invented the rotary clothes line? Yup, it’s true. Lance Hill is credited with the first successful manufacturing of rotary lines, known as “Hills Hoists“. The idea, however, stretches back as far as 1895, when two Adelaide workers applied for a patent for a “Improved Rotary and Tilting Clothes Drying Rack”.


We can also thank Australia for that stalwart of men’s fashion and comfort, the not-so-humble Speedo. “Budgie Smugglers”, as they’re affectionately known down under, have become synonymous with skimpy swimwear, but in reality that product accounts for less than 2% of the companies annual revenue.

Former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is a massive fan of Speedos.

We posted an article called Australian Fun Facts back in March, and below is the cute infographic with even more statistics on living in Australia.

Australian Fun Facts

So if you’re looking to emigrate to a warmer climate, easier lifestyle and lower cost of living, moving to Australia from the UK isn’t a bad idea at all. The HSBC Survey has a lot more details on visas, maternity/paternity leave and everything else you might need to explore before making the commitment, so you should definitely check it out.

Don’t forget to sign up to CurrencyFair too, if you have a need to send money back home or get funds out to your new location. We can save you a lot of money, seriously.

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