Thursday 22nd July 2010

Australia is the best country to live in according to latest Natwest survey

Australia has topped the polls as the best country in the world in which to live, beating New Zealand and Canada to the number one position in the Natwest annual Quality of Life Index.

The Natwest Annual Quality of Life Index, which was carried out by the Centre for Future Studies, was conducted on behalf of the banks International Personal Banking division between October and December 2009. The survey rated expatriate’s lifestyles and experiences on a number of factors, including availability of high quality consumer goods, entertainment, food, law enforcement, public transport and accommodation. The number of interviewees was not disclosed.

According to analysis accompanying the survey, Natwest analysts believe that one of the main factors that contributed to Australia’s popularity was financial confidence: “[The factor] lifted Australia to the top of the rankings this year was ‘financial confidence’.” Australia’s economy has performed relatively well when compared with other countries throughout the world.

David Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking commented on the findings: “British expats are heading abroad in search of a better life, with Australia topping the pole as the most popular destination. And although financial stability plays its part, the report reveals that quality of life for expats living in Australia is determined by far more than money alone – healthcare, the environment, education and a lifestyle conducive for their children are all more important.

“British expats can make their move abroad a little easier by getting their banking needs addressed before they leave the UK – that way they can start their new lives abroad on the best foot.”

Frank Shaw of the Centre for Future Studies revealed the reasons for Australia’s success in an interview with Sky News: "The natural environment, laid-back, stress-free pace of life, the accommodation and housing that's available, healthcare, education - there are a range of criteria on which British expats have rated Australia the best place in the world to live and work."

Australia’s popularity with expatriates

At an estimated 1.4 million, British expatriates currently represent over 15% of the expatriates in Australia. Britons represented 17.9% of the total migration into Australia during the years 2008 and 2009. Expatriates represent 12.5% of the total population in Perth, with 1.5 million of these being from Britain. One in ten Brisbane residents are British expats.

Other Major Findings

  • 69% of expatriates living in Australia own property. When compared with the worldwide average of 31%, this means that expatriates in Oz are twice as likely to own property than their counterparts in other parts of the world.
  • 78% of expatriates survey in Australia said that they thought the country offered a better environment and quality of life than their home country. 9 out of 10 of those surveyed said that the Australia lifestyle contributed to their decision to remain in Australia.
  • The cost of living in Australia was revealed to be a third of the cost of achieving a similar lifestyle in the UK.
  • More than two thirds of expatriates in Australia believe that their personal health is better since they left the United Kingdom.
  • 83% of British expatriates living in Australia cited the weather as being one of the main reasons for remaining in Australia.
  • The country that made the biggest improvement in the rankings between 2009 and 2010 was the United States, which moved from 9th to 5th position. The analysis attributed this movement to an increased confidence in the security and financial status of the USA.
  • The United Arab Emirates dropped in ranking, from 6th to 10th position as a result of economic concerns and a lack of employment security.
  • The majority of expatriates surveyed (71%) are in professional/managerial occupations; 17% are self employed professionals and the remaining 22% are in clerical positions.

NatWest IPB Quality of Life Index

Country 2010 ranking 2009 ranking
Australia 1 3
Canada 2 2
New Zealand 3 1
France 4 4
United States 5 9
Spain 7 7
South Africa 8 8
Singapore 9 11
United Arab Emirates 10 6
China 11 10
Hong Kong 12 12

*Centre for Future Studies

Read the full article: http://www.expatmoneychannel.com/content/uae-falls-out-favour-expats

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