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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Australian Expats on a Global Walkabout

As experienced expatriates, Australians have followed their heart and traveled the world, but they probably haven't picked up any additional languages on the way.

How You Going?

Australians don't back down from a challenge, and what motivates them to move abroad is usually their thirst for adventure: almost a third of Australian expats (31%) say this was one of their reasons for relocating.

When asked about the most important reason, relationships stand out, as one in seven Australians say they primarily moved for love. The three most prominent expat types among the Aussies are, however, the Greener Pastures Expat (17%), the Adventurer (16%), and the Traveling Spouse (13%).

They are likely to be no stranger to expat life, either, as almost four out of five Australian expats (79%) say they have lived abroad before, and 13% state they have lived in five or more countries already. They also like to stay a while, as 22% of Aussies report they plan on staying over five years, and one in seven (14%) has acquired the citizenship of their host county. These numbers are higher than the global averages of 16% and 10%, respectively.

Expat Statistics 2015

Expat statistics on Australians abroad - infographic
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Lingua Franca

Even though they travel a lot, Australians rarely seem to learn foreign languages. Four out of nine Australians surveyed (44%) are monolingual, which is almost four times as high as the worldwide average (12%).

It follows that they either live in a country where English is the local language, as one out of six (17%) reports, or that they speak the local language only a little or not at all (55%). Moreover, the percentage of Australians raising their children in a monolingual household is over double (31%) that of the global average (15%) among expats.

Common Wealth?

In their professional life, Australians abroad are more likely to work as an entrepreneur (10% vs. 7%), or as a teacher, academic staff or researcher (15% vs. 9%) than other nationalities. Even though many are employed in academia, they are less likely to have a Master's degree (31% vs. 42%) than the global average, while quite a few tend to have commercial, technical or vocational training (13% vs. 8%).

Australians' leadership abilities also seem to be appreciated, as out of all employees and managers, one in five works in a top management position. Not everyone is a high-powered executive, however, as Aussies also know how to take it easy and almost one-quarter (23%) work part-time. A fact that probably reveals more about Australia's strong economy than the expats themselves is that 44% say their compensation is less than it would be back home.


Australian expatriates are almost five years older than the global average, and they are thus more likely to be in a relationship (67% vs. 62%) and to have children (25% vs. 21%). One-third have an Australian spouse, while four out of nine (44%) are in a relationship with a partner from their host country.

Australians are more likely to meet new people through their spouse or partner (29%) and children (18%) than the average respondent, with 24% and 12%, respectively. As friends, Australians tend to stick together with other Anglophones, as almost half (48%) say that their expat friends in the respective host country speak the same language, even though they are not from the same country.

Further Reading