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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Cities in Oceania

In 2021, two Australian cities have enough respondents to qualify for the Expat City Ranking:

4. Sydney, Australia

Placing 4th out of 57 in the Expat City Ranking 2021, Sydney only ranks behind Kuala Lumpur (1st), Málaga (2nd), and Dubai (3rd). The city shows its best performance in the Quality of Urban Living Index (10th): expats are particularly happy with the local leisure options (89% vs. 72% globally), the local climate and weather (95% vs. 66% globally), the quality of medical care (89% vs. 71% globally), and the urban environment (92% vs. 71% globally). “I like the clean environment, the beautiful scenery, and the diverse community with its mix of cultures,” says a male expat from Pakistan.

Most expats seem to agree with him, since more than four in five (81%) find it easy to get used to the local culture (vs. 65% globally). This is just one of the reasons for the city’s excellent ranking in the Getting Settled Index (11th). Another four in five expats (80%) describe the local residents as generally friendly (vs. 69% globally), and 72% report feeling at home in Sydney (vs. 65% globally). Sydney also ranks 11th worldwide in the Urban Work Life Index. Nearly two-thirds of expats (66%) are happy with the local career opportunities (vs. 45% globally), and 78% rate their work-life balance positively (vs. 66% globally).

However, Sydney only places 37th in the Local Cost of Living Index: 56% rate the cost of living negatively, compared to 34% globally. In the Finance & Housing Index, it comes in 29th place. While 67% say it is easy to find housing as an expat (vs. 60% globally), 68% describe it as unaffordable (vs. 39% globally). “Rent is very high, and it is almost impossible to buy property,” shares a female expat from Brazil.

24. Melbourne, Australia

Coming 24th in the Expat City Ranking 2021, Melbourne lands far behind Sydney (4th). It only outperforms Sydney in the Local Cost of Living Index: Melbourne ranks 30th, while Sydney lands in 37th place. Still, 42% of expats in Melbourne rate the cost of living negatively, compared to 34% globally. And they are generally less satisfied with their finances than expats in Sydney: 26% rate their financial situation negatively (vs. 19% globally), and 28% say that their disposable household income is not enough to cover all expenses (vs. 23% globally). While the housing situation is rated somewhat better than in Sydney, housing is still hard to afford (57%), compared to the global average of 39%. Overall, Melbourne ranks 32nd in the Finance & Housing Index.

Melbourne performs best in the Quality of Urban Living Index (22nd). Like in Sydney, expats are particularly happy with the local leisure options (83% vs. 72% globally). Close to half (49%) even consider them very good (vs. 30% globally). “The weather is much better, the salaries are much higher, and the natural environment is stunning,” says a female expat from the UK. In fact, 83% are happy with the urban environment in Melbourne (vs. 71% globally). However, the same person also adds: “I do not have many friends here. It is hard to make friends like the ones you have back home.” While the city lands in an above-average 24th place in the Getting Settled Index, expats do find it hard to make friends (38% vs. 32% globally) and are unhappy with their social life (30% vs. 25% globally). Lastly, Melbourne gets some rather mixed results in the Urban Work Life Index (26th). Expats are happy with their working hours (73% vs. 66% globally) but less so with their job security (47% vs. 61% globally).

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