Australia has long been a popular choice for expats, especially from the UK but a new survey suggests that this trend may be changing as three people leave for every one that arrived.

The trend is particularly noticeable in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland with overall some 76.1% of enquiries with international removals firm MoveHub coming from these states.

Those currently living in Australia more often than not choose to move to other English speaking countries such as the UK, New Zealand, the United States, Ireland and Canada.


The report suggests that Australia's relationship in particular with the UK and New Zealand makes it easier for Australians to live and work in these areas, which is part of the reason they are a significant portion of moving abroad enquiries.

It points out that gaining an UK Ancestry visa is fairly straightforward for Commonwealth countries like Australia, as long as one has the link back to the UK. Australia's relationship with New Zealand allows Australian citizens to more easily live in work across the Tasman Sea than in other countries.

Reasons for moving could be due to the cost of living in Australia being quite high when compared to the UK or US on a country level, despite the Australian dollar taking a dip lately.

The relaxed lifestyle associated with the country is one that some foreigners cannot adjust to properly, according to recently returned professional migrants. Missing family back home is also another reason people are uprooting after six to 15 years for their previous home country.

The report points out that there are more men moving to the Northern Territory than any other state in Australia, with New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland attracting more overseas women than men, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Those born in the UK make up the largest group of those moving to Australia in the last year with over 1.2 million and 5.1% of the total Australian population; which is actually a decline from 5.5% in 2000 and 5.4% just last year.

The number of Britons in the Australian population is 1.2 million, almost twice as much as the next largest group, New Zealanders, with just over 600,000 according to the ABS. The number of overseas born residents from New Zealand make up 2.6% of the Australian population, those from China 2%, and India 1.8%.

Overall, most people are moving to New South Wales with 32.2% and Victoria with 23.9%, which remain the most popular destinations for overseas arrivals. These statistics correlate with MoveHub's data showing the most enquiries for working in Sydney and Melbourne.

These are most popular with the younger professional migrant demographic while cities like Brisbane in Queensland with 19.9% and Perth in Western Australia at 17.5% are more attractive to families. The least popular states are Northern Territory with only 1.2% and Tasmania with 0.7%.

"No one loves Australia more than Britons. Despite the distance, Brits have a real sense of affinity with the Aussies, and love the laid back lifestyle and warm weather. Interestingly, there are more expats from the UK in Australia than from New Zealand, despite their proximity," said Ben Tyrell, head of MoveHub.