Why do so many Brits emigrate to Australia?

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With more than 1.2 million Brits living in Australia, the land ‘down under’ is the most popular destination in the world for British expatriates. As an English-speaking country, and a founding member of the Commonwealth with a shared head of state, Australia is considered by some Britons as a home away from home – but with better weather. 

British people have long been magnetised to start a new life in Australia – perhaps best exemplified by the BBC’s popular ‘Wanted Down Under’ series, which since 2007 has been documenting UK families as they choose whether to relocate to the other side of the world. 

But with so many other options for emigrates, why is Australia our top pick?

Australia can offer better wages

Many British expats can earn more money doing the same job in Australia than they could at home. While the minimum wages of each country are comparable, professionals can often secure better money by taking jobs in key sectors such as healthcare.

A 2023 poll by the British Medical Journal found that one-third of Britain’s junior doctors were planning to work abroad within the next year, with more than 42 per cent citing Australia as their favoured destination. Respondents to the poll said “poor pay and working conditions” were among their top reasons for wanting to exit the NHS. 

According to the Medipeople recruitment service, British doctors can earn as much as 50 per cent more than they could in the UK when working in Australia.

Open-plan living and large houses

While the UK is an old country, with many of its streets dating back to medieval, or even Roman times, Australia is a far younger country, with far more space to take advantage of. This means that many Australian houses are detached and less likely to be terraced than they are in the UK. This can mean bigger gardens, more space, and even swimming pools – an enticing prospect for anyone feeling squashed by a London flat.  

Australia can boast of having the largest houses in the world, with each home having an average of 215 square metres of floor space – more than double the size of the average house in the UK. What’s more, over one in ten Australians have access to a private swimming pool at home, and more than 80 per cent have private gardens. 

Warmer weather

It is often said that complaining about the weather is a national pastime for the British. But for those who want to escape the rain, Australia’s year-round warmth is a no-brainer. It rains for just 70 days a year in Australia, compared to 152 days a year in the UK with a minimum of 2200 hours of sunshine compared to only around 1500 hours of heat each year in the UK. 

Australia also serves as the perfect setting to enjoy the heat, with an ample number of beaches, pools and open spaces to kick back and enjoy the rays –with more than eight in ten Australian homes equipped with air conditioning to help keep cool when the sun gets too keen. 

‘Down Under’ a home away from home for Brits 


So, why are so many Brits saying ‘G’day’ to life down under? Well, besides the obvious allure of sunny skies and beautiful beaches, Australia packs a punch with better job opportunities and higher wages, especially in fields like healthcare. Plus, who wouldn’t want to trade cramped city flats for spacious homes with backyard pools?

With its laid-back lifestyle and abundance of sunshine, Australia offers the perfect escape from British weather woes. Whether you’re dreaming of a new career path or just want to soak up some rays, Australia beckons with open arms and a promise of adventure. If you’re looking to make the move, be sure to take qualified advice to ensure you dodge any pitfalls – including transferring your pension.

Weekender Newsroom

This post has been published by the team in our newsroom.

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