NZ top choice for expats down under

New Zealand beats Australia among expats in new poll
A scenic waterfall in Milford Sound. Photo credit: Getty

As if having the Bledisloe wasn't enough, New Zealand is now vastly more popular than Australia in the eyes of expats, according to a new poll.

The survey comes from the yearly International Expat Insider Poll, a network of 2.8 million expats. It asked respondents from 188 different nations about their experiences in their new country and ranked them by how positively people responded.

Our trans-Tasman neighbours slipped from 7th to 34th, the biggest fall by any country.

New Zealand, by contrast, fell only one place, from 5th to 6th, retaining our top ten rank.

The Aussies were predictably defiant in defeat, with the Brisbane Times cheekily commenting that the survey "could be a front for the New Zealand immigration marketing department, cheating like an All Black breakaway".

The top spot was claimed by surprise contender, Bahrain. The gulf state was seen by one expat as "a  beautiful melting pot of cultures", with strong job prospects and friendliness towards English speakers. 

The survey is comprised of multiple sections, ranging from job security to affordability of childcare, which is averaged into an overall ranking.

New Zealand performed extremely well in the availability of work index, claiming the second spot, whereas Australia trailed behind in place 34. 

New Zealand also rates highly on the 'friendliness' ranking, with "half the respondents giving the general friendliness of the local population the best possible rating".

Other big losers this year are the UK and the US, slipping 21 and 17 places in the rankings respectively. 

Top choices for expats:


2.Costa Rica

3. Mexico

4. Taiwan

5. Portugal

6. New Zealand

7. Malta

8. Colombia

9. Singapore

10. Spain

11. Czech Republic


13. Netherlands


15. Malaysia

16. Canada

17. Oman

18. Thailand

19. Romania

20. Norway

21. Finland

22. Sweden

23. Germany

24. Cambodia

25. Ecuador

26. UAE

27. Switzerland

28. Austria

29. Philippines

30. Denmark

31. South Korea

32. Belgium

33. Cyprus

34. Australia

35. Kazakhstan

36. Panama

37 . Kenya

38. France

39. Hong Kong

40. Japan