Best and Worst Aspects Of Australia

Aussies Vote On The Best & Worst Aspects Of Australia For New Arrivals

About The Study

Immigration assistance and advice platform Immigration to Australia commissioned a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1012 Australians to find out what Australians think are the five best and worst things that immigrants experience in Australia.

In the 2022-23 financial year, Australia took in 737,000 new arrivals, a significant increase from the 427,000 in 2021-22¹. The government’s migration program for 2023-24 includes 190,000 places set to address emerging skills shortages that are hard to find or develop in Australia².

What Do You Think Are The Five Worst Things In Australia For New Arrivals?

1. Housing/rental crisis
2. Dangerous wildlife
3. Internet quality
4. The traffic in our cities
5. Its isolated location and distance from Europe, US, UK
6. It’s really expensive to live here
7. Drinking culture
8. Distances are huge between destinations
9. Poor nightlife
10. It’s a nanny state – we have rules and laws for everything
11. Coffee shops not open after 3pm
12. It’s a little behind – things launch here really late compared with the rest of the world
13. Lack of heating and thermal insulation means it can feel colder than other countries
14. Shorter and simpler history and culture
15. Work and residence visas are hard to get

What do you think are the five best things in Australia for new arrivals?

1. The weather
2. Scenic coastlines and white-sand beaches
3. The friendly people & laid back culture
4. Freshness and quality of our food, much of it produced locally
5. Large amounts of Australia are untouched and natural
6. Our cities are clean – even most of the public bathrooms
7. World-class universities
8. Healthy business environment, with nearly 90% of its business sector made up of SMEs
9. Unique wildlife, such as kangaroos and koalas
10. Free and high-quality healthcare system
11. Healthy economy
12. Some of the best coffee in the world
13. Safe society – low crime
14. Migration pathway to citizenship

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE FIVE WORST THINGS IN AUSTRALIA FOR NEW ARRIVALS?

Immigration to Australia found the housing and rental crisis came out as the worst aspect of Australia for new arrivals, making it onto the list of worst five things for 82 per cent of respondents. Many of Australia’s cities and regions have been seeing high demand for limited and costly stock caused by rising interest rates, low levels of new properties coming to the market, escalating house prices and high immigration.

Australia’s high cost of living came out as the country’s second-worst aspect, chosen as a top five by 73 per cent of respondents. Over 2023, the consumer price index (CPI) increased by 7.8 per cent in Australia, making this the highest year-ended CPI inflation since 1990³. Interest rates are also very high, affecting residents across the nation, with it not expected to fall until late 2024⁴.

Third on the list of worst things about Australia is the difficulty of obtaining work and residence visas, chosen by 59 per cent of respondents. The isolated location of Australia and the distance from Europe, the US and the UK was chosen by 54 per cent of respondents and the huge distance between destinations within Australia was chosen as one of the five worst things about the country by 50 per cent.

What Do You Think Are The Five Worst Things In Australia For New Arrivals?

By AGE.

More over-55s (88%) than any other age group (77-78%) believe that the housing and rental crisis is one of the worst aspects of Australia.

When it comes to the cost of living in Australia, more 35-54-year-olds (80%) believe it to be one the worst things about the country than over-55s (65%) than 35-54-year-olds (80%).

However, more older Australians two-thirds (63%) of over 55s believe that the isolated location and distance from Europe, the US and the UK is a negative for new arrivals in Australia. This compares to 53 per cent of 35–54-year-olds and 44 per cent of 18–34-year-olds.

Distance remains an issue for over 55s even locally, with 61 per cent finding the distance between destinations as one of the worst five things about Australia. Respondents aged 35-54 found this less of an issue, at 46 per cent, followed by 39 per cent of 18–34-year-olds.

Almost a third (30%) of respondents aged 18-34 believe Australia is a little behind in terms of innovation and products becoming available here, compared with 19 per cent of 35–54-year-olds and 18 per cent of over-55s who believe this is also a worst-five issue.

What do you think are the five worst things in Australia for new arrivals? (by age.)

By State.

The housing and rental crisis came out as the worst thing about Australia across all five major states. South Australians put the most emphasis on this, with 89 per cent of their respondents choosing this option, followed by:

  • 85% of Queenslanders
  • 82% of West Australians
  • 80% of Victorians
  • 79% of NSW respondents

The highest proportion of State-based respondents who believe the cost of living is one of the worst five things about Australia are in Victoria (at 80%). This compares with 65 per cent of Queenslanders and 58 per cent of West Australians who believe the same.

More than two-thirds (68%) of West Australians believe the difficulty of getting a work and residence visa is one of the worst things for new arrivals in Australia. This compares with 59 per cent of NSW and Victorian respondents and 53 per cent of Queenslanders.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of South Australian respondents believe Australia’s isolated location and distance from Europe, the US and the UK is one of the worst things in Australia for new arrivals. This compares with 52 per cent of NSW respondents and only 48 per cent of Victorians.

Respondents from Australia’s geographically largest State – Western Australia – believe that the distance between destinations within Australia is one of the worst five aspects about the country for new arrivals. In comparison, only 48 per cent of Queenslanders and 41 per cent of South Australians agreed with them.

What Do You Think Are The Five Worst Things In Australia For New Arrivals? (By State.)

What Do You Think Are The Five Best Things In Australia For New Arrivals?

Australia’s free and high-quality healthcare system topped the list of the best aspects about moving to the country, with the highest proportion of respondents (57%) choosing this item.

The second-best things about moving here – chosen by 50 per cent of respondents – is the freshness and quality of our food. Australia’s weather came a close third, chosen as a ‘top five’ by 48 per cent of respondents. The friendly people and laid-back culture came in fourth (46%) and the scenic coastlines and white-sand beaches made fifth place (38%).

By AGE.

Australia’s free and high-quality healthcare system came in as the best thing about Australia for newcomers across all age groups, with 59 per cent of over-55s, 56 per cent of 35-54-year-olds and 56 per cent of under-35 adults.

More than half (58%) of over-55s believe the freshness and quality of Australian food, with much of it produced locally, is one of the top five aspects of Australia for new arrivals. This compares with 47 per cent of 35-54-year-olds and 43 per cent of
18–34-year-olds.

More than half (52%) of over-55s believe the weather is one of the best five things about Australia for new arrivals, compared with only 38 per cent of 18-34-year-olds.

Almost half (45%) of respondents aged 18-34 years old believe Australia’s safe society and low crime are one of the best things for people migrating to Australia. This compares with only 36 per cent of 35-54-year-olds and 31 per cent of over 55s that agree.

Only 30 per cent of respondents aged 18-34 believe the friendly people and laid-back culture of Australia are one of the best things for new arrivals. Older age groups found this to be a much bigger positive, with 43 per cent of respondents aged between 35-54 and 40 per cent of over-55s choosing this aspect as a top five.

What Do You Think Are The Five Best Things In Australia For New Arrivals? (By Age.)

By STATE.

Across the major states, free and high-quality healthcare topped the list of the best five things in Australia for new arrivals, with Victorians putting the most emphasis on this factor, at 59 per cent. This was followed by 57 per cent of West Australians, 57 per cent of NSW respondents, 56 per cent of Queenslanders and 51 per cent of South Australians.

More than half (57%) of West Australians chose the weather as one of the top five things for people migrating to Australia. All other states received similar results (QLD: 53%, SA: 53%, NSW: 52%), except for Victoria, where only 34 per cent agreed.

The freshness and quality of Australian food was a top five for 56 per cent of Queenslanders. However, only 46 per cent of South Australians and 44 per cent of West Australians agreed.

Forty-two (42) per cent of Victorian respondents agreed that one of the top five aspects of Australia for new arrivals is its world-class universities. In comparison, only 33 per cent of South Australians, 28 per cent of Queenslanders and 26 per cent of West Australians agree with this.

Two fifths (40%) of SA respondents believe Australia’s low crime rate is one of the best five things for newcomers. However, only 33 per cent of West Australians and 28 per cent of Queenslanders agree.

More than a third (36%) of West Australians believe that our clean cities are a major plus in Australia for new arrivals. However, only 26 per cent of Victorians and 23 per cent of NSW respondents agree.

What Do You Think Are The Five Best Things In Australia For New Arrivals? (By State.)