Australians vote on the most welcoming cities for immigrants

An Immigration to Australia study

February 2023

About the Study

Immigration to Australia commissioned an independent survey of 1002 Australians to gauge their opinions on the top cities for immigrants moving to Australia permanently, based on eight key factors of habitability.

The respondents were asked which city:

  • is the most welcoming city to immigrants?

  • is the best place to start a business?

  • is the best place for well-paying job opportunities?

  • is the most family-friendly?

  • has the best value?

  • has the best lifestyle?

  • is the safest?

  • Which city has the best climate?

Respondents could choose from the capital cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Darwin.

The survey respondents matched the geographical and population spread of the Australian population.

Summary of Findings

From the eight key factors of habitability for immigrants moving permanently to Australia:

  • Melbourne was ranked as the most welcoming city for immigrants, chosen by 36 per cent.

  • Both Sydney and Melbourne took equal first place as the best cities to start a business, chosen by 31 per cent.

  • Sydney was ranked as the top city for well-paying jobs, chosen by 40 per cent.

  • Melbourne was the top family-friendly city, chosen by 23 per cent.

  • Adelaide was voted as the best-value city, chosen by 20 per cent.

  • Brisbane was voted as the best lifestyle city, chosen by 24 per cent.

  • Brisbane ranked first for best climate, chosen by 37 per cent.

  • Hobart was voted as the safest city, chosen by 23 per cent.

  • Darwin and Perth did not achieve first ranking for any key factor of habitability for immigrants.

 

Deeper Dive on Voting

Which city is most welcoming for immigrants moving permanently to Australia?

Across all the capital Australian cities, Melbourne was ranked as the most welcoming to immigrants, chosen by 36 per cent, followed by Sydney, chosen by 27 per cent. Brisbane was ranked third by a bigger margin, chosen by 10 per cent, followed by 9 per cent for Perth, 7 per cent for Adelaide, 5 per cent for Darwin and 4 per cent for Canberra. Hobart was

ranked as the least welcoming city for immigrants, chosen by only 3 per cent of respondents.

Which city is most welcoming for immigrants moving permanently to Australia? By capital city.

Which city is the best place to start a business?

Sydney and Melbourne came out on top.

Both Sydney and Melbourne came in first as the top cities for permanent immigrants to start a business, chosen by 31 per cent of respondents. This was followed by only 14 per cent of respondents voting for Brisbane as the best city for business, 9 per cent for Perth, 5 per cent for Adelaide, 4 per cent for Canberra, 3 per cent for Darwin and 2 per cent for Hobart. Based onsmallbusinessloansaustralia.com, Sydney is where there is most access to capital among Australia’s biggest cities.

Which city is the best place to start a business?

How the 5 major States voted for each major city.

Sixty one (61) per cent of Victorians chose their home capital Melbourne as the best place for immigrants to start a business, whilst more than half (55 per cent) of New South Wales residents chose their capital Sydney for the same. Thirty nine (39) per cent of Queenslanders chose Brisbane, and the same percentage of West Australians chose Perth, whilst thirty four per cent of South Australians chose Adelaide.

Which city is the best place for well-paying job opportunities?

Sydney was chosen by the largest proportion of respondents (40 per cent) as the city offering well-paying job opportunities, followed by 26 per cent of respondents choosing Melbourne, 12 per cent Perth, 9 per cent Brisbane, 6 per cent Canberra, 4 per cent Adelaide and 2 per cent Darwin. Hobart ranked last once again, chosen by only 1 per cent of respondents.

Which city is the best place for well-paying job opportunities? By respondents in each city.

The largest proportion of NSW (60 per cent), Queensland (36 per cent) and South Australian (32 per cent) residents all placed Sydney as the best city for well-paying job opportunities, while the greatest proportion of West Australians (51 per cent) and Victorians (50 per cent) voted for their own capital cities for the same category.

Victorians chose Sydney as the second-best city for well-paying jobs (chosen by 29 per cent), followed by 10 per cent for Perth, 4 per cent for Canberra, 2 per cent for both Adelaide and Hobart and 1 per cent for Darwin.

Which city is the most family friendly?

Respondents most identified Melbourne as the most family-friendly city, chosen by 23 per cent, followed by 21 per cent for Brisbane, 15 per cent for both Adelaide and Perth, 13 per cent for Sydney, 6 per cent for Canberra, 5 per cent for Hobart and 2 per cent for Darwin.

Melbourne was voted Australia’s most family-friendly city.

Which city is the most family friendly? By Age.

More younger Australians are more likely to choose Melbourne as the most family-friendly city, chosen by 24 per cent of under-35s, compared with 21 per cent of over-55s. Older Australians are more likely to choose Adelaide as the most family-friendly city, chosen by 19 per cent of over-55s, compared with 14 per cent of respondents aged 35-54 and 12 per cent of under-35s.

Which city is the best value?

Australians voted Adelaide as the best value city, where the dollar goes further, chosen by 20 per cent of all respondents, followed by 18 per cent for Brisbane, 16 per cent for Melbourne, 12 per cent for Perth, 11 per cent for Sydney, 5 per cent for Hobart and Canberra and 2 per cent for Darwin.

Such choices do not accurately reflect the cities that are ‘cheapest’ to live in, placing Sydney as the fifth best-value, despite the city having the highest cost of living. Thus respondents have likely placed consideration on the infrastructure, opportunities and other factors associated with the monetary value offered in a city.

Which city is the best value? By State.

Among the respondents who voted for Adelaide as the top city for value-for-money, 69 per cent were from South Australia. This compares with 18 per cent of Victorians, 17 per cent of NSW residents, and 14 per cent of both West Australian and Queensland residents who also voted for Adelaide.

Which city has the best lifestyle?

Brisbane was voted as the city offering the best lifestyle, while Darwin and Canberra were at the bottom of the list.

Brisbane was voted the city with the best lifestyle by a close margin, chosen by 24 per cent, and followed by 23 per cent who chose Melbourne. Despite Australia’s beach culture, the two highest ranked cities for lifestyle are known for their city lifestyle and lack of quintessential Aussie beaches. Sydney came third, chosen by 17 per cent, followed by 15 per cent for Perth, 10 per cent for Adelaide, 6 per cent for Hobart and 3 per cent for both Darwin and Canberra.

Which city has the best lifestyle? By State.

Voted as the city with the best lifestyle, Brisbane was chosen by 63 per cent of Queenslanders, 18 per cent of NSW residents, 14 per cent of Victorians, 7 per cent of South Australians and 6 per cent of West Australians.

Which city is the safest?

Hobart was voted the safest city for immigration in Australia by a significant margin (23 per cent), in comparison with only 15 per cent who chose Melbourne, 14 per cent Canberra, and equal 12 per cent Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, 10 per cent Sydney and 2 per cent Darwin.

Melbourne was voted as Australia’s safest city (by 15%), while Darwin was voted as the least safe city (by 2%).

Which city is the safest? By State.

While the majority of NSW, Victorian, Queensland, West Australian and South Australian residents considered their own capital city to be the safest city, the major states aligned similarly on the consensus that. Hobart is the next best option, chosen by 25 per cent of South Australians, 24 per cent of Queenslanders, 22 per cent of both ACT and NSW residents and 20 per cent of both Victorians and West Australians.

Which city has the best climate?

Brisbane was voted as offering the best climate.

By a significant margin, Brisbane was voted the top city for climate, chosen by 37 per cent, followed by 17 per cent for Sydney, 15 per cent for Perth, 11 per cent for Melbourne, 8 per cent for Adelaide, 6 per cent for Hobart, 4 per cent for Darwin and 3 per cent for Canberra.

Which city has the best climate? By Age.

Australians of all ages agreed that Brisbane has the best climate of all the major cities in Australia, chosen by the largest majority of each age group, including 30 per cent of respondents aged 18-34, and 40 per cent of respondents aged over-35.

Moving to Australia

If you are moving to Australia then we certainly hope the list above provided you with good insights on the best Australian city to relocate to. We recommend looking into topics like international movers and international money transfers to make your relocation process swifter and cheaper.