Research confirms New Zealand as top destination for expats

by Ray Clancy on July 4, 2017

For the first time since 1991 more Australians are moving to New Zealand than the other way round, and searches online for moving to New Zealand from the UK have surged, new research shows.

Thanks to a strong economy and good job prospects, New Zealand has seen immigration reach new record highs and now a report from international relocation specialists the MoveHub shows that is it indeed the most popular country for expats.


At the same time Australia has seen a 5% decrease in people moving there from overseas, according to the analysis of data from over 350,000 moving enquiries from April 2016 to April 2017.

Interest in moving to New Zealand soared by 30% year on year despite less global interest overall in moving while the numbers looking to leave Australia have reduced dramatically by 41%.

New Zealand enjoyed its highest ever levels of immigration on record, particularly from the US and the UK, potentially due to the political unrest in both countries. Interest in moving to New Zealand from the US is up 71% year on year, and from the UK up 83%.

The report says that New Zealand’s strong economy and cheaper cost of living both contributed to the rise in popularity of the new winner and overall the cost of living, way of life and general culture are now the key considerations for those looking to move abroad.

‘The European Union referendum was one of the most controversial political events of 201 and its outcome has had global repercussions and there was no shortage of political drama either in the US this year,’ said Ben Tyrell, head of Movehub.

Indeed, searches for the phrase ‘move to Canada’ were higher than any other time in Google’s history in the day after Donald Trump’s election to US president, and it wasn’t the only place being looked at.

‘The 24 hours after Trump was announced as president, the website of Immigration New Zealand received 56,300 visits from the US, some 24 times the usual amount,’ Tyrell pointed out.

But New Zealand has more to offer than simply an escape from Trump, the research suggests.

‘New Zealand’s economy is another contributing factor for the surge in immigration; it continues to perform strongly whilst Australia’s mining boom dwindles, pushing up prices and encouraging yet more Australians to seek a cheaper cost of living across the Tasman,’ Tyrell explained.

‘Though Australians may be moving to a well-known neighbour, Americans and Britons are relocating to a country half a world away, however it is clear that the distance pales into significance for the chance to live somewhere so beautiful with such a strong sense of community,’ he added.

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