[Skip to Content]

Australia Almost Tops UN List of Best Places to Live

Thursday 3rd November 2011

The United Nations Human Development Index is a list of countries graded according to quality of life factors including life expectancy, education and standard of living. The 2011 list has been released and Australia comes a hugely respectable second place. The top ten countries are:

  1. Norway
  2. Australia
  3. Netherlands
  4. USA
  5. New Zealand
  6. Canada
  7. Ireland
  8. Liechtenstein
  9. Germany
  10. Sweden

Great Britain comes a measly 28th place. Unsurprising then that in 2005-06 the number of working holiday visas granted to young people from the UK was 28,281. In 2009 – 10 this figure stood at 37,056. Young British people apply for and are granted more working holiday visas than any other country. So why do so many Brits want to head out to Oz on a working holiday visa?

Well, for one thing, the youth unemployment rate in the UK is currently the highest on record, with almost one million young people aged 16 - 24 out of work. Thats nearly 20% youth unemployment.  In Australia youth unemployment stands at 11%, with a low overall unemployment rate of 5%. So in Australia, as a young person you are more likely to find work, albeit temporary work if you have a working holiday visa. Then there is the quality of life, the weather, and a more outdoorsy lifestyle that tempts people downunder.

Rebecca Jordan of Gapwork.com believes that " as austerity measures in the UK bite, and a double dip recession looms, more and more young British people will be heading to countries like Australia and New Zealand for a year to work, travel and get work experience. You don't have to be a student or on a gap year to get a working holiday visa, you just have to be aged between 18-30, have enough cash behind you to cover your flights and a few months living expenses, and want to bail out of Britain!"

A working holiday is a great way to work and travel around a new country, and sometimes leads to life-changing decisions. Skilled workers are welcome in Australia on their skilled worker visas, and while not every graduate or young person will be eligible, if you have the right skills, experience and qualifications, you could find yourself a permanent home and a job downunder.