Australian expats increasingly keen to return down under

MOST Australians living overseas are growing increasingly unhappy with worsening conditions, with 51% ready to pack up and move.

Of those, almost half plan to return to Australia in an effort to benefit from its comparatively muscular economy.

These are some of the findings from HSBC's seventh annual Expat Explorer report, which this year surveyed 7004 expats from 37 countries.

It quizzes dispatched Australians on economics, experience, raising children and expenses.

Europe is still the most popular mainstay destination for travellers, with 48% spread across the continent - 36% of those were based in the UK.

Dicey economic conditions, better opportunities elsewhere and higher costs were the most popular reasons for considering a move.

HSBC Australia retail banking boss Graham Heunis said there were "anaemic conditions" in the United Kingdom, United States and Europe compared to Australia's resilience.

"The unhappiness amongst Australian expats reflects official data that shows a fall in the number of Australians, particularly younger Australians, applying for British working visas over the past five years," he said.

For those not wanting to return home, Asia was proving an enticing option.

HSBC reports Indonesia and Vietnam offer a combination of high wages and low expenses.

More than one-in-five answering the survey from Indonesia reported an income beyond $250,000.

Mr Heunis described the trend as a "pleasing development" as Australia pushes to grow in parallel with its Asian neighbours.

"While many expats are making career defining moves entering these markets, the low living costs and living-away-from-home allowances provided by many companies are also helping these expats build their wealth."

Thailand, China, Singapore, India and Taiwan were also ranked in the top 10 for Australians wanting to create a life overseas.

China in particular was now attracting top Australian talent, with its trademark culture shock now significantly tamed.

"Up until recently, China may be been perceived as a challenging country for expats to enter; but it is becoming less so," Mr Heunis said.

"Major cities like Beijing and Shanghai have undergone significant changes and are considered very cosmopolitan."

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