New Zealand is the friendliest place on earth, according to a survey of expats - and Australia ranks well with people who don't call the country home.

A total of 3385 expatriates living in 100 countries were asked a number of questions as part of the 2011 HSBC Expat Explorer Survey.

The results show many expats rate New Zealand highly in a number of categories, including how easy it is to befriend locals, fit into a new culture and learn the language.

Up to 75 per cent of expats said they were integrating well into the community.


Australia came second in the friendly stakes, followed by South Africa, Canada and America.

One quote included in the survey from an expat living in New Zealand said: "The lifestyle is better in the South Island, the jobs are mainly in the North Island."

Those living in Australia had this to say about their host country: "Come with an open mind and say yes to everything."

The survey found that on average, an expat would stay in one place for about five years.

Quality of life was a big factor in expats' decisions to stay in their host countries longer, and the results showed that 55 per cent of expats in New Zealand were more likely to say they would stay here.

A balance between work and lifestyle was also important, and 79 per cent of expats living here rated New Zealand as having a solid work and life balance. Other countries that rated highly in this category were Thailand, at 62 per cent, and Spain, at 59 per cent.

The survey also showed that a high number of expats living here felt that the 2010 earthquake in Christchurch had had a marked effect on the country's economy.

Some 80 per cent of expats in New Zealand said the economy had deteriorated since the beginning of 2010.


Only 34 per cent felt the economy was still strong - a big contrast to the 62 per cent in other countries who were optimistic about their hosts' situation. Despite this, those living here say they will continue to stay in New Zealand, with only 9 per cent of those who felt the economy was weak actively looking to leave the country.

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Expats on NZ

'Nice country to visit and live.'

'It is extremely easy to move in and settle down.'