Moving to Sydney



The warm climate, work-life balance and good infrastructure all round are just some attributes that have captured the hearts of expats in Sydney. The balance of modernisation and nature, coupled with a stable economy and high standard of living, make it a breeze for families to settle down in the city.

Sydney, also known as the Harbour City, is the oldest and largest city in all of Australia, housing the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. According to the Economist's latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey released in March 2016, Sydney is ranked as the fifth most expensive city in the world. Despite the costs of living, many expats continue to choose Sydney as a city to begin their life overseas as the city offers plenty of entertainment options, beachfront activities, well-equipped healthcare system and a high standard of education.


Sydney was established in 1788 when a fleet of 11 ships from Portsmouth, England arrived in Australia. Carrying 759 convicts and assorted animals for livestock along with farm equipment, seeds and food supplies, these men were the first colonists. Eventually, more ships bearing supplies and more male and female convicts from the United Kingdom arrived. Thus, Sydney’s early settlers were composed mainly of criminals who worked to create a settlement composed of markets, stores and schools. Commanded by Captain Arthur Philip, the city of Sydney was named after Thomas Townshend Lord Sydney, who became British Secretary of State in 1783 and recommended that the British establish a colony in Australia. Eventually, the transportation of convicts from the United Kingdom ended in 1840. By 1842, Sydney was fully established as a city which held elections, had government offices and a house of parliament.

"I chose Atlantis, as they were West Yorkshire based, as I was. The most memorable thing was trying to decide what not to pack. And as this left 12 weeks ahead of me, it was quite a challenge."- Fran Cormack, Expat in Sydney, Australia

Population Mix

Today, Sydney is one of the world’s most diverse and cosmopolitan cities. A major financial hub, Sydney employs many of its citizens in the finance, banking, retail, property and manufacturing sectors. With more than 40% of Sydney’s citizens being born overseas, the city remains an attractive option for expats looking for work overseas. According to the United Nation’s city population forecast, Sydney is predicted to add 800,000 inhabitants to its population between 2015 and 2030.

Ethnically, Sydney holds a large number of immigrants and expats from all over the world. While the majority of Sydney’s population is Australian, other ethnicities found include Chinese, Irish, Scottish, Italian, Greek, Indian and German. Aside from Australians, the second most populous ethnicity in Sydney is the English.

Australian English is the most common language spoken in Sydney, as 60% of the population speaks it. Other languages frequently used in the city include Arabic (4.4%), Cantonese (3.4%), Mandarin (2.6%), Greek (2.2%) and Vietnamese (2.0%).

Climate and Environment 

Sydney has a subtropical climate which is characterised by humid to warm summers and cool winters. Between the March and June, the city experiences a hot temperature that reaches up to 90⁰ F. It is also the time of the year when most cases of bushfires are reported as well as heat stroke or exhaustion. Winter usually starts in July and is considered to be the coldest month where the temperature can drop below 9⁰C. This season often brings rain showers and occasional hail storms so expats shouldn’t forget to pack raingear as well as warm clothing like a coat, gloves and winter boots. 

Sydney is considered as one of the highest car-dependent cities in the world which is the leading cause of its current struggle against air pollution. The local government is making a rigorous effort in lowering down the harmful vehicle emission by promoting and improving its network of public transport particularly the trains to reduce the number of cars on the streets. Sydney is also known for implementing an “urban forest growth project” whereas trees are being planted in the metropolitan to reduce the level of air pollution.


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