Australia ranked first in attractiveness of OECD countries for potential migrants


Australia has been ranked first in 'attractiveness' of OECD countries for potential migrants - workers with master or doctoral degrees in the OECD’s newest policy brief on indicators of talent attractiveness.

The favourable labour market conditions, high standard of living, excellent skills environment, a very inclusive society and advantageous “future prospects” offered to highly qualified workers, helped to boost Australia’s position.

After taking into account policies and practices for admission, Australia secured first place due to its lower refusal rates and less restrictive quotas for the highly skilled. Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada completed the top five in this category.

The OECD’s indicators of talent attractiveness is the first comprehensive tool to capture the strengths and weaknesses of OECD countries in attracting and retaining talented migrants.

The framework scores seven dimensions: quality of opportunities; income and tax; future prospects; family environment; skills environment; inclusiveness; and, quality of life. The indicators also take into account how difficult it is for prospective migrants with required skills to obtain a visa or residence permit.

When considered for attractiveness to university students, Australia ranked sixth, with Switzerland, Norway and Germany taking the top three positions. Australia scored high for the “skills environment” dimension, because of its English language use, as well as its tertiary education spending, however was penalised when the probability of obtaining a student visa was taken into account.

The brief also ranked the attractiveness of OECD countries to foreign-born entrepreneurs. Australia ranked seventh, with Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland claiming the top three positions.

Life sciences is a highly-skilled discipline and access to workers with global knowledge and awareness is important, especially to help new products and technologies successfully reach international markets.

The brief considers the importance of talent mobility, “Young people entering the labour market now are more educated than retiring older workers. However, the supply of skills has not necessarily kept abreast with increasing demand due to technological change, the development of research and development activities, or more generally new skills needs. In this context, international recruitment of talented migrants has increased across the OECD.”

Talented migrants enable the sector to grow and maximise the health and economic outcomes that can be delivered.

Read the migration policy brief How do OECD countries compare in their attractiveness for talented migrants?