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Which Migrants Report Being The Happiest In New Zealand?
Auckland suburb of Manurewa is home to some of New Zealand's happiest migrants (CCSS Level: Grade 9, Words: 406)
May 10, 2017 Style & Living

Filipinos are the happiest lot of migrants in New Zealand, ahead of South Koreans and people from the United Kingdom, a survey has found.

The survey by market research company Cultural Connections quizzed more than 600 migrants asking "How happy were you when you first arrived in New Zealand" and "How happy are you now?"

The survey broke results down by ethnic group and electorate:

  • Nationally, New Plymouth, Taranaki-King Country and Selwyn were rated highly by newcomers. But those in Auckland's Mangere and Mount Roskill were the least happy.
  • Migrants from the Philippines rated their happiness level at 8 out of a possible 10, up from 6.8 when they first arrived.
  • They are allowed by South Koreans which went up from 6.7 to 7.9 and the British from 7.1 to 7.9.
  • The least happy migrants are those from India on 6.9, which is behind the Americans on 7.2.
  • The survey also found that the longer migrants stay, the happier they tend to become. Older migrants also appear to be happier, with those in their 80s on a happiness level of 9, compared with 7.3 for those in their 40s.

Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley said the findings echoed other research on the topic. "But the unhappy immigrants might have already left, so we have those who have stayed the distance," Spoonley said.

Researcher Eric Chuah said almost half of the respondents from the US were on work visas. "For the US work visa holders, happiness level was 6.8 when first arrived, but dropped to 6.2. This suggest a gap between level of expectation, being told by friends or promised how amazing New Zealand is, versus reality and finding out is not as amazing. They appear to struggle with the cost of living when it comes getting settled."

Cultural Connections hopes the research will spur change in the areas it's needed. "We've also try to understand migrants from which particular electorate are happier than the others. To spark a conversation of what drives happiness and what can we do about it?"

Most Filipinos migrated to New Zealand in search of better employment. "They are happier because for the same amount of hours put into a day, Filipinos here are earning more than seven times compared to their home country. Filipinos are quite fluent in English, and easily assimilate into Kiwi culture".

In contrast, most Indians came here on the promise of better education. "The promise of better education is not living up to expectations. The stories of Indian students having to work while studying to repay loans back home and other factors are well known."

"There's potentially overselling of NZ. When you come over here you might be faced with other challenges. A common one is looking for a job."

However, overall, migrants report high levels of happiness, despite any setbacks.

What is the key factor that influences NZ migrants's happiness?
cost of living
language & communication
all of the above
What is the main reason for Indian migrant to choose NZ?
better education
less pollution
better pay
Which ethic group are the happiest?
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makes you surprised



a call to take part in a contest



something really popular amongst a group of people



in spite of



(of a sound) be repeated or reverberate after the original sound has stopped



all the people in a country or area who are entitled to vote in an election



the condition of having paid work



of or relating to a population subgroup (within a larger cultural group) with common traditions



beliefs about the way things should or will be



(of a person) able to express oneself easily and articulately



a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country



a country or area rule by a king or queen



to sell / an area of business, the place where things are sold



people who move from one place to another for work or better conditions



the way things are, real - not made up    



looking for knowledge



person who searches for knowledge



an expert in the development and functioning of human society



make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction



a view or check on something



regularly or frequently behave in a particular way or have a certain characteristic



compared with