Guide

Top 10 countries to expatriate to and live happily

The secrets of the countries where the inhabitants are happiest: several criteria allow us to measure the happiness of a country.

Among the 194 countries in the world, some nations have a higher rate of happiness than others.

But what is special about these countries that makes their citizens feel good?

What do they have in common?

The “World Happiness Report” publishes every year a list of the happiest countries in the world.

The study is mainly based on six criteria:

GDP per capita,
freedom to make life choices,
life expectancy,
social support
and levels of generosity and corruption.
Here are the 5 countries that topped the rankings in 2018.

  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Switzerland

Once again, the Nordic countries top the list.

These countries have in common a stable system, a majority of progressive ideas, a trust in politics and a very good access to education.

WHERE TO GO FOR A HAPPY EXPATRIATION ?

EXPATRIATION, AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE SEIZED

Expatriation is often a decision made in the context of work. A position opens up on the other side of the world. An opportunity that becomes available in a neighboring country.

But sometimes the decision is more personal. Sometimes it’s the employee who asks for a transfer abroad, the self-employed person who decides to set sail for a more attractive destination, or the pre-retirees who think about where to spend a peaceful or more exciting retirement.

More and more people, freelancers, executives, consultants, tourism professionals choose to leave their native land to live a few years in a more attractive place. They leave in search of what France sometimes has difficulty in offering them. More advantageous professional opportunities, a higher standard of living, a quieter quality of life, a warmer people…

Still others had not really planned it. During a trip, they fell in love with a city, a people, a country, a foreigner… and decided to stay.

IDENTIFY YOUR EXPECTATIONS TO CHOOSE YOUR COUNTRY OF EXPATRIATION

Today, more and more people are thinking of leaving.

But when they look at the map, when they look at the names of the cities and countries, the choice is difficult. Where will they be happiest? In which country will integration be easiest? Which city will offer the best financial opportunities? Where can they live a safe family life?

The destination is a decision that is not taken lightly. It is thought out as a family.

Weigh the pros and cons of the countries listed on the paper. Professional opportunities, standard of living, education, safety, access to health care, local culture, spoken language…

Everything must be taken into account for the most enriching experience possible.

And when the choice is made, a true professional and human adventure begins.

THE GOALS OF EXPATRIATION INFLUENCE THE CHOICE OF COUNTRY

During the study on the happiest countries in the world, the focus was on the native citizens of these countries.

As in previous years, the Nordic countries came out on top.

This ranking is based on the standard of living and happiness of the inhabitants.

However, when people decide to move abroad, they do so for many reasons. These reasons are not all economic. It happens that a person leaves a certain financial comfort for a life more in accordance with his values for example.

This is why it is important to identify the reasons for leaving.

The more your choice is in line with your aspirations, the better the experience will be.

A study conducted by Business Insider reveals that the countries preferred by expatriates are not always the countries ranked as the happiest in the world.

There are major differences between the two lists. And a country’s happiness criteria are not always the criteria that a future expatriate uses to choose a destination.

For example, the simplicity of social relations with the locals or the quality of life in a country can outweigh high salaries.

HERE ARE THE TOP 10 BEST COUNTRIES TO EXPATRIATE TO IN ORDER TO LIVE HAPPILY.

1. BAHRAIN
best expatriation bahrain
This small Middle Eastern island country, located in the heart of the Persian Gulf, has a lot to appeal to expats looking for a higher standard of living.

Salaries are high, job security is strong, international schools are excellent. And expatriates are highly respected by the local population, despite the sometimes very marked cultural differences.

2. SINGAPORE
best expatriation singapore
Singapore’s strength? Its security.

A safe city with a very high standard of living, multicultural, lively, Singapore is full of career opportunities. Education is excellent and demanding. And the health care system is particularly good.

3. NORWAY
best country to expatriate to live happily Novrège
This Nordic country is one of the happiest countries in the world. It will appeal to families for its quality of education, its tranquility and its political and economic stability.

Its exceptional nature and breathtaking landscapes will seduce lovers of the great outdoors.

4. TAIWAN
best country to expatriate to live happily Taiwan
Many expatriates living in Taiwan are attracted by the welcoming nature of its inhabitants. The quality of life is excellent and this country, in full economic development, is very promising in terms of employment.

5. MEXICO
best country to expatriate to live happily Mexico
Despite its high rate of drug cartel violence, Mexico remains a top destination for expatriates. What makes it so charming? Its people, its culture, its landscapes, its gastronomy…

It is easy to make good friends, the cost of living is low, and the climate is exceptional. Mexico excels in the automotive industry. It is also a golden destination for tourism professionals.

6. COSTA RICA
best country to expatriate to live happily Costa Rica
It is one of the safest countries in Latin America. Its lush nature and varied landscapes will charm nature lovers and people looking for tranquility.

Moreover, its inhabitants, the “ticos”, know how to welcome foreigners and it is very easy to make local friends. The main industry? Tourism.

7. NEW ZEALAND
best country for expatriates to live happily New Zealand
Here too, the exceptional landscapes of the Maori lands will seduce lovers of wide open spaces. The job opportunities are very favorable, the quality of life is exceptional.

8. CANADA
best country to expatriate to live happily Canada
It is one of the favorite destinations . The friendliness of its inhabitants is a major factor. Here, the language barrier is not a problem if you go to the French or english-speaking regions. And the Canadian government opens its doors wide to talent.

9. PORTUGAL
best country to expatriate live happily Portugal
Portugal is popular. Its quality of life, the hospitality of its inhabitants, its landscapes and cities… Many independent people try their luck in this harmonious and quiet coastal country. Moreover, the fact that it is part of the European Union greatly facilitates administrative procedures.

It is also a destination of choice for future retirees.

10. SWITZERLAND
best country to expatriate to live happily switzerland
A change of scenery in the heart of Europe. Switzerland has a lot to offer: a good quality of life, good working conditions, high salaries, a very advantageous geographical location and a good economic health. Not to mention its lakes and mountains…

If your expatriation project is underway and you would like to know more about the expatriation contract, consult our article: “Employment contract and expatriation: everything you need to know”. You can also read our guide to negotiating your contract and expatriation bonus or our guide to moving abroad for expatriates.

And if you find the subject of expatriation bonus complex, consult our complete guide on expatriation bonus or our article describing how to take into account the expatriation bonus in the calculation of your taxes.

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