It’s cold, it’s raining and your train is late for the third time this week. As you hunch your shoulders to stop the umbrella from the person next to you from depositing the rain it’s harvested down your back, you start to hark back to last summer in Barcelona and think: I bet it’s not like this at Estació de França this morning.
But whilst it’s almost certainly true that the weather will be better on the platform of one of Barcelona’s busiest stations, don’t go buying a one-way ticket just yet. Of course, it’s human nature to think that the grass is greener (especially for us Brits) somewhere else but the road to becoming an expat is long and littered with huge – perhaps, epic – life-changing decisions to agonise over. And that starts with the biggest question of all; which country should the aspiring expat move to?
A holiday is one thing but life as an expat is something else entirely. You need to choose carefully and wisely based on things like the quality of living, the cost of living and the availability of work.
And that’s where we can help.
Our Grass is Greener Index takes a unique look at the myriad of countries in the European Union in search of those where the grass actually is, metaphorically at least, greener than the UK. Across a range of different factors and using official data and statistics – from average income to life expectancy – we’ve attempted to show those countries where life is, empirically and quantitatively, better than it is in the UK.
Now we’re not saying that we have all the answers, but it might get you thinking…Let’s all move to Luxembourg!
Luxembourg is a small, landlocked country in Western Europe surrounded by France, Belgium and Germany. Its proximity, and the fact that it has been repeatedly invaded through history, means that its language, culture and people are heavily influenced by its larger neighbours. In short, it’s a mix of French and Germanic cultures.
With a population of less than 600,000 (less than Leeds alone), it is perhaps best known for its attractive tax environment. A history of low corporation tax rates dating back to the 1970s has attracted rafts of foreign investment and made Luxembourg an attractive place for global businesses to headquarter their European operations.
Luxembourg was recently voted the second safest tax haven in the world, behind Switzerland. Luxembourg has a very high standard of living and, in 2015, the IMF ranked it as second behind Qatar according to GDP per capita (based on purchasing power parity calculations). It also enjoys very low levels of unemployment and high standards of education and healthcare.
Taking the leap and moving abroad can be complicated, but international currency transfers don’t have to be. World First could help you move your money abroad faster, easier and potentially even cheaper. Find out more here
Methodology: To compile our Grass is Greener Index, we’ve taken publicly available data from Eurostat, national statistics agencies and international weather monitors. We’ve then indexed each respective country against the UK at 100 in order to compare and contrast each country on each statistic.