People are considering working abroad in greater numbers. However, where might you go? Where are the world’s most livable cities, and which of those are located in the most picturesque nations to visit? The solution may just lie in recent studies.
There are many indicators of what constitutes a good city. The Global Liveability Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is one of the most complete because it was initially created as a tool for businesses to determine relocation packages for expats.
Based on more than 30 variables broken down into five categories—stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure—the 2022 version evaluated living circumstances in 172 communities. Congestion, violence, and how city healthcare practitioners have handled Covid-19 are a few examples.
But additional resources can also be useful.
The Telegraph has produced a list of the world’s most beautiful nations using a technique that evaluated 36 factors broken down into subcategories such as biodiversity, weather, environmental friendliness, and natural wonders. Additionally, Bloomberg recently published a list of the top six international cities.
Overseas work is increasing
According to recent study, more Americans are able to work abroad or aspire to do so:
- In spite of their continued reluctance to take vacation days due to inflation and rising costs, Americans are enthusiastic about the prospect of working abroad, according to a recent Wise survey. Fifty percent of those surveyed said they would work abroad if their employer permitted it, and thirty percent report having more flexibility to do so than they did a year ago.
- The demand for so-called Digital Nomad visas is rising as more companies provide options for remote employment, according to the Harvard Business Review. From 6.3 million in 2020 to 10.2 million in 2021, “the number of American digital nomads with traditional occupations climbed by 42%.”
Where should I go then? You should ideally reside in a country that is comfortable (safe, hygienic, and with access to healthcare and perhaps schools). However, perhaps you’d prefer a stunning location with amazing things to do, see, learn, and eat.
What locations keep coming up then? Which countries have lovely areas where it’s simple to live?
The most livable cities in the world
Western European and North American cities did well on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Index for 2022, but unsurprisingly Chinese cities have declined on the scale due to the pandemic—the war in Ukraine seriously impacted liveability issues in Russia, Ukraine, and bordering countries.
No American cities appear in the top 10 in 2022:
- Osaka—joint 10th—Japan’s third-largest city is known to be a foodie’s haven.
- Melbourne—joint 10th—this city that has ‘four seasons in one day’, has been number one, seven years in a row.
- Amsterdam—9th—it’s beautiful (UNESCO-listed) and its healthcare is excellent.
- Toronto—8th—great transport systems, beautiful vistas and healthcare.
- Frankfurt—7th—one of the biggest movers, up 32 places this year, due to job opportunities, culture and flight hubs.
- Geneva—6th—its healthcare and infrastructure are legendary and whilst one of the most expensive cities in the world, its natural beauty sets it apart.
- Vancouver—5th—healthcare, infrastructure with a cosmopolitan, friendly vibe that benefits from the great outdoors.
- Calgary—joint 3rd—where culture and nature go hand-in-hand
- Zurich—joint 3rd—a good all-rounder with healthcare, nature, culture and efficiency.
- Copenhagen—2nd—galleries, bikes, culture, history and healthcare.
- Vienna—1st—top spot in 2018 and 2019 due to its stability, culture, healthcare, education and natural beauty.
Incidentally, Damascus, Lagos, Tripoli, Algiers and Karachi were the cities which had the lowest ratings on this liveability index.
The world’s most stunning nations
Which of these “most liveable” cities is located in the most picturesque nation?
The top four most livable cities, Melbourne, Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary, are located in two of the world’s most picturesque nations, Canada and Australia, according to The Telegraph.
A total of 2000 points could be earned for each nation using The Telegraph’s guidance, but it “measured the answer per square kilometre, to ensure [it] didn’t reward size over substance,” according to the publication. Below are the top ten:
- Peru—10th—for ancient ruins, Andean peaks, and massive biodiversity in its jungles and rainforests.
- Italy—9th—beating France (12th) and Spain (11th) because of its dreamy, lengthy coastline (think the Amalfi coast, Cinque Terre or Venice) and ancient relics.
- India—8th—for its colors, flora, fauna, palaces, waterways and temples.
- New Zealand—7th—for its rugged landscapes, wilderness and biodiversity.
- Norway—6th—for its “high mountains, 47 national parks, deep fjords (including the Unesco-listed Geirangerfjord) and its endless conifer forests.”
- Mexico—5th—it has the highest biodiversity of any country in the top ten (the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is the third biggest in the world) plus its cactus landscapes, beaches, culture and food.
- Japan—4th—for the mountains, hot springs, volcanic terrain as well as the culture.
- Canada—3rd—because of the breathtaking mix of Artic tundra, prairies and seascapes, plus the Northern Lights.
- Australia—2nd—for the light, the Aboriginal art and history, the beaches, forests and the reefs.
- America—1st—because it is “a continent masquerading as a country”, the U.S. is an easy choice for most beautiful country, as reported by The Telegraph. Its mountains, islands, lakes, deserts, glaciers, prairies and canyons come together in the “most glorious of all geographical jigsaws.”
However, there are other things which make places good to live—the warmth of the people and their energy, as well as investment, job opportunities and of course, proximity to friends and family.
Top new cities for foreigners
Two of the six booming destinations for expats mentioned in a recent Bloomberg article—Kuala Lumpur and Rio—are located in The Telegraph’s Top Ten list of the world’s most beautiful nations, along with Dubai, Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon, and Bengaluru (Bangalore).
Bengaluru is undergoing significant development and receiving significant investment; despite the fact that its infrastructure is still being built, it may seem “difficult” to visitors.
The 22 million people in Mexico City may not seem like an obvious choice for expats, but the city is incredibly progressive (the first in Latin America to allow gay marriage), on the receiving end of a lot of investment, full of talent and ambition, and home to some fantastic culinary options.
World’s friendliest cities
When moving to a new location and beginning a new life, it might be beneficial to be surrounded by amiable people, yet liveability difficulties may be the most crucial.
The friendliest cities in the world were recently discussed by CNTraveler (as voted for by its readers). It’s interesting to note that two of the top ten cities, Lisbon and Copenhagen, have repeatedly appeared on lists of the world’s most beautiful and liveable cities. San Miguel de Allende has a reputation for being a very welcoming city, and it just so happens that Mexico, which made The Telegraph’s list of the Top Ten Most Beautiful Nations, includes Mexico.
In spite of the fact that Mexico and Portugal do not offer visas for digital nomads, International Citizens, a company that assists travellers with international relocation, reports that the majority of applicants use the temporary resident or non-lucrative visa for Mexico and the D7 visa for Portugal. While the latter permits people to live and work remotely in Mexico for up to four years, the former allows people to stay in Portugal for one year with the option of renewing for another two.