Put several expats together in a room and they will talk about two things – home and their favourite expat destination.
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It’s difficult to evaluate why somewhere is rated higher by one expat than another, but the United Nations has tried with the World Happiness Report.
Published every year, researches try to work out the countries where people are happiest and have a better quality of life.
Surprisingly, a better climate is often cited by expats as one reason for moving to another country, but this year’s top five happiest countries all have cold climates. They are:
All these countries are considered rich nations by their peers – but the report is not based on money but other factors, like fairness, honesty, trust, and good health, according to the authors.
Happiness as a science
“We are developing the measurement of happiness into a science,” said editor Professor John F. Helliwell, of the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
“This is the third year of the report and we are starting to see governments take notice of our findings and developing policies based on well-being. Nations with strong social and institutional capital not only have a happier population, but are more resilient when economic problems strike.”
Meanwhile a separate survey by expat forum Internations revealed more high earning expats live in Nigeria than any other country.
Around 12% of expats in the country earn at least £160,000 a year but have to work at least a 48 hour week to take home the cash.
Top earning expats
Russia and Kazakhstan take joint second place for expat earnings – 11% earn more than £160,000, while Switzerland and Malaysia tie for third place with 9& of expats in the top income bracket.
The report revealed globally, only 3% of expats earn that much or more.
Nigeria and Ghana have the expats working the longest hours – the global average is 41 hours a week.
The study showed expats in Senegal are the happiest, with 69% happy with their jobs and 78% rating their career prospects as excellent, compared to a global average of 59%.
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