According to MoverDB, a British moving services comparison website, the Estonian capital, Tallinn, is the top 16th place for expats to move after the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The website says in its 2021 guide, “The World’s 25 Best Cities for Expats to Move to Post COVID-19”, that it is highlighting the cities with the best safety, quality of life, cost of living, salary, work-life balance and the percentage of expats.
The guide has placed Tallinn in the 16th place, based on various indicators – 12 metrics, including the rent prices, night safety, life satisfaction, salaries, popularity and the cost of a takeaway meal. It highlights that the average yearly salary in Tallinn is £13,202 (€14,794), rent price £490 (€549), life expectancy 77.8 years, and that it already has 15.4% of expats living in the city.
Tallinn’s night safety is put at 69%, the quality of a support network at 92% and the reported employee overtime at 2.4%. Tallinn’s overall “life satisfaction index” is listed as 175.99, although it’s unclear what that number represents. For comparison, though, that index in Madrid, Spain – that tops the rankings for 2021 – is only 165.05; however, in Helsinki, Finland – that occupies the fourth place in the ranking – the “life satisfaction index” is 186.4.
Madrid, Reykjavik, Luxembourg and Helsinki the best cities for expats
In terms of work opportunities, health, happiness and overall satisfaction, Madrid is the top destination for those wishing to move abroad.
“The city is steeped in culture and history with strong support networks available for new residents as well as a high life expectancy and one of the best healthcare systems in the world. It has great and affordable transport available for just £1.40 as well as low cost of living and has more top-rated restaurants than anywhere else, with 18 Michelin starred restaurants in a 25-kilometre radius,” the comparison website says.
Reykjavik is the second most popular city for expats, with Iceland’s rich culture, social welfare system and natural beauty making it a perfect place for expats wanting a good work life balance and close proximity to other places in Europe.
“Icelanders have a life expectancy of 82.4 years, approximately two years more than the OECD average. Like other Scandinavian countries, Iceland also has a modern welfare system, with free healthcare, free education and a good pension. Iceland is also ranked highest in terms of gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap. In terms of climate, the average summer temperature in Reykjavik is 24.7ᵒC while winter temperature drops to approximately 0ᵒC.”
Riga, Latvia, one of the worst cities for expats
Luxembourg came in third, and, as mentioned above, Helsinki, the capital of Estonia’s northern neighbour Finland, was ranked fourth in the index; Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is ranked 19th. However, the index brings bad news to Estonia’s southern neighbour, Latvia, listing its capital, Riga, as the eighth worst city for expats. The average yearly salary in Riga is just £5,566 (€6,237), according to the index, and the “life satisfaction index” 148.68.
The very worst cities for expats, according to the MoverDB index, are Santiago, Chile; Bogota, Colombia; and Cape Town, South Africa.
“Norway is the safest country for expats to move to in 2020 with a low crime in major cities such as Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Stavanger. 87% of Norwegians are confident in their local police, and 90% feel safe when walking home alone at night, making it a great option for first-time movers,” the comparison website said in its index.
UAE and other Arab countries popular among expats
“Brazil, on the other hand, is one of the least safe options for expats with only 36% of residents feeling safe when walking at night and a significantly higher crime rate than the top European countries.”
In terms of expats, the United Arab Emirates has the highest percentage of international migrants at 88.4%, making it one of the most popular choices for people seeking a range of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Similarly, Qatar and Kuwait are popular destinations for migrants looking for a strong international population, the website said.
MoverDB is a London, UK-based comparison website that offers information about international travel companies and the costs associated with moving overseas. The website’s users can also request a quote from up to six international moving companies.
Cover: Houses in Tallinn’s Kalamaja district. Photo by Maret Põldveer-Turay.