Nordic cities good for jobs but poor for housing and living costs

Nordic cities good for jobs but poor for housing and living costs

Nordic cities good for jobs but poor for housing and living costs

Now that the entire world is every job-hunting expat’s oyster, it all comes down to what’s most important – career or quality of life.

Focus nowadays is on the tech sector, with top talent entrepreneurs grabbing fistfuls of seed funding from Estonia to Shenzhen whilst expats in less exciting fields are feeling somewhat left out. Deciding to stay in good old, reliable Europe is one way to work at your own pace, but the choice of an exact location can be equally confusing. For example, Scandinavian cities offer more familiarity and less excitement than Paris, but are superior to many other places for work/life balance.

Yet another survey might help, but these days each one seems to have different rankings for the same cities. The latest is InterNations’ Expat City Ranking, which claims its top Nordic city as Helsinki at 26th place, but sees Stockholm languishing at the bottom of the list at 69th. The low averages of the Nordic group are generally down to their high costs of living and housing, but expat respondents are generally happy with their work/life balances. Scandinavia, it seems, is a good place to work for its reasonable working hours, reassuring levels of job security and satisfactory provision of amenities.

However, housing seems to be is a major problem for expats heading north, both for its high costs and the difficulty of finding suitable accommodation. Other respondents found it difficult to settle in, with many saying making friends was a problem. Even so, the main complaints were levelled against housing, with even houseboats on Copenhagen’s canal suggested as suitably affordable homes for expat professionals.

As usual nowadays, Asian cities topped the listings, taking the six highest scores across the board, with Taipei leading and followed by Singapore, Manama, Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur. The surprise entry in the top six was Bangkok, now a shadow of its former exciting self according to its long-term expat residents.

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