Top countries in Europe for living and working: highest salaries, conditions, ease of employment



Top countries in Europe for living and working: highest salaries, conditions, ease of employment

Are you planning to start a new life in one of the European countries? Find out more about the top 5 countries in Europe to live and work in, which offer great job opportunities and a healthy work-life balance

Buy insurance for safe travel to more than 200 countries
Buy insurance for safe travel to more than 200 countries

Significant percentage of people in the world live and work abroad - according to the UN, the number of migrants is 232 million, and therefore almost 3.2% of the world's population lives outside the country of birth.

There are quite a lot of reasons to work abroad - it includes the development of professional skills, personal growth, career prospects, the opportunity to receive a higher salary, as well as the desire to learn a new culture, change the circle of communication or simply travel.

Regardless of what motivates you to look for work abroad, when planning to move to a new country for employment, the first thing an expat should do is to choose a country. Each country has its own characteristics and offers a foreigner certain opportunities. Which countries are the best to move to in 2024? TOP 5 countries in Europe for living and working further.

How was the rating created?

Every year, under the leadership of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, an international ranking of the happiest countries in the world, the World Happiness Report, is created, in which 150 countries are evaluated according to the following criteria: social support, GDP per capita, freedom of choice, healthy life expectancy, presence/absence of corruption etc.

Find the five European countries with the highest levels of wages and social security in our top.

1st place - Finland

For 10 years now, Finland has taken the leading positions in the World Happiness Report rating. High trust in the government and freedom reign here. The Finnish philosophy of life - sisu - speaks of perseverance, courage and strong will. The Finns stubbornly go to their goals, despite the difficulties. It is also worth noting the close connection of Finns with nature. Despite the harsh climate, they spend a lot of time outdoors.

- Minimum salaries here vary depending on the industries and decisions of individual trade unions. On average, you can earn from 1800-2000 EUR per month.

- The working day is 8 hours, overtime is paid in double amount.

- Since 1987, Finland has had a law on gender equality, which guarantees the same level of remuneration and access to jobs for both women and men.

Despite its high ranking and good living conditions, the country is not popular among economic migrants. And this means that you can safely choose it, because the competition for a workplace will be the least here.

2nd place - Denmark

The Danish word hygge describes a state in which we feel comfort, convenience, kindness. According to the Danes, the key to happiness is regular meetings with people. This is exactly the philosophy that local residents adhere to.

Good working conditions are also an advantage of the country:

- The level of the minimum salary is not set here, you can count on remuneration from 2,500 EUR per month, but on average this figure reaches 5,200 EUR per month.

- Most sectors have a 37 hour work week: Monday to Friday from 8 or 9 in the morning to 4 or 5 in the evening. The country's leadership is also considering the transition to a four-day work week.

The ideal balance between work and personal life is the main advantage of moving to Denmark.

3rd place - Netherlands

The social sphere is very developed in the country: health care, assistance to families, material support. This is one of the most important factors, thanks to which the Netherlands takes an honorable 3rd place. It is important that the country is friendly to foreigners, so you can safely go here if there is an intention for honest work. The Netherlands is among the leaders in published vacancies on the European job search portal, which is easy to check among current vacancies.

- The minimum wage here is set depending on age and is calculated exclusively on an hourly basis in order to maintain a fair wage, regardless of the number of hours worked per week. As of January 1, 2024, it is EUR 13.27 for persons aged 21 and over.

- The average duration of the working week is from 36 to 40 hours, 7-8 hours per day.

To move, travel or work safely in a new country, you will need health insurance. You can apply for an extended policy on our website here.

4th place - Sweden

Citizens of the country are distinguished by a high degree of trust in the authorities. The country is not the most popular among economic migrants, but there is a high demand for a workforce of various skill levels.

- The minimum salary level in Sweden is not set, but usually these figures start from 2500-3000 EUR per month.

- A working day in Sweden lasts 8 hours.

Sweden is hospitable to refugees, within 90 days from the moment of arrival, you must submit documents for obtaining the status of temporary protection at the link.

5th place – Switzerland

The country is considered one of the wealthiest in the world, accordingly, the salary level is very high here, although its minimum level is not regulated. The labor market here is very stable.

- You can expect to earn from 2700-3000 EUR in the lowest paid positions.

- The average working week in Switzerland is 42 hours per week.

Switzerland is consistently considered one of the most stable and safest countries in the world. In Switzerland, employees are entitled to various statutory benefits. Swiss employers must pay social security taxes and payroll contributions that cover employee retirement, work-related injuries, unemployment, family benefits and mandatory leave.

If you are looking for an ideal country to move to for work, one of these countries can guarantee an expat a high income, strong social support and a high chance of finding a good job.

How to overcome the language barrier?

If you move to a country whose language you do not speak, you may have difficulties at work, leading a social life, in everyday life, as well as when filling out government documents, accounts, signing contracts, etc.

Therefore, even at the stage of planning the move, it is worth starting to learn the language of the country of future residence. It is better to consider studying on intensive language courses.

Also, before moving, familiarize yourself with the legal content of the documents you will have to fill out or contact translation services to help translate important documents.

The advantage is that many employers in Europe offer jobs that do not require knowledge of the language.

How can an expat find housing abroad?

Searching for a budget house or apartment in a new country can be quite a complicated process that will take much more time than you plan. Therefore, it is better to start looking for an apartment several months before the planned move. This will give you more time to compare different options, see different types of accommodation and choose the best fit for you.

Try to budget for rent while taking into account all of your other expenses for your new life. It is also better to look for accommodation close to your new place of work to save time on the road.

You can use online platforms like Airbnb to compare prices, availability and quality of different types of accommodation. Also check out local expat websites, forums or blogs in your chosen country. Do not forget about thematic groups in social networks.

A vacancy in which the employer also took care of housing will significantly simplify moving abroad.

As a reminder, the top 9 countries to which it is easiest to get a work visa can be found here.

Daria Rogova, Head of Insurance at Visit World

To move, travel or work safely in a new country, you will need travel insurance. You can apply for an extended policy on our website here.

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Travel guide for 200 countries;

Legal advice from a local specialist on visa and migration issues;

Travel insurance around the world (please select the country of interest and citizenship to receive services);

Medical insurance all over the world.

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