There are many reasons why you should consider relocating and working abroad. First and foremost is the fact that you can increase your earning potential. Earning a higher wage for the same job you do back home is a good reason to consider packing your bags and leaving, but it’s also a smart decision to make because relocation can be beneficial to your career.
To help you pick a destination we’ve put together a list of the countries with the highest average salaries:
- Average Income: $3,963 - £3,082
- GDP per capita: $50,510 - £39,285
- Minimum wage: £1,337
- Unemployment rate: 8.5%
Belgium is more than just the heart of Europe and the country that gifted us with many influential people. It’s also one of the countries with the highest average wages which are made possible by the country’s ever expanding economy. Belgium’s booming economy has a lot to do with the advantageous location which has made the country a leader in world trade.
If you choose to relocate to Belgium you’ll find a very competitive labour market as well as a high cost of living. Much like the rest of Europe, consumer prices are higher than the UK (8 per cent). Groceries are also more expensive (16 per cent), but renting can be cheaper as a one bedroom flat in the centre of Brussels will only set you back by £700 per month.
- Average Income: $4,134 - £3,216
- GDP per capita: $40,400 - £31,431
- Minimum wage: £6,860 - £9,038
- Unemployment rate: 6.8%
Canada is one of the most popular destinations because of the high standard of living Canadians enjoy. Finding work and getting a visa requires careful planning. One of the main reasons the country’s economy is booming is international trade; as Canada is extremely rich in natural resources, extracting and trading goods like oil, etc. is an important part of the economy.
The services sector is also quite big with three-quarters of the population being employed in it. What’s important to know is that the cost of living in the UK and Canada is similar if not higher in the UK. Consumer prices in the UK are higher by almost 3 per cent, while rent is a whopping 12 per cent higher. The local purchasing power is also lower. But note that groceries can be a lot more expensive.
8. The Netherlands
- Average Income: $4,289 - £3,345
- GDP per capita: $48,860 - £38,119
- Minimum wage: £1,385
- Unemployment rate: 5.3%
Despite the fact that the Netherlands is a small country and has a relatively small population, they’ve managed to make their economy one of the biggest in the world. The country has greater economic growth than many other countries in Europe, and the Dutch enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle and well-paid jobs.
What you should know before you relocate is that consumer prices, including rent, can be higher in the Netherlands than in the UK. Purchasing a flat, on the other hand, could be cheaper as prices in the centre of the Dutch capital average £3,078 per square metre.
- Average Income: $4,379 - £3,415
- GDP per capita: $70,000
- Minimum wage: £8,047
- Unemployment rate: 6.25%
Ireland is ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the world with an economy that is largely dependent on the services sector and trade. With a booming economy, the Irish are known to have an impressive standard of life, as well as high-paying jobs. But, the purchasing power in Ireland is lower than in the UK and consumer prices are higher by almost 13 per cent.
- Average Income: $4,700 - £3,667
- GDP per capita: $51,000 - £39,787
- Minimum wage: £387
- Unemployment rate: 5.7%
Many people are interested in relocating to Australia as the country combines lovely weather and one of the most resilient and stable economies in the world. Australia is home to some of the biggest companies in the world, and the country’s economy is dominated by its service sector. Mining and the agricultural sector are also very important. Consumer prices are much higher in Australia than in the UK, but the local purchasing power is also higher by almost 17 per cent.
5. United States
- Average Income: $4,893 - £3,816
- GDP per capita: $57,000 - £44, 445
- Minimum wage: $7.25 - £5,69 per hour
- Unemployment rate: 4.4%
If you’re wondering why you should consider moving to the US, then let me remind you that the US economy is the largest in the world. The dollar is the currency used in most international transactions and is the world’s foremost reserve currency.
The economy is based on the country’s abundance of natural resources and its well-developed infrastructure. As the US is a truly massive country, prices differ depending on where you are. But, overall, consumer prices are slightly higher in the UK and grocery prices are significantly lower.
- Average Income: $5,310 - £4,140
- GDP per capita: $54,000 - £42,112
- Minimum wage: Not available
- Unemployment rate: 3.9%
Danes enjoy one of the most comfortable living standards in the world and are lucky enough to have some of the best companies (which also pay well). Their economy depends heavily on foreign trade and is supported by high-tech agriculture and some natural resources. Denmark also boasts extensive government welfare measures and has one of the most stable currencies in the world. Much like the rest of Scandinavia, prices in Denmark can be higher than in the UK. Consumer prices, for example, are higher by 19 per cent while renting a one bedroom flat in the centre of Copenhagen can set you back by £838 per month. But, buying an apartment is a little bit cheaper, as you’ll only need to part with £4,033 per square metre, 17 per cent less than what it would cost you in the UK.
- Average Income: $5,418 - £4,226
- GDP per capita: $71,000 - £55,375
- Minimum wage: Not available
- Unemployment rate: 4.3%
Norway’s economy is largely based on the natural resources of the country which include petroleum exploration and production and hydroelectric power. The state owns many businesses in strategic areas and many employers create favourable conditions for the workforce who have one of the highest standards of living in Europe. But, the cost of living is higher in Norway than in the UK. Consumer prices are 33 per cent lower in the UK, while groceries prices can be up to 42 per cent higher in Norway.
- Average Income: $5,583 - £4,354
- GDP per capita: $91,600 - £71,409
- Minimum wage: £1,787
- Unemployment rate: 6.0%
The Luxembourgers enjoy one of the best economies in the world. Their economy is dependent on the banking sector, as well as the steel and industrial sectors. This country has the reputation as the greenest country in Europe and is aptly called ‘the green heart of Europe’. But, the cost of living in Luxembourg is higher than in the UK. Consumer prices are roughly 15 per cent higher and property is £6,808 per square metre.
- Average Income: $7, 396 – £5,764
- GDP per capita: $80,000 -£62,379
- Minimum wage: Not available
- Unemployment rate: 4.0%
Switzerland is considered a safe haven as it has one of the most stable economies in the world. Relocating to Switzerland could mean an extremely high earning potential, especially if your profession is amongst these high paying jobs, but you should, however, be aware that the living costs are extremely high. Consumer prices are over 80 per cent higher in Switzerland than in the UK. Rental prices are also much higher and buying a flat in the centre of the Bern or Zurich could set you back £9,000 per square metre.
Relocating to any of these countries can be a great financial move. Keep in mind that it’s relatively easy to find work in any of these countries with just English, but learning the local language can significantly increase your employment opportunities.
Which of these countries would you consider relocating to?
This article was originally published in July 2014.