Where the World Wants to Work: The Most Popular Countries for Moving Abroad

Last updated on May 24th, 2024 at 10:11 am

If Google statistics are any indication, many of us have clearly been pondering our lives during the strange events of 2020. For example, there was a 29% increase in global Google searches for ‘how to move abroad’ from January 2020 to October 2020 alone.

So where do most of us imagine moving to? Do people from different parts of the world have different dream destinations? Are good weather and beautiful locales a priority, or are we really hankering for great healthcare, solid job prospects and a welcoming culture? 

Here at Remitly, we were keen to know more. So, we took a look at global search data to discover the most popular relocation destinations for the citizens of countries across the globe. Here’s what we found.

1. People in Europe

Focusing solely on European searchers, we can see that the most popular relocation destination is Germany, which topped the list for eight countries within the continent. Benefits of the country include its excellent universal healthcare system, a thriving economy, fantastic public transport, low crime rates, clean environment and excellent job opportunities.

2. People in North and Central America

According to our internet search analysis, the most longed-for relocation destination for people living in North and Central American countries is Canada. The Great White North was the prime pick for eight countries, although it’s interesting to note that people in the United States, along with those in Canada itself, opted for Japan as their preferred overseas home. This is probably thanks to its reputation for high safety levels, job opportunities and heavily-praised quality of life.

3. People in South America

Only two countries came up when we looked at the destinations South Americans would most like to relocate to, and Spain was the top choice by a landslide. Portugal was the only other pick, showing that it could well be similarities in language and culture that draws residents of these countries overseas, along with the great healthcare, general safety levels and the fantastic quality of life that Spain offers.

4. People in Oceanic countries

It was an even split between Oceanic countries, showing no clear choice for favoured overseas living destinations. New Zealand and Fiji both selected each other as their top picks – New Zealanders probably appreciating the more cost-effective and relaxed way of life in Fiji and Fijians enjoying the abundance of working and living opportunities available in New Zealand. Australia, meanwhile, is another country that is mostly researching a possible move to Japan.

5. People in Asia

There seems to be more of a location-based split within the Asian countries. South-east Asian and Indonesian immigrants are mostly interested in heading to Japan, making it the preferred option for the continent as a whole, while many of the Middle Eastern and Arabic countries within the continent, such as Jordan and Lebanon, lean towards Qatar as their top choice. With high salaries and no taxes, as well as modern living, particularly in Doha, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular option.

6. People in Africa

It’s another win for Canada, with 14 of the African countries, including Ghana, Kenya and South Africa, showing the most interest in a move there. It’s clear that the country’s diverse population and strong economic opportunities are a tempting offer all around the globe, especially at a time when many are under financial stress. 

The overall winner?

If we take a step back and look at which single country topped the most wish-lists of other countries across the world, the clear winner is Canada, with Japan and Spain trailing far behind in second and third place. 

Featuring prominently in the Global Peace Index as one of the safest places to live, and boasting low unemployment rates alongside a high amount of immigration options, there are quite a few reasons why Canada is so appealing. Add to that its friendly locals and beautiful scenery, and it’s little surprise that the country is considered by so many people to be head and shoulders above the rest of the world.

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