If so, you are not alone if you are thinking of leaving the UK to emigrate abroad. Coronavirus and its devastating effects on our society has changed migration significantly and as the UK has been one of the hardest hit countries in the world, many have taken the decision to move abroad and say goodbye to the UK. A recent report from the Office of National Statistics quotes one million people left the UK in 2020, the largest fall in population since world war 2.

Lockdown restrictions are now beginning to ease, and with many UK residents itching to go abroad for a holiday, or an even longer more permanent stay, where they choose to go remains the question.

According to HSBC’s latest ‘Expat Explorer Report’, Brits who have moved abroad, prior to Covid, had increased their income by 74% thanks to their relocation. The choice to move abroad is still greater than ever to fulfil dreams of a sunnier climate, lifestyle improvements or to be nearer to family who they have been separated from due to lockdown movement restrictions.

With people reviewing what they want out of life now since the pandemic, focusing more on happiness and their own mental health, plus shifts in priorities when it comes to family and work-life balance, emigrating is still on the cards for many UK residents now more than ever. The UK has seemingly plummeted in popularity during the Covid crisis, but where are the best places to emigrate to, and what are the top choices and why? Here we look at the top 5 ‘happiest’ destinations according to the latest ‘World Happiness Report 2021’ that paid special attention on how different governments around the world dealt with the pandemic and how that relates to the happiness of their residents.

The results…

# 1. Finland.

For four years in a row, Finland has topped the ‘happiness’ chart. Residents claim a strong satisfaction with their lives and are happy they live in a country where the people take care of each other. With over 75% of Finland covered in forests, it’s a country where relaxation and taking life as it comes is their way of maintaining a happy state of mind. "Finnish happiness isn't skin deep and immediately visible — it's deeply engrained in our being. Sustainable happiness is our superpower, and it means we tend to take life as it comes — a trait that is helping us through these challenging times," said Heli Jimenez, senior director of international marketing at Business Finland.

#2. Iceland.

Appearing in the top 5 on many occasions, Iceland has risen in popularity in recent years thanks to the increase in tourism to witness the natural beauty of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). With similar results to Finland, Icelandic residents report they felt that they always had someone to turn to if the going got tough or in need of support.

#3. Denmark.

Labelled the most bike friendly country in the world, Denmark remains a firm favourite thanks to its trusted government, economic security, social freedom and a good work/life balance. With a strong environmental conscience and significant investment in renewable energy, Denmark boasts a huge commitment to renewables with nearly 40% of its energy consumption derived from wind generation.

#4. Switzerland.

The one time #1 has fallen a few places to number 4 in 2021, but with its green open spaces, natural beauty, lakes, and the infamous Alps, it is still a firm favourite for emigration. The Swiss population vote on everything and this direct democracy plays well for its residents. From landmark decisions, down to how many days holiday workers get during their employment, are all voted on and everyone can have their say and feel valued.

#5. Netherlands.

With its culture of art, history and love of life, the Netherlands sits at number 5 in the ‘happiness’ chart. The capital city of Amsterdam is a mecca for many travellers, and is famed for its winding streets, cafes and canals. It seems happiness also starts early in The Netherlands, as children rank highest for educational well-being, safety and health, according to a 2013 Unicef report.

Other countries that appeared in the top ten included, Sweden, Germany, Norway, New Zealand and Austria. So where does the UK sit in this report? Well, the UK has fallen from #13 in 2020, down to #18 in 2021. This slump is mainly down to the drop in people’s mental health because of Covid lockdowns. The report made a focus this year on mental health and the effects of Covid, where in previous years experts based their findings on GDP, life expectancy, support, freedom and corruption. Although restrictions are now starting to ease and the green shoots of recovery are showing in the UK, there is no doubt that moral and mood is low, however mental health is showing signs of improvement, but the study reveals we are not back to pre-lockdown 2020 levels.

Ready to make your move and emigrate?

If you are ready to pack up and leave the UK in search of fresh new beginnings and new adventures, Spring can help make your move abroad a lot easier. We have helped hundreds of customers wanting to emigrate thanks to our home buying service, so the sale of a property becomes one less thing to worry about when leaving the UK for pastures new.

Our team can complete on the sale of your property on a timescale that suits your emigration plans, sometimes in as little as 7 days. Spring’s all-inclusive homebuying fees includes all legal and conveyancing costs, so you know what price you will get and when, enabling for better financial planning and security for your new adventure to your chosen ‘happy’ country.

Contact us today to find out how Spring can help you make your next move.

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