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Best Scandinavian Country to Move to From the USA

Posted Country Guides / January 3, 2024

Choosing the best Scandinavian country to move to from the USA is a decision marked by adventure and cultural exploration. However, it’s a rather hard decision to make, so join us as we unravel the distinctive virtues that make Scandinavia an ideal haven for those seeking a new chapter beyond borders.

Why Should You Move to Scandinavia From the US?

Hiring a reliable international moving company and relocating to Scandinavia offers a unique opportunity to experience a lifestyle centered around balance, well-being, and cultural richness. Scandinavian countries, renowned for their high quality of life, boast some of the world’s best healthcare and education systems, ensuring peace of mind and stability.

The emphasis on work-life balance is a breath of fresh air for those accustomed to the fast-paced American work culture, with more time for family, leisure, and self-care. Additionally, these nations are celebrated for their commitment to environmental sustainability, offering a chance to live in harmony with nature amidst stunning landscapes.

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Sweden – A Blend of Innovation and Tradition

When considering global startup hubs, Silicon Valley, Seoul, and Berlin are often at the top of the list. However, there’s an emerging player that has been making substantial and consistent contributions to the entrepreneurial world – Sweden.

Situated in the heart of Northern Europe, Sweden has quietly solidified its status as a formidable force in the startup ecosystem.

Securing its position as the fifth best place for startups globally.

Sweden is home to more than 24,000 Americans

Nordic Lifestyle and Culture in Sweden

Sweden, with its unique blend of contemporary innovation and deep-rooted traditions, offers a fascinating lifestyle and culture for those considering moving internationally. Known for its progressive values, Sweden champions equality, sustainability, and a high standard of living.

The “Lagom” way of life makes Sweden one of the best places to live abroad. “Lagom” is a concept emphasizing balance and moderation, ensuring that work does not overshadow personal life and leisure. Socially, Sweden is welcoming, with a strong sense of community and a rich cultural tapestry that celebrates everything from historic Midsummer festivals to cutting-edge design and technology.

Economic Opportunities and Living Costs

As per the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Sweden showcases an impressive ratio of 20 startups per 1,000 employees, a rate four times higher than that observed in the United States. So, if you’re moving overseas here and don’t have a job, you don’t have to worry that much.

What distinguishes Sweden’s entrepreneurial landscape is not only the abundance of startups but their sustained success. The country boasts one of the highest survival rates for new businesses, with a remarkable 74% persisting beyond the crucial three-year milestone.

The Swedish Education and Healthcare System Is Flexible and Accessible

Being one of the best countries to live in, Swedish students enjoy the freedom to choose and switch between public and private schools at no extra cost, fostering a flexible educational environment. The country’s progressive approach integrates technology extensively in education, with over 70% of primary students having access to personal computers. Despite this, Sweden faces challenges in educational equality, especially in math, science, and reading.

On the Scandinavian healthcare system front, services are generally free or low-cost for residents and expatriates, though charges may apply for specific services like dental care. This underscores the importance for those planning their journey with an overseas moving company to consider obtaining comprehensive international health insurance, as it may be necessary to cover certain healthcare expenses.

Norway – Nature’s Splendor and Economic Stability

This country offers a compelling blend for those considering moving abroad. Known for its breathtaking natural landscapes, from the majestic fjords to the awe-inspiring Northern Lights, Norway provides an unparalleled connection with nature. Alongside its environmental wonders, Norway boasts a robust economy, marked by strong social welfare systems and a high standard of living.

So, if you’re ready to explore more about this place, hire professional movers who can help you with all the tasks. Enjoy the efficient packing service and have all the needed time to embrace this harmonious blend of nature and economic security.

More than 10,000 Americans live in Norway

Experiencing Norway’s Natural Beauty

Explore a paradise of outdoor activities amid breathtaking landscapes by relocating internationally and immersing yourself in Norway’s natural beauty. From the majestic fjords to the expansive wilderness, Norway offers a canvas of scenic wonders.

The country’s commitment to environmental policies further enhances the experience, ensuring the preservation of its pristine natural treasures. Whether it’s hiking through picturesque terrains, sailing along serene fjords, or witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights, Norway beckons adventurers to revel in the harmonious blend of untouched nature and sustainable practices.

Working and Thriving in Norway

If you aim to secure employment in the Nordic job market, directing your efforts towards this country could prove to be advantageous. Similar to various European nations, Norway is grappling with a skills shortage, creating a favorable environment for the substantial recruitment of professionals in the upcoming months.

According to Statista, there’s a consistent rise in Norway’s employed population from 2023 to 2024, with an anticipated increase of +0.7%. While this might seem as much, it marks the country’s fourth consecutive year of growth. Given Norway’s high standard of living and commendable work-life balance, it stands as a great destination for those seeking new employment opportunities.

Navigating Daily Life in Norway

Depending on which city you live in, the housing options in Norway range from modern urban apartments to quaint rural dwellings, accommodating diverse preferences. The education system is renowned for its excellence, offering residents and expatriates access to top-tier institutions. In terms of healthcare, Norway boasts an efficient and accessible system, ensuring the well-being of its population. Community life is integral, with vibrant localities fostering a sense of belonging.

Denmark – The Epitome of Work-Life Balance

Denmark stands as the epitome of work-life balance, weaving a lifestyle where professional success and personal well-being coexist harmoniously.

Embracing the Danish concept of “hygge,” the nation places a strong emphasis on fostering a comfortable and convivial atmosphere in both work and personal spheres. With key industries driving economic prosperity, Denmark offers abundant entrepreneurial opportunities while maintaining a supportive workforce dynamic.

Denmark is home to more than 9,000 Americans

Embrace Danish Hygge and Scandinavian Culture

Embracing Danish “Hygge” goes beyond a cultural phenomenon – it encapsulates a way of life in Denmark that prioritizes coziness, contentment, and a sense of togetherness. Hygge permeates every aspect of Danish life, from intimate gatherings with loved ones to the comforting ambiance of home.

The concept extends into the community, fostering a strong sense of connection and shared experiences. Danish social life revolves around creating moments of warmth and joy, whether through leisurely coffee breaks, communal meals, or outdoor activities.

However, for those moving to Denmark from the USA to experience this unique lifestyle, overcoming the language barrier is an integral part of the journey. Engaging with the local language not only eases daily interactions but deepens the connection with the Danish community, enriching the hygge experience.

As you prepare for this life-changing move, consider partnering with I Love International Moving, a trusted resource in shipping overseas. Get the needed help for a smooth transition into your new Danish life, surrounded by the essence of hygge.

Economic and Employment Prospects

Denmark’s economy has experienced a notable period of growth, leading to record-high employment levels. The surge in the current account surplus and consistently positive public finances over the past six years underscore this success.

Nevertheless, indications of an impending slowdown are becoming evident, particularly with rising interest rates and a downturn in crucial export markets. These factors are anticipated to transition the Danish economy into a phase of reduced activity, accompanied by a rise in unemployment. Despite this, the slowdown is expected to be relatively moderate and followed by renewed economic progress in the year 2024.

Living Comfortably in Denmark

Despite Denmark’s renowned high standard of living, it stands out as one of the world’s most expensive nations. The expenses associated with renting or purchasing a residence, particularly in major cities, are notable, and the cost of groceries is also on the higher side. However, it’s crucial to note that the average salary in Denmark is also among the highest in Europe, offering a balanced perspective on the financial aspects of living in this affluent Scandinavian nation.

Denmark boasts an extensive healthcare system financed through taxes, ensuring healthcare access for all residents. Residents enjoy complimentary healthcare services with the Danish health insurance card (the yellow card). To obtain this, registration for the CPR number (Danish Civil Registration System) is required.

Denmark possesses a globally acclaimed education system, securing a fifth-place ranking in university reports. Within this framework, Denmark proudly hosts several of the world’s top-notch universities, such as the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, and the University of Southern Denmark.

Iceland – Unique Landscapes and Progressive Society

The country’s geological marvels, including glaciers, volcanoes, and geysers, create a mesmerizing backdrop for exploration.

Beyond its breathtaking scenery, Iceland stands as a beacon of progressiveness, with a society that values inclusivity and innovation. As a result, it’s among some of the top foreigner-friendly countries you can choose from.

Around 1,000 Americans live in Iceland

Immersing in Iceland’s Unique Culture

The Icelandic culture, steeped in rich traditions and folklore, reflects the resilience and creativity of its people. The Icelandic language, with its ancient roots, serves as a linguistic treasure connecting past and present. And as you can imagine, you’ll need some tips for learning the new language as one of the things to do before the move.

Societal values in Iceland emphasize inclusivity, environmental consciousness, and a strong sense of community. Together, these elements create a cultural tapestry that sets Iceland apart, inviting visitors and residents alike to engage with its distinctive heritage and embrace the warmth of its tightly-knit society.

Economic Landscape and Opportunities in Iceland

The thriving tourism industry, driven by the country’s breathtaking landscapes and cultural allure, contributes significantly to Iceland’s economic vibrancy. Anchored by sustainable fishing practices, the fisheries sector remains a cornerstone of the economy, reflecting Iceland’s commitment to responsible resource management.

Additionally, the nation’s investment in renewable energy sectors, particularly harnessing geothermal and hydropower resources, positions Iceland as a leader in environmental sustainability. As a result, job prospects abound in these dynamic sectors, offering a promising landscape for both locals and those considering relocating to a new country.

Settling in Iceland – What You Need to Know

In the capital city of Reykjavik, rental prices are notably steep, with the average monthly cost of a one-bedroom apartment reaching approximately 150,000 ISK (equivalent to around 1,062 USD or 1,000 EUR).

If you are relocating to Iceland from a non-EEA country, you will be automatically enrolled in the national health insurance six months after registering your legal residence with Registers Iceland. This applies to individuals who were either not covered by insurance in their previous country or were solely covered by private health insurance.

Iceland is among the nations providing tuition-free education for students. Upon completing your studies, you are entitled to a two-year permanent residency. Studying for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Iceland allows you the advantage of not having to separate from your family. Moreover, there is no age limit for undergraduate students in the country.

Finland – A Haven for Education and Quality of Life

Moving to Finland from the USA means you’ll live in one of the best European countries.

Finland, celebrated as a haven for education and an epitome of quality living, beckons those seeking a transformative experience. Renowned for its world-class education system, Finland offers a unique blend of cultural richness, social values, and technological innovation.

2,900 Americans live in Finland

The Finnish Approach to Life

Being an expat in Scandinavia, you’ll enjoy the Finnish approach to life that is deeply rooted in cultural richness, robust social values, and active community participation. Embracing a unique cultural tapestry, Finland celebrates its heritage through various artistic expressions and traditions. Social values such as equality, trust, and environmental consciousness form the backbone of Finnish society, fostering a sense of solidarity among its people.

Economic Prospects and Living Standards

An individual would typically allocate approximately €900 monthly for essential expenses, excluding rent. Finland consistently secures the 3rd position globally for life quality, excelling in various aspects such as education, healthcare, work-life balance, environmental quality, social connections, safety, and life satisfaction.

Education and Healthcare in Finland

Relocating across the world for a top-notch education is one of the most common reasons for making this big step in your life. Finland provides universal healthcare coverage for its residents through a system comprising both public and private sectors.

Public healthcare services are offered free of charge. Renowned globally, the Finnish education system stands as one of the finest, ensuring students benefit from tuition-free education and a minimal homework burden.

Found the Best Scandinavian Country to Move to From the USA? Navigating Your Relocation With I Love International Moving

Moving to any Scandinavian country promises a transformative experience, blending modern comforts with rich cultural experiences. Moreover, education in Scandinavia ensures a top-notch learning environment for your family. It’s a rewarding choice for those looking to start a new chapter of their lives.

When planning your international move, partnering with a trusted overseas shipping company like I Love International Moving can ease the transition. Contact us, and let’s explore the opportunities awaiting you in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, or Finland.

What Are the Visa Requirements for Moving to a Scandinavian Country From the USA?

Visa requirements vary by country, but generally, you’ll need a residence permit. Check the specific requirements for Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, or Finland and apply accordingly through their respective immigration authorities.

How Do the Scandinavian Countries Compare in Terms of English Language Proficiency?

English proficiency is high across Scandinavia. While native languages are predominant, especially in daily life, you’ll find that English is widely spoken and understood, making communication relatively smooth for expats.

What Are the Best Cities for Expats in Scandinavia?

For a vibrant urban experience, consider Stockholm (Sweden), Oslo (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark), Reykjavik (Iceland), and Helsinki (Finland). Each city offers unique cultural experiences, excellent amenities, and a welcoming atmosphere for expatriates

How Does the Tax System Work for Expats in Scandinavian Countries?

Scandinavian countries have progressive tax systems. Expats may be subject to high-income tax rates but benefit from extensive public services. Familiarize yourself with the tax regulations of the specific country you’re moving to, and consider consulting a tax expert.

What Is the Social Security System Like for Foreigners Living in Scandinavia?

Foreigners living in Scandinavia often have access to comprehensive social security systems. Expats may be eligible for healthcare, unemployment benefits, and pensions, but it’s advisable to check specific rules and requirements in the country of residence.

Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

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