A major consideration.
If you are planning to emigrate and leave your homeland to settle in another country, there are several things to consider.
Many potential expats often focus on job opportunities, career opportunities, cost of living, and local weather conditions. However, what many folk fail to consider is how safe it is to live in certain countries, even if the other issues seem to fall into line.
Moving to a foreign country can be traumatic, challenging, and may also be somewhat scary as you struggle to adapt. Improving your living standards, and good job security is an excellent reason to relocate. However if your country of choice has top-rated safety and security standards, it is an added bonus that should not be taken lightly.
Here are the results of surveys conducted by the Inter Nations network regarding the personal safety and security of life in certain countries.
Countries which are highly rated for safety and security:
- This small European country borders on Belgium, France and Germany, and is mostly rural in nature. The capital, Luxembourg City is mainly where the small population of only half a million people, is located. Expat associations have rated Luxembourg as the safest country in the world to live. The city is safe for folk to wander about after dark, although one must still be vigilant in case of petty thieves who may be around.
- Norway is another popular destination for émigré families, especially the capital Oslo. The crime rate is very low, although are episodes of vandalism and petty thefts. The police do not carry guns. You will be unlikely to be involved in a motor accident, as the speed limits are very low, and Norwegians are reputed to be very careful drivers.
- Switzerland is a rich, developed European country, with thriving cities like Geneva, Zurich, and the capital Bern. The country has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, especially when it comes to armed robbery and criminal homicide. In fact, surveys have indicated that crime is simply not a concern for Swiss citizens, and human rights are held in high regard by the government and law enforcers.
- This small island nation is recommended for expats who want to relocate to Asia. The bustling city of Taipei is where most immigrants head for. There is very little serious crime, but there are some skilled pickpockets in the cities, so take care with your personal belongings. Taiwan’s police are known for being fair and approachable should you have any problems to report.
- Global Peace Index has rated japan as the 5th most peaceful country in the world, and is ranked third as the safest country for expats to live and work. It is however, highly populated and living space is at a premium. Crime is low, but the peace and tranquillity of Japan can sometimes be shattered by extreme weather occurrences.
- New Zealand. Expats living in New Zealand have given glowing reports regarding the safety and security of the country. Although obviously not crime free, the serious crime rate is very low. This Pacific Ocean country consists of 2 islands, namely the North and South Islands. Wellington is the capital city, and cities such as Christchurch, Auckland, Hamilton, and Dunedin, share the same benefits of low crime levels.
- Canada is a vast North American country which shares a common boundary with the US, and is a favourite with expats. Very large cities include Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and the capital Ottawa. Canada’s police officers are easily recognisable in their distinctive red coats and brown hats. The crime rate is very low, and some expats are more concerned about driving in the extreme winter weather conditions than they are about crime.
- Australia is fast building up a reputation for potential expats as the land of milk and honey. Jobs are plentiful if you have the right qualifications, and the minimum wage allows you to have a decent standard of living. However, this may be offset by a somewhat higher cost of living than you are used to. Most of Australia’s major cities like Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, situated along the east and west coastlines, have a magnetic attraction for those who want to relocate. The warm Australian weather and the many golden beaches, are also draw cards.
However, while not known as a dangerous, crime-ridden country, because of the diverse nature of the population, Australia has its fair share of serious crimes such as armed robbery, burglaries, murders, motor vehicle theft, as well as other types of street crimes, and petty thievery.
There are also sporadic instances of racial tensions between whites and other races. How you are affected by crime will depend mainly on the neighbourhood of the city in which you may reside, but on the whole Australia is on the list of a safe and secure place for expats to settle.
- United Kingdom. The main concern for families relocating to the UK, is finding an area where it is safe to live. Parts of London, Leeds, and Newcastle, for example, have a reputation for violent crimes taking place, such as muggings, robberies, and pickpockets – among others. These are areas which you will want to avoid at all costs. The UK nevertheless, has much to offer expats, including completely safe areas in which to live and work. The trick is to ascertain, which areas of the city you choose to live in, are the safest – and take it from there.
- This small archipelago is a favourite area of relocation with British expats. Part of the Commonwealth, and situated in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, this rocky island only has a population of 400,000 residents. This means that Malta is quite, safe, and crime is almost unknown. With good year-round weather, Malta is highly desirable to those who have to suffer through ice cold winters.
Moving to a new country will be challenging – and often filled with trauma. There are so many things to consider and deal with, not the least being a new culture, or even learning a foreign language. Making decisions about job opportunities, living costs, and places to stay, is only the very tip of the iceberg.
A very important aspect when choosing a foreign country to live in, is to take serious cognisance of the safety and security situation.
The personal safety of you and your family should feature high on the list before you make a final decision where to go.