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| 2 minutes read

Where would you relocate if you could move anywhere?

Let's say that you get the option to move and live anywhere you want in the world — where would it be?  Given that an estimated 42% of the U.S. workforce is now working from home and that remote work has been shown to significantly improve mental health, I am guessing that many people are rethinking how they would answer this question with everything that is going on (pandemic, high cost of living, fires, social unrest, etc.). 

Would you still move to London, Paris, Shanghai, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Chicago? Or instead would you be redirecting your life out of a bigger city and heading to some place with fewer people and less cost? 

How would you assess the various destination options on your short list? Well, according to the latest AIRINC Global 150 rankings, if you based your decision on factors relating to Financial Ranking, which looks at salaries, costs and taxes, then you might have considered these top five locations:

  1. Manama, Bahrain
  2. George Town, Cayman Islands
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  5. Geneva, Switzerland

However, if you based your decision on factors relating to LifeStyle Ranking, which focuses on hardship factors, quality of living components and social benefits, then you might be headed to one of their top five cities in this category:

  1. Prague, Czech Republic
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Vienna, Austria
  4. Toronto ON, Canada
  5. Tokyo, Japan

And looking at all of it combined, here would be your overall top 10 global destination options:

  1. Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Geneva, Switzerland
  3. Luxembourg
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Calgary AB, Canada
  6. Dubai, U.A.E.
  7. New York NY, U.S.A.
  8. Houston TX, U.S.A.
  9. Vienna, Austria
  10. Denver CO, U.S.A.

So how do these line up with your most recent assessment of the world? Surprised by any of these?  There are many places on the list that I would be really good with. And although Minneapolis is not on the list, I am just fine with being here, albeit still excited at some point to get back out there in the world!  

But the list of countries where travelers can go live and work remotely is growing.  According to this article from CNBC, "More countries are inviting travelers to trade their home offices for the opportunity to live and work abroad during the pandemic." There are a number of locations that are attempting to entice workers to their shores, and many of these places are attractive due to low COVID-19 rates, lower costs for living, and a better work-life pace and balance. While I did not see many of these locations on the AIRINC Global 150, I'd be game to consider almost any of them (Anguilla, Barbados, Bermuda, Georgia, Estonia, and Croatia soon)! 

Today more than maybe ever, companies are getting more comfortable with the idea of employees working remotely, even to the point of considering creating "de-location" programs to support the process. The idea of having jobs move to people is not new, but it is a trending topic that we talked about recently when exploring how to make the most out of your "de-location" program

AIRINC’s 2020 Global 150 Cities Index highlights the cities that have the ideal combination of high salaries, low taxes, costs, and quality of life. In this, our 4th iteration of the ranking since being featured in Harvard Business Review, we see a solid consistency in the top five, but several key changes in the top 20, along with some surprising regional results.


global mobility, relocation, covid-19, climate change, cost of living, motivations, career, family life, balance, housing, quality of life, safety