Expatriating to Scandinavia: reasons for success

Expatriating to Scandinavia: reasons for success

4 September 2023 Expat life

Whether it’s to get closer to Santa Claus, to ward off the effects of climate change or to take advantage of a system that’s totally different from southern European countries, there’s every reason to expatriate to Scandinavia. Let’s discover them together

Moving to Scandinavia for the healthcare system

Nordic countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland top the list of the world’s best healthcare systems. And that’s a fact!

These countries offer a universal, high-quality healthcare model based on the following principles:

  • Coverage and access to care
  • A mainly publicly-funded healthcare offer

As a result, all residents have access to quality healthcare, regardless of their financial situation, which helps to reduce health inequalities. What’s more, the Nordic countries have state-of-the-art medical infrastructures, competent medical staff and high standards of care. In the Nordic countries, public funding covers 75% to 82% of expenditure, compared with an average of 74% in the European Union.

Take Sweden, for example, which stands out for the availability of high-quality, accessible and comprehensive healthcare, offered to its residents at no individual cost. This approach translates into higher life expectancy and better health throughout residents’ lives. Thanks to a comprehensive range of medical services available at little or no cost, the Swedish population benefits from optimal medical care, helping to reduce health problems and extend life expectancy. A good reason to move to Sweden, don’t you think? Well, we’ve put together a guide to expatriation in Sweden for you!

A rich and dynamic economy

The Nordic countries have enjoyed remarkable, sustained economic growth over the long term. Norway and Sweden have seen their GDP increase by a spectacular 80% since 1995. By comparison, the Eurozone has seen an increase of less than 40%, and Japan less than 20%. This exceptional economic performance demonstrates the robustness and dynamism of the Nordic economies compared to other regions of the world.

According to a study by the World Economic Forum and Insead, the Nordic countries are ranked in the top 20 for innovation and competitiveness. These countries are singled out in particular for their digital skills and flexible working hours.

Finally, according to World Bank data, moving to a Nordic country can be a winning choice, since all four countries are among the 25 economies with the highest GDP per capita.

Welfare in the Nordic countries between work/life balance

While taxes in some Nordic countries can be relatively high compared to others, in others, such as Denmark, cities are the most expensive in the world. This is often offset by higher salaries. In addition, many countries offer social benefits such as generous paid leave, including parental leave, as well as good retirement pensions. These measures are designed to guarantee a better quality of life by providing financial security and social protection for citizens.

Scandinavian countries are widely recognized as being at the forefront of gender equality in the workplace. Among them, Norway stands out as offering one of the best work-life balances, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


The Nordic countries place work-life balance at the heart of their culture, and this has a significant impact on the level of happiness of their residents. According to a study by the World Happiness Report (WHR), around 60-70% of happiness is linked to environmental factors. With this in mind, these countries foster an environment conducive to well-being and satisfaction by encouraging practices such as leaving work early to pick up one’s children or spending time with one’s family, elements that are an integral part of Scandinavian culture.

nordic countries

A very special kind of schooling

As a future expat, you may be tempted to choose your next place of residence with your children’s future in mind. You’re bound to have heard of schooling in the Nordic countries, Finland in particular, which still occupies a prominent place in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) rankings.


What makes them different?

  • Openness and discussion: more equitable and holistic, education is an ongoing dialogue between teachers, students and parents;
  • Student-centered: the values of inclusion, democracy and equality are paramount;
  • Focus on continuous assessment to measure progress rather than formal evaluations;
  • Very little homework;

Go green and live in Scandinavia!

Expatriating to Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland offers many environmental advantages. These countries are renowned for their commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. Their unspoilt landscapes offer an abundance of natural beauty, with crystal-clear lakes, verdant forests and majestic mountains. The Nordic countries have adopted innovative renewable energy policies, promoting the use of clean energy sources. What’s more, these countries attach great importance to waste management and carbon footprint reduction, encouraging recycling and promoting environmentally-friendly modes of transport. To take a concrete example, just a few months ago the Norwegian parliament approved a proposal to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, twenty years ahead of schedule. The European Union, for example, is aiming for climate neutrality by 2050.

Health protection in Scandinavia and… all over the world

You’ve decided on Norway, Finland or Sweden as your future expatriation destination? There’s just one step left to take advantage of their many benefits: consider your well-being and protection, particularly in terms of health.

In this context, Foyer Global Health offers numerous international protection solutions adapted to different profiles and situations. Whether you’re moving on your own, as a couple or a family, traveling for work, to join a loved one or for a personal adventure, Foyer Global Health offers expat health coverage tailored to your needs (professionals, families, digital nomads, etc.), to ensure your peace of mind wherever you are in the world.

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