Where you should move for a better life and career in 2019

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Published last month

As a year has just begun, it's high time for you to unwind your plans and get started in fulfilling each of them. Choosing the best destination has never been an easy task, whether you're seeking a better life or new career prospects abroad. Expat.com gives you an insight into the best cities to live, work or start a business in according to a recent global study by the Mori Memorial Foundation.

Economy

Manhattan, New York City
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New York and London remain without any doubt the best destination for those looking to boost their career abroad thanks to their strong and dynamic economies. With their booming entrepreneurial ecosystem along with many multinational and local large and medium companies are substantial proofs of their economic performance. In spite of Brexit uncertainties, London keeps on providing an attractive framework for foreign professionals and entrepreneurs. In North America, San Francisco offers the most attractive business climate as evidenced by the number of foreign tech entrepreneurs flocking to the world-famous Silicon Valley. Toronto and Vancouver provide, for their part, support services to new businesses and employees. In Asia, Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong are offering great job opportunities for foreign professionals. Regarding digital nomads, they can choose from a wide range of coworking spaces along with business incentives in big cities like New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Research and development

San Francisco
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North America looks like the ideal place for those looking to study and get the chance to launch their startup abroad. Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Chicago are the global top five cities for research and development with some of the world's finest universities that welcome massive numbers of international students every year. With its prestigious universities and a dynamic business environment, London is quite similar to these big US cities – but this doesn't mean that you can't try your luck elsewhere. Berlin, Stockholm and Singapore are places where you're likely to thrive with a strongly innovative project.

Cultural diversity

cultural diversity in London
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London is one of the world's most culturally diverse cities with its warm cosmopolitan population. If you're looking at a city where integration won't be an issue and where you will be able to enjoy a vibrant social and professional life, it's the place to be. The British capital city is a favourite spot for arts and cultural festivals, conferences and other events all year round. Also, there are so many things to see and to do in London like museums, theatres, art galleries, concerts, parks, among others, just like in New York. Tokyo is the ideal place to discover a unique blend of cultural and traditional heritage, and enjoy a wide range of restaurants offering typical Japanese dishes. It's also home to large shopping malls and local markets where you can get a taste of the local lifestyle. While Paris has the world's largest number of museums, Singapore hosts the most significant number of international conferences – which should speak to those who are looking to expand their professional and social circles.

Quality of life

Toronto town hall
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Quality of life is defined by a range of criteria including work-life balance, equality and social freedom, and the quality of healthcare, etc. Toronto and Vancouver are two North American cities offering an unparalleled quality of life given the affordable cost of living compared to other big cities on the continent, not to mention the number of working hours and employee satisfaction. You could also feel the same in Tokyo where the number of working hours has recently been decreased and where foreign professionals are entitled to attractive wages. Regarding the cost of living, you should earn enough in Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo, for example, to face the high rent prices.

Environment

green spaces in Stockholm
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If a quality environment is something which means a lot to you, Stockholm, Zurich and Copenhagen are some of the cities you should turn to. Named the world's greenest cities, these provide not only a large number of green spaces where you can relax but also clean water and air. Concerned about environment issues, Vienna, Geneva and Berlin also made significant progress in this regard over the past few years by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and implementing a series of measures like the use of renewable energy. Big US cities like San Francisco and Washington DC also made much progress due to the drastic effects of climate change.

Connectivity

Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris
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If travelling is going to be part of your everyday life abroad, regardless of the reasons, you should perhaps move to Europe with Paris and London being the most connected cities both by air and land routes. Both cities have excellent transportation networks that will make getting around easier, be it to commute to work or for leisure. Tokyo is another very accessible city with many international airports, as well as regional and domestic flights – like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Seoul. But if you hate long distance travels and turning up late for work due to traffic congestion, you should turn to Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Madrid in Europe or Osaka and Fukuoka in Asia.