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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Place To Relocate? 999

New submitter tsakas writes: "I am an IT researcher from southern Europe looking for a good place to relocate. Markets are pulling the teeth out of the strong European countries by destroying the south. The U.S. is in debt and there is no way of telling how long this can go on. China and India are on the rise. Brazil and Australia are looking good. The question: Which city would you choose to go and start a family if you were to stay there for a) 5, b) 10 and c) 20 years?"
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Place To Relocate?

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  • Mars (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:05PM (#40986845)

    Earth is screwed

  • Kansas (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:05PM (#40986855)

    Google Fiber

  • Oh Canada! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:07PM (#40986867)

    Canada is the place to be IMHO. With the stable economy, the speedy rise of the IT sector and easy Permanent Residence options, it should be your best bet, both in the short and the long run.

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Canada is the place to be IMHO. With the stable economy, the speedy rise of the IT sector and easy Permanent Residence options, it should be your best bet, both in the short and the long run.

      Canada is teetering right now, and banks are being warned to prepare for a housing collapse much like what happened in the US. A few other things, housing prices are sliding across the country, generally down 5-30% depending on where you are. Vancouver is down around 15%, Toronto is down around 10% on prices from last year. Houses that are on the market, stay on the market for a long time. I live in the SWON(South-western Ontario), and places here are sticking around for 6-9 months before selling. I'm

  • Stay where you are (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:07PM (#40986869)
    Stay where you are. "I believe I have the nondisprovable ability to predict worldwide economic trends" is a terrible reason to move.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I actually agree right now. A few years back I'd have said move to somewhere like Australia, or Canada, or similar. But frankly, both these countries have taken political turns for the worse. Honestly, if the problems in southern Europe are really problematic for you, just move further North in Europe for now - Germany, France, the UK, or one of the Scandinavian nations.

      Canada needs to kick the Conservatives back into the long grass with a massive electoral defeat that means they'll be un-electable for at l

  • by networkconsultant ( 1224452 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:07PM (#40986875) [] Masdar is the worlds first attempt at a completely energy neutral city.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:08PM (#40986883)

    As a person who was born in one country, brought up in a second, did college in a third, married a woman in a fourth, and when back to live in the country I did college in, I do not belong anywhere. I would move to any country that provided me with an opportunity I was interested in. There are stupid immigration hurdles and such you have to deal with, and those are artificial constructs that we have created to slow the movement of people like me.

    There is a saying in my parent's tongue. I am a pigeon, I fly wherever the seeds are. You should do that too.


  • Too little info (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:08PM (#40986889)

    China and India are on the rise. Brazil and Australia are looking good.

    Can you speak the language? What are the immigration policies of these countries?

    • Re:Too little info (Score:5, Informative)

      by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:25PM (#40987241) Homepage
      China does not permit immigration. You can get a residence permit if you have a real job, but it is only 1 year and is renewed at the pleasure of your local government. I have seen respected businessmen denied for no reason. They have to leave the country and their business predictably fails soon thereafter. There is a China green card program that is granted to a very small number of people every year. You won't get one, don't bother. You can marry a Chinese and get a 1-year "visiting relative" visa that can be renewed as long as you stay married, but this visa class is the same as a tourist visa and you cannot work on this visa, at least not in China. You'd have to have a WWW business or something.

      It's funny how people from Western countries with ridiculously lax immigration procedures go abroad, expecting every country to be just like their own. They are shocked, shocked to find out that a visa is a sovereign act of a nation and it is that country's choice to set the rules.

    • Re:Too little info (Score:4, Informative)

      by schlachter ( 862210 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:04PM (#40987845)

      India and Australia speak English.

  • by mooingyak ( 720677 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:09PM (#40986895)

    It depends on what you value. You're from "Southern Europe". That's semi-specific. What sort of place are you looking for? Good schools? What kind of community do you want? What kind of language skills do you have and/or are willing to acquire? What sort of culture are you looking for?

    Plus, your economic analysis is overly simplistic:

    The U.S. is in debt and there is no way of telling how long this can go on.

    If the US experiences a major economic collapse, there is no place in the world where you won't feel the effects of that. Or at least, no place in the world where you can hold a job as an "IT researcher".

  • Only 20 years? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:09PM (#40986903) Homepage Journal

    But you said raising a family.

    This means "where would you go so your kids will have the best opportunities in their lifetimes."

    Unless money to travel and attend college abroad is no object, this requires a much longer time horizon than 20 years.

    Unfortunately, any reasonably precise prediction of where the world - or any part of it - will be politically and socially 20+ years from now has a high margin of uncertainty.

  • The US. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:09PM (#40986905) Homepage Journal

    I don't think you actual understand the economic issue.
    I suspect you don't understand the EU's issue on a big scale either.

  • by bleh-of-the-huns ( 17740 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:11PM (#40986953)

    No matter where you look, each location will have its own fair share of problems. Rather then picking a location based on economics and political issues, pick a location where you will be happy.

    Now obviously, being happy is contingent on being employed and being able to live where you choose, but I guarantee you one thing, following the money does not always work.

  • Australia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:14PM (#40987017) Journal

    Good weather. Anglophone. Fun people. Healthy culture. Melbourne was just voted the most livable city in the world again. Economy booming because of natural resources being mined out of the ground and sent to China. All you really need to adapt to is driving on the left.

    I hear what others say about Scandinavia, and those countries truly have their shit together, but I'd find the long dark winters to be very depressing.

  • "On the rise" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:15PM (#40987029) Journal

    One thing you have to keep in mind that China and India "on the rise" are still far worse off than US and Europe. There's no guarantee they'll be better in 20 years even if they sustain that rise, which they won't necessarily do - China in particular has a pretty nasty bubble ready to burst.

    I'd stick to developed countries for the simple reason that you get some basic guarantees there that you don't in the third world should things go very wrong. For the same reasons I'd avoid US long-term - it's a good place to earn money during the productive period of your career, but not so good to retire in. If you're already in Europe, it's probably easier to go for one of the better developed countries there as they're more likely to weather the storms - Germany or France are two obvious destinations. Then there's Scandinavia - Finland looks surprisingly decent on many counts if you're willing to live with the weather.

    If you are really bent on seeking something outside of Europe, consider Canada - a saner version of US on so many counts, especially economy wise. And you still have US nearby, which is convenient for shopping and some other things. Very easy to immigrate to, as well. Australia is also a very decent option, and if you're a believer in China long-term, you should consider them for the simple reason that it's in the same region and China is their major trade partner.

  • What's ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:20PM (#40987113)

    What's the Best Place To Relocate?

    That's a tough question. Most areas are heavily acclimated to their current location. Anything non-trivial would have to swapped with something else, rather than simply relocated. Swapping even geographic close regions like North and South Dakota could have drastic unforeseen consequences; certainly swapping larger areas like France and Spain are right out. Perhaps a building or ballpark would be a good candidate for relocation, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

    Any ideas /. ?

  • good question is (Score:4, Informative)

    by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:20PM (#40987119) Homepage
    why are you relocating? if you fear for the wellbeing of your family you should know the health insurance for american workers is generally inferior to that of many european nations especially when considering their family coverage. The public education is routinely inferior as well, and 40 hours per week for tech workers is conservative in many cases. You arent going to see much more than 1-2 weeks of vacation in the first year in the states, and several of the southern states are sadly virulently xenophobic.
    can you clarify on what you mean by markets pulling the teeth out of strong european countries? You make it seem like you've simply become jaded by a spate of recent financial reforms. Strong Europeans are the backbone of strong European countries, so if you and others leave it simply leaves more room to turn the EU into a libertarian dystopia.
  • One word.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Howard Beale ( 92386 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:20PM (#40987137)
    Singapore. I worked there for two weeks at the Marina Bay Sands project. English is the primary language, the area is beautiful and clean. Hated coming home. I'd still move my wife and kids there in a second.
    • Re:One word.... (Score:4, Informative)

      by isorox ( 205688 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:31PM (#40989155) Homepage Journal

      Singapore. I worked there for two weeks at the Marina Bay Sands project. English is the primary language, the area is beautiful and clean. Hated coming home. I'd still move my wife and kids there in a second.

      Singapore is nice, just be ware of the various laws and lack of freedoms. They still have caning in Singapore, and the death penalty. No idea what the safety net's like if you get laid off either -- Healthcare, schooling etc.

  • by bitt3n ( 941736 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:22PM (#40987153)
    here's how I would do it: first 5 years in US, which probably won't collapse before then, and if it gets close, we'll just hornswoggle the Chinese into buying a bunch of movie studios like we did with the Japanese. Next 10 years in China. Make sure you pick up Mandarin. Parlay your ability to quote verbatim the scripts of popular 80's action movies into a career as executive of a floundering movie studio. Walk out of the office one day saying "I'll be back." Never go back. Next 20 years in Brazil, where you'll leverage your Chinese connections to become a major wheeler dealer in a revival of the opium trade. The most important thing is to leave no trace as you proceed. You don't want families 1.0 or 2.0 paying you and Conchita an unexpected visit in your Sau Paulo hacienda.
  • Sweden (Score:3, Informative)

    by Orphis ( 1356561 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:22PM (#40987159)

    The economy here isn't bad at all and it's quite peaceful, even in the capital Stockholm.
    Sweden's definitely a great place to start a family as the society do a lot for the parents (compared to many countries).
    I moved there a year ago and I have no regret at all :)

    Oh, and Swedish isn't that difficult to learn at all, you'll be just fine speaking English until you learn it!

    Bonus: if you haven't found a spouse yet, I can say that there are some really beautiful girls here too ;)

  • by jeffmeden ( 135043 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:24PM (#40987207) Homepage Journal

    Sounds like you are basing your decisions on a glance at the financial section of a magazine rack...

    "Trouble in Europe"? Oh no! Better get out of here!
    "Trouble in The US"! Oh no! Better not move there!
    "Indonesia at a crossroads" Hmm, sounds promising!

    Try opening the thing up next time and actually read what's going on. Then take the "am I ready to live in am emerging market?" quiz:

    Do you like to have to bribe your way around the local bureaucracy?
    Do you like to live within a mile of crushing poverty?
    Do you like to endure social, natural, and economic crises?

    If you answered yes to all of these, then yes an emerging market is for you (i.e. Brazil, China, India, etc). If you answered no to any of them, stay in a Western country. Keep your skills current and if the place goes downhill, just relocate again. Hell, you did it once, right?

  • Brazil (Score:4, Informative)

    by leandrod ( 17766 ) <> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:26PM (#40987255) Homepage Journal

    Brazil and Australia are looking good

    We are not. No education to speak of, a government which is making the same mistakes which resulted in the European crisis, lots of crime and violence. Also we are more and more becoming an exporter of commodities, because our tax system is totally regressive and cumulative, working against manufacturing and services by making everything very, very expensive — and we have lower salaries than those of the First World.

    I lived in Europe. Only reason I did not stay was that I was not allowed to.

  • England (Score:5, Informative)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:34PM (#40987385)

    I hail from Australia, and always felt that I was in a very small country with limited opportunities, despite everything going for it. Probably a fantastic country to raise kids or retire, but the economy isn't as big, and there aren't as many opportunities as, say, the US or UK.

    I wanted out, because I wanted to swim in a bigger pond. It was a tossup between the US and the UK, and because I had an easy visa (something you might like to consider), I just went to London. The UK has big social problems (even more than the US, it has a huge, feral, festering underclass, and I get the impression that the UK is a *BAD* place to be down on your luck), but if you're good at what you do, you can probably afford to live in a good areas and send your kids to decent schools and generally stay away from all the shit. London is a huge, bustling, dynamic place that's fairly close by, and there's something here for just about everyone (unless you're poor, of course).

    You're southern European, as you say, so don't forget that you have EU treaty rights. There are plenty of options for relocation within Europe.

    That said, you wouldn't want to retire here. I certainly don't plan on sticking around past retirement.

  • Look at Economics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fadethepolice ( 689344 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:34PM (#40987391) Journal
    Calgary, Alberta - Just located the world's greatest source of hydrocarbons near here on top of the second largest heavy oil deposits in the world. Coupled with great opportunity for growth in both tourism and agriculture. This city is one of the safest bets. Not too far from Vancouver and the sea as well. Perth Australia - Australia hasn't had a recession in 50 years. Perth is isolated both geographically and politically from most of the destructive currents on our planet, has significant energy deposits in the are, so it's probably a pretty safe bet. Good climate too. If global civilization collapses this is a possible re-seed point of civilization. North Dakota. - Low unemployment, booming economy. Pittsburgh PA - Low unemployment, booming (relatively to res of US) economy, massive sources of clean water, cheap place to live. Russian border regions around china - Probably a good area to locate economically. May have to worry about wars caused by demographics. Halifax Nova Scotia - Stable climate, place is isolated, local stocks of food.
  • Oxymoron Question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:34PM (#40987393)

    1st of all: If I would want to start a family I wouldn't plan to go anywhere for less than 20 years. Times are unruly enough as it is. With children you want a good school, a good community and - most important of all - a good wife and her our yours or both families near by. Everything else comes second!

    If you want to start a family you should even consider a career change if that is required to provide for the other things mentioned above. The family will be your primary fullfillment, not the job, so you might as well work as a bricklayer, provided the income is enough. Also factor in: Free housing or easy real estate from your family or in-laws, quality of life, happiness of wife (where does she want to live and raise children) etc. All of these are *way* more important than monetary income. Especially in times like these.

    If I'd start a family again, I'd move together with my girlfriend in the town she lives, simply because her career is way more solid than mine right now. And I wouldn't care if I were the main caregiver to children and would be driving a dump-truck on the side. Be prepared to do that aswell if your future wife turns out to be the vice-exec of some uprising company or having and wanting to keep a more stable career than you aparently have right now.

    2.) If you want to earn money in IT and are prepared to leave everything behind, you do the full monty and should get prepared to move anywhere within a few weeks notice, at any time and occasion. Singapur, Silicon Valley, Moskow, Dubai perhaps and maybe some high-polpulation areas in china are where the partys at right now. Live out of the suitcase or in microapparments for the next 15 years, rake in some stable cash or real estate and buy/build a home for your old age.

    3.) If you aren't prepared to go full-on cyberpunk and move around the globe for the rest of your working career you should stay put right where you are and adapt. If the Euro goes belly-up and the world finally notices that the US dollar isn't worth the paper its printed on then you'll be glad if you've got some contacts to a local farmer and some real-estate and a small shed on it somewhere in southern europe. And maybe some solar panels to power your computers. I'd be happy if I had that. I'm living in a single room sharing flat with 6 people in Germany and right now things aren't looking up, even for an expert like me. Living expenses are through the roof, the IT staff shortage is nothing but a legend to keep wages at the 2002 minimum and inflation is ramping up allready.

    Bottom line: Move for the family you want to start, and *only* for that, go fully international and prepare to relocate to Timbuktu if the money and/or the benefits package is right or stay put, get by somehow and prepare for some elongated worldwide economic downtime.

    My 2 cents.

  • by denisbergeron ( 197036 ) <> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:39PM (#40987457)

    Speaking for my church.
    We don't have the recession, we don't have the climate problem, we don't have gun, neither any strong social/cultural problem.
    We do have a strong IT/software development infrastructure from aerospace to game field or financial institution.
    We are a multilingual and multicultural city, you can find food and language from anywhere around the globe here.
    We do have apartment or house that doesn't ask you a arm.
    We do have nice commuting infrastructure, the metro (subway) are underground, some apartment building and office building have direct access to the metro... so you don't have to but your nose outside during the cold day of the winter or the hot day of the summer.
    We have a unique family policy that put the children as a societal value (6-8 month of parental care for a new birth, cheap children gardening, real restaurant with children place...)
    In the city of Montreal, you will find a lot of natural park and children park.
    Park are big enough to do mountain bike, skying, and so on....
    Lot of Europeans people work in the IT field in Montreal, you will not look that strange...
    It's easy to have the canadien residence for a european
    If you have a diploma from a know european university, you will have a job faster than the canadian residence.

  • Better question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxruby&comcast,net> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:46PM (#40987583)

    The better question is where can I relocate and survive outsourcing? Outsourcing is the number one threat to job stability no matter what country you are in. When I was younger I thought it was a problem with job being outsourced from more expensive northern states to cheaper southern states - it was. As I grew older I learned that was just the tip of the iceberg and that outsourcing meant you were competing against people all over the world. Outsourcing means that your job can be sent all over the world.

    It doesn't matter where you go, you will face the same problems. Not only that you will also face all of the challenges of being an immigrant. Over the years I have talked with IT people from places like India and even there they outsource their jobs to other firms.

    The bottom line is that you have to find a job that is difficult to outsource. There are ways to do this, for example find a job that can't be outsourced out of the country for national security reasons. Find a job that involves working directly with people and requires face to face interaction as a consultant. Find a job that requires your presence and not your skills.

    You can be replaced, and companies will spend a fortune to do do it because in the long run they /perceive/ that they will save an even larger fortune by doing so.

  • Other places (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KingMotley ( 944240 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:51PM (#40987651) Journal

    The US is still a great place to live, but assuming you are part of the new trend of US haters, I would recommend you look at the following places:
    1) Vancouver, Canada
    2) Japan (one of the non-irradiated sections)
    3) Norway
    4) New Zealand
    5) Switzerland

    But those would be my preferences, yours may differ.

  • by AtlanticCarbon ( 760109 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @02:53PM (#40987673)

    I think I've read stories about people from just about anywhere feeling the need to move in order to escape bad economic conditions. You hear a lot about people bringing up Australia or Germany. I don't see any long-term scenario in which other countries of the world are flailing but Germany and Australia are thriving. Economies are too interdependent these days.

    One should choose a city where they have the strongest base of support from family and friends. If thinks get worse, you will need to rely on those people.

  • by burni2 ( 1643061 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:04PM (#40987829)

    1.) very reasonable priced health care ! (contributions will be transfered by your employer to the insurance company from your salary)
    - the health care insurance company is not allowed to pick, they have to take anybody

    2.) good job market

    3.) reasonable priced rent

    4.) you can mostly get along with speaking english,
    but learning german is not that hard,

    Example: that iranian young women whose face pic was taken from facebook by western media due to a name glitch, she was prosecuted by the mullahs,
    got asylum here and after only one and a half year she is fluent and speaks execelent, she was on radio last week.

    If you want to learn german the national public radio (not npr) has a livestream, []

    you can also find places on the internet where you can watch our exported tv series ("Der Tatort" which translates as "The Crime Scene" or "Derrek" these got even dubbed with japanese language for Japan of course!!)

    5.) state forced sponsored pension (will be transfered by your employer as part of your salary) after your 67 birth day these insurance benefits will be paid

    6.) disabled persons & families are last to be fired (workers rights)

    7.) strong unions

    8.) from north to south, funny speaking people

    9.) reasonable wages
    When you negotiate your salary keep taxes and other things in mind (~%43 will be subtracted from your salary) so just add it beforehand !

    10.) IT, Tech & Engineering Jobs

    I love my country so I'd like to present my country to people in this world, european, african, asian, indian.

    Think of finding a job ?
    -> Try Germany!

  • Scandanavia (Score:5, Informative)

    by Prien715 ( 251944 ) <agnosticpope@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:06PM (#40987871) Journal

    If by "Europe" is doing badly you must surely mean the Eurozone. Unemployment in Norway/Sweden/even formerly bankrupt Iceland is very good. If you're having kids, the 2 months mandatory paternity leave in Sweden would be nice. You'd get to spend time with your kids and not have to work all the time and it allows your spouse to keep a career too. The governments themselves are very stable with the lowest levels of corruption in the world (if only Greece could say the same!), allowing the high tax rate to give you a decent rate of return on services you receive.

    In short, it's the southern European welfare state on steroids but done responsibly.

  • by excelsior_gr ( 969383 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @03:20PM (#40988069)

    Giorgo, is that you?

    On a more serious tone, and as others pointed out above, you should have provided us with more clues. Relocating is an issue with lots of variables that vary strongly in each case. Having said that, all tips that one can give you can only be vague/anecdotal at best. Here are mine:
    1. I am Greek working in Germany for 7 years now. Whether you can feel safe economically here strongly depends on who you work for. I work for a large chemical company (>15.000 employes worldwide) and can't complain. However, we now hire only if we explicitly need to fill a vacant place.
    2. My Greek family and friends from my school/university years are all over the globe: Germany, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Brazil, UK. Those that are still in Greece plan to go away. However, this should come as no surprise. Greeks always had the tendency to migrate (also for no apparent reason) and this can only be enhanced by an economic crisis.
    3. Strangely, some friends that were in USA came back (before the crisis broke out). Personal reasons also came into play, but it seemed that the conditions in the USA were not overwhelmingly good so as to encourage their stay.
    4. In Australia you first need to get a well paying job in order to qualify for a visa. You can't go there looking for a job as many would imagine. This is likely to be valid for other countries as well.

    My 2 cents.

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