If __ Wins the Election, I’m Moving To ... Denmark

They’re the world’s happiest people for a reason

By Diane Rommel

If __ Wins the Election, I’m Moving To ... Denmark
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02 May 2016

Tell your Facebook feed enough times that you’re leaving the country if that guy (or gal) gets elected and eventually, you’re going to have to put your passport where your mouth is. Well, you’re in luck: this is our new series on some of the world’s best expat destinations for dissatisfied Americans.

Country of honor: Denmark

In brief: The southernmost Scandinavian country recently topped a poll for the “world’s happiest country,” despite a national affection for salted black licorice and appalling weather.

Official language: Danish

About that weather: In 2007, rain fell on 188 days.

The exact cost of happiness: The average tax rate is 49 percent, topping out at 63 percent.

Shack up here: If you’re taking a pass on orderly, lovely, antiseptic Copenhagen, consider North Jutland, with windswept beaches, commanding cliffs and a curious, compelling quality of light — a bonus if your expat plan includes a second career in painting, as this part of the country is known for producing them (its art museum was designed by Alvar Aalto, the Finnish architect famous for the library at Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon, as well as many buildings in Scandinavia.) This red-painted cottage, overlooking the North Sea, will do fine.

Toast your new life here: Maybe get that drink before leaving Copenhagen — ideally, at Ruby, which takes the seasonal aspects of its cocktail selection very, very seriously. The description for its Emerald Martini begins: “Imagine a crystal clear Scandinavian lake. Now imagine the scent of dewy grass and meadow herbs.” In short, it involves two Danish aquavits. And parsley dust.

Immigration situation: As a member of the Schengen Area — the single-border zone uniting 26 European countries — common rules apply: U.S. citizens can spend up to 90 days out of every six months in any Schengen state. In other words, you can’t do “border runs” between Denmark and Sweden every three months to “renew” your visitor’s visa. Beyond that, Denmark utilizes a  that rewards education, language ability, youth and experience in certain in-demand professions.

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