20 Best Countries for Women Who Want to Leave the U.S.

20 Best Countries for Women Who Want to Leave the U.S.

American women who want to move abroad gather in hundreds of Facebook groups that target female expats. Some of those groups include Mexico Wild Women Expat Community (18k members), Black Women Expats in Panama (2.1k members), and Coffee with Expat Women (4.3k members). They’re excellent resources for meeting other women who’ve emigrated from the United States.

If you’re a woman considering immigration for yourself, the Women Peace and Security Index is a good place to start. This data, compiled by Georgetown University, uses metrics like education, cellphone use, legal discrimination, and partner violence to measure women’s quality of life. The report does not account for race or other intersectional data.

The index, which is from 2022, ranked the United States in 21st place prior to overturning Roe V. Wade. These countries were ranked as the top 20.

1. Norway

Shutterstock norway slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The report notes that, with a few exceptions, “Countries where women are doing well tend to be those with strong and more open democratic institutions.” It also notes that, “Rates of financial inclusion range from universal in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden to fewer than 1 woman in 20 in South Sudan and Yemen.”

2. Finland

Shutterstock finland slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Nordic countries outperform all others. Per the index, “Policies in the Nordic countries are associated with strong performances on the WPS Index.” Finland also regularly ranks first among the happiest countries in the world.

3. Iceland

Shutterstock iceland slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

As the report notes, “Nordic countries do well even by developed country standards. High achievements on the inclusion and justice fronts can be traced, at least in part, to public policies that promote a dual-earner model.”

4. Denmark

Shutterstock denmark slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

“In Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, both fathers and mothers have access to at least a year of paid parental leave, also helping to even out childcare responsibilities,” says the report. Gender gaps in workforce participation are also small.

5. Luxembourg

Shutterstock luxembourg slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

This small nation is known for its safety and exemplary healthcare. Its parliament is comprised of 31.7% women.

6. Switzerland

Shutterstock switzerland slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Switzerland is tied with Singapore for lowest intimate partner violence, and 58.8% of women there are employed. Jobs are crucial for most women here, because the country is one of the most expensive to live in.

7. Sweden

Shutterstock sweden slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Sweden performs slightly behind its Nordic neighbors, but it’s focused on women’s issues like sexual violence: “The Swedish government is resourcing the Crime Victim Compensation and Support authorities to handle cases of sexual violence.”

8. Austria

Shutterstock austria slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Austria is having a banner year for drawing expats, as Vienna was recently named the move livable city by The Economist. The country is offering many options to live and work there.

9. United Kingdom

Shutterstock united kingdom slideshow jpg

Women have an average of 13.2 years of education in the UK, and the country has announced a new strategy for the rights of women and girls. It’s challenging to move to the UK, though, unless you’re studying abroad or have an existing job offer in the country.

10. The Netherlands

Shutterstock netherlands slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Five percent of women report intimate partner violence in the Netherlands, and 99.8% have access to financial freedom and services. American freelancers often use the DAFT visa to navigate their way to the Netherlands.

11. Germany

Shutterstock germany slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Women have an average of 13.9 years of schooling in Germany—the highest on the list. Women who want to study abroad should keep in mind that college in Germany is basically free, and programs in English are available.

12. Canada

Shutterstock canada slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The report gives Canada a perfect score for absence of legal discrimination and discriminatory norms. Canada also has very permissive abortion laws and universal healthcare. The country is introducing a new digital nomad visa that should draw many Americans.

13. New Zealand

Shutterstock new zealand slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

New Zealand is nearing the aspirational 50% mark for parliamentary representation: 48.3% of its representatives are women. Women’s perception of safety was the lowest in the top 20, though, with only 50.3% of women feeling safe on their own at night. It’s challenging to move to New Zealand without a job offer or college acceptance letter, but younger Americans can go on a working holiday visa.

14. Spain

Shutterstock spain slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Women in Spain have less education (10 years), financial inclusion (91.6%), and lower employment rates (44.3%) than previous countries on the list, but the country’s friendly visa program makes it one of the easiest top-20 countries to move to.

15. (tie) France

Shutterstock france slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Like Canada, France also nets a perfect score for lack of legal discrimination. The country’s recent turmoil and civil unrest may deter some expats, but not the most dedicated Francophiles.

15. (tie) Singapore

Shutterstock singapore slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Singapore is the least democratic country in the top 20, but its high female employment rate (61.9%), low intimate partner violence rate (2%), and perception of safety (96.9%) go a long way in offering women peace and freedom.

15. (tie) Slovenia

Shutterstock slovenia slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Slovenia is a hidden gem for women who want to move abroad. It’s ranked in the top 10% of countries worldwide for both safety and healthcare, while offering an affordable retirement visa. Parliamentary representation is the lowest of any country in the top 20 (21.9%), but its other stats are impressive.

18. Portugal

Shutterstock portugal slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Women in Portugal have the lowest amount of education of countries in the top 20 (9.2 years), but the country gets a perfect score for lack of legal discrimination, and women make up a respectable percentage of parliamentary representation (40%). Americans love moving to Portugal on the D7 (passive income/retirement) visa or the digital nomad visa.

19. Ireland

Shutterstock ireland slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Ireland ranks high for years of education (12.9), financial inclusion (95.3%), and absence of legal discrimination (100%). The country has a flexible dual-citizenship program for people whose near ancestors were Irish citizens, and it also has a retirement visa for people who’d like to spend their golden years on the Emerald Isle.

20. Estonia

Shutterstock estonia slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Estonia is one of the best countries for women that you may have never considered. Women are very educated (13.6 years of schooling on average), enjoy high levels of financial inclusion (98.4%), and have 100% cellphone use. That’s not surprising in tech-savvy Estonia, where you can apply for visas and take care of other government functions online.

5 Easy Ways to Find the Best Country to Live In

best country to live in - banner

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

How do you find the best country to live in?

It’s an impossible task, really; a great country for someone else might be a disaster for you. You might want low cost of living with universal healthcare and income equality. Maybe personal safety in an attractive destination where English is widely spoken. Perhaps you want a small country offering quality education in an international school system.

With nearly 200 countries to choose from, picking your top countries gets tough quickly. Here are a few ways to find the lifestyle that suits your needs:

5 Easy Ways to Find the Best Country to Live In

11 Reasons Women Are Fleeing the USA

reasons women are fleeing the USA - banner

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

While the number of people emigrating from the United States grows, there’s one thing the news isn’t reporting: many of these people are women.

The number of solo woman expats is soaring, while married women work to convince reticent husbands to move abroad. Here are some of the reasons women are fleeing the USA:

11 Reasons Women Are Fleeing the USA

How to Leave America: 6 Steps to Your New Life

How to leave America slideshow Shutterstock jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Are you thinking about leaving the United States? You’re not alone; as many as 15% percent of Americans say they want to leave the country permanently.

How to Leave America: 6 Steps to Your New Life

Panned Parenthood: 45 Countries Where Abortion is Legal

countries where abortion is legal - banner

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022 and end nearly half a century of precedent, American women have sought out countries to move to where reproductive rights are protected. It’s rarely the sole factor in an aspiring emigrant’s decision to leave the U.S., but it’s a significant one.

International law regarding abortion varies considerably and can involve time limits and other legal grounds, but these are countries where abortion is legal or largely protected.

Panned Parenthood: 45 Countries Where Abortion is Legal

 

 

Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?

Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 2400x320 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 2400x320 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?