In The South

If you’re young, LGBT+ and want to work abroad – Malta tops the list

Besi Besemar April 30, 2018

Where should you move to if you’re young, LGBT+ and want to work abroad?

♦ Study investigates lifestyle factors and LGBT+ legislation in 26 European countries to determine the best place to work in if you’re queer

♦ Malta tops the list as the best country for LGBT+ workers

♦ The UK secures spot in the top 10

♦ Latvia emerges as the worst place to live and work if you’re LGBT+

EXPERT Market, a leading UK B2B comparison site, has produce new research to identify the European
countries that offer the best lifestyle and opportunities if you’re LGBT+ and looking for a career change
overseas, with Mediterranean hotspot Malta topping the list.

Following a call from The European Court of Justice (ECJ) for same-sex spouses to receive residential rights in all European countries, Expert Market’s study is the first to identify the countries promising the best setups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning individuals who want to work abroad.

The study investigates lifestyle and employment factors as well as LGBT+ legislation in 26 different European countries by cross-referencing data for employment rights on sexual orientation and gender identity, laws against hate crime as well as the average income, minimum annual leave, statutory unemployment rate, the average cost of renting a one bedroom apartment (both within and outside the city centre) and safety score.

Individual rankings from these factors were combined to give an overall ranking of the best places for young LGBT+ professionals to move to for fair treatment and a satisfying work-life balance.

Malta is THE best place to live and work if you’re LGBT+

Valetta - Malta
Valetta – Malta

With a burgeoning nightlife scene and the best ‘rainbow score’ in the study, Malta ranks in first place as the best place to move to for young LGBT+ millennials who want to work abroad.

Malta boasts the second lowest unemployment rate in Europe at 3.5% and has one of the fastest growing tech scenes in central Europe – these combined with the highest volume of national laws protecting sexual orientation and gender expression of any country in Europe makes it the ideal destination for young LGBT+ professionals to move to.

With minimum paid annual leave and public holidays at 38 days (the highest in the study and 10 days more than Brits are entitled to) and a pint of beer priced at an affordable £1.59, young professionals can look forward to generous down-time to enjoy the island’s sunny beaches, award-winning diving or historic towns.

Denmark, Austria and Spain also ranked among the top five countries to move to for LGBT+ millenniums.

Top Five Countries

  1. Malta
  2. Denmark
  3. Croatia
  4. Austria
  5. Spain

UK makes the Top 10 for places for young LGBT+ professionals
Expert Market’s study ranked the UK in ninth place overall, pushed up by its positive ‘rainbow score’ meaning it performed better than some of Europe’s renowned liberal countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden who ranked in 12th and 13th place, respectively.

Unlike Sweden, local governments in the UK have introduced more legislation against hate crime.

Although the UK has some national laws in place to criminalise hate speech targeted at an individual’s sexual orientation, legislation and policies for hate crime for gender identity and expression are still only enforced at a regional level.

The UK was nudged out of the top five due to expensive living costs with one bedroom apartment rents ranging from £599 to £752 per month across the country (inner city versus outside the city centre).

Sadly, close neighbour Ireland fares badly in the list, coming in at 22nd place. Ireland’s high cost of living contributed to its low score with some of the most expensive one bedroom apartments, both within and outside the city centre (£1,040 and £875). The country also has limited national legislation in place to criminalise hate crime and speech on the grounds of gender identity or sexuality.

Steer clear of Latvia
Baltic state Latvia has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to being LGBT+ ranking in last place due to only having minimal legislation in place to protect individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace. Much like Ireland, Latvia has no policies or laws in place against hate crime or hate speech for sexual orientation or gender expression. The country also only offers 15 days of minimum annual leave making it both an unsafe and poor choice for work-life balance for young LGBT+ professionals.

Bulgaria and Italy also ranked in the bottom five as poor destinations for millennial LGBT+ professionals due to low ‘rainbow scores’.

Hannah Whitfield
Hannah Whitfield

Hannah Whitfield, who headed up the research for Expert Market, said: “We took a huge number of measures into account while conducting this research, from the price of a cappucino to equal employment rights. LGBT+ focused issues were given a greater final emphasis than day-to-day costs. As such, we believe this study provides an incredibly accurate, holistic picture of the best countries to live and work in if you are LGBT+.”

To read the full research produced by Expert Market, click here: