Written by Roseanne Bradley,
28th March 2023

If you’re considering a move abroad and seek a simple, happier life, you should consider a move to Ireland. The annual World Happiness Report reveals that Ireland ranked 14th out of 137 countries, on general happiness and quality of life.

Of course, the report takes lots of other things into consideration, so we’re here to break it down for you. The study ranks national happiness but also looks at things that could affect it. For example, trust and benevolence in times of crisis, social support and GDP per capita.

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Colourful businesses and houses on Galway high street

Galway high street in full spirits

Why should you move to Ireland?

For such a small island, securing a spot in the top 20, is very impressive. The countries that scored higher than Ireland, include Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, to name a few. The UK came 19th and the USA fell just one spot behind Ireland at 15th.

Here are just a few reasons why considering a move to Ireland could be the perfect decision for you.

Dublin coast landscape

Dublin coast

1. The great outdoors

What Ireland lacks in size it more than makes up for in beauty. If you’re guilty of requiring a little extra persuasion to remove yourself from the sofa, Ireland’s stunning scenery is sure to reinvigorate your love of getting out and about. The country’s size and excellent road network mean you can head almost anywhere for a weekend, or even for a day trip.

There are National Parks, world-famous hiking trails like the Wicklow Way, The Kerry Way and The Wild Atlantic Way (among hundreds of others). No matter what city or town, there will be a number of hiking trails to explore without having to venture too far. The country’s temperate climate is also perfect for year-round hiking. With landscapes this awe-inspiring, you won’t be able to help yourself lacing up those boots and getting out into the fresh air. No need to do all the work yourself, Ireland’s love of horses is legendary so if you fancy a gallop on an empty beach, this is your chance.

Should walking or riding not be adrenaline-inducing enough for you, you could try your hand at surfing. Ireland is one of the best surfing spots in Europe – stick a wetsuit on and you could be in Malibu instead of the Atlantic Ocean! If you like your water sports a little more gentle, Ireland’s angling is unbeatable.

Friends smiling and clinking glasses while wearing green colours on St. Patrick's Day

Friends enjoying drinks on St. Patrick’s Day

2. Events, events, events!

The Irish love a get together over great food, booze and live music and this means the country’s events calendar is chock-a-block with fun events to attend all year round. You can enjoy food, music, literary and arts festivals every month and in all corners of the country. Attending these events is an excellent way to discover new towns and villages, to sample the best of Irish culture, and to make a few friends along the way. There are multiple food festivals every month. Highlights include the Connemara Mussel Festival, Bloom in the Park, Dalkey Lobster Festival and Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival.

Music festivals happen with similar regularity and cater to all tastes – folk, jazz, rock, electronica. Popular choices for music lovers include The Cork Jazz Festival, the Electric Picnic, or the Fleadh Cheoil, which is the world’s largest annual celebration of Irish music and which happens in a different location each year. If literary festivals are more your cup of tea you can check out Cork Spring Poetry Festival, Limerick Literary Festival or Mountains to Sea – all of which attract great names. Comedy lovers will love the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny City.

Irish flag with 'recovery' written across it

Read more about Ireland’s economic boom

3. A booming economy

Ireland’s economy just keeps going from strength-to-strength. In terms of GDP per capita, it’s ranked one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

GDP growth in 2021 2.8% in late 2022 and Ireland’s unemployment rate of 4.4% is well below the EU average of 8.9%. Growing employment and wages teamed with (relatively minor) tax cuts and a weak consumer price index inflation are boosting income and driving the country’s domestic economy. All good news for those wanting a slice of the action.


a bowl of rich beef stew

Irish stew with beef, potatoes, carrots and herbs

4. Excellent food

Ireland is green, surrounded by ocean and there’s plenty of rain – a combination that ensures Ireland’s fare is some of the best in the world. No surprise that Irish dairy and meat produce is world renowned, and the number of fishing villages lining Ireland’s coastline means that if you’re in the market for a fish supper you’re guaranteed a fresh, reasonably priced catch of the day. There are plenty of traditional Irish dishes to try once you’ve moved to Ireland: Irish stew, colcannon, boxty, coddle and bacon and cabbage are some of the most loved; perfect comfort foods for those chillier Irish days. For fine dining, Ireland has dozens of Michelin-starred and “Bib Gourmand” restaurants.

Friends clinking glasses at a bar

Friends enjoying a beer together

5. The craic

The Irish take having fun so seriously that they even have a word for it – the ‘craic’. If you’re craving more laughter in your life, a move to Ireland will sit perfectly with you. The Irish are known for their humour and good will. No matter where you are, you’ll be able to enjoy the ‘craic’ no matter the day of the week.


Financial planning before moving to Ireland

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  Ask the right questions
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