Nordic countries are top destinations for high-skilled expats – here’s where they come from

Engineering consulting firm KDM Engineering compiled an infographic using data from the 2015 UN International Migration Report and the 2017 Global Talent Competitiveness Index to figure out which countries are the best at attracting highly skilled talent.

The list took market landscape, ability to attract companies and people, access to education and training, and quality of life into account.

The world’s Top 3 countries at attracting high-skilled talent are Switzerland, Singapore and the U.K.

All the Nordic countries rank among the Top 10.

It’s evident from the infographics below that there is a high rate of internal labor migration in the Nordics: Norway, Sweden and Denmark all feature as each others’ top 5 “feeder countries” (only considering the 25 countries included in the ranking).

Owing to longstanding economic and historic ties between Finland and Sweden, the two neighbors provide eachother with plenty of high-skill labor. Meanwhile, there are not too many Danes and Norwegians seeking their fortunes in Finland.

Otherwise, the top feeder countries look fairly similar across the region. Germany and the U.K. feature in all of the Nordics’ top 5 list, whereas the U.S. makes 5th place in all countries except Sweden.

The Nordic countries have different strenghts.

In terms of strenghts along the four different dimensions considered (see graphs below), Denmark is world-class at growing and enabling high-skill workers (global 3rd on both), while Sweden and Norway excel at retaining their talent (4th and 2nd).

Compared to its Nordic neighbors, Finland lags behind in talent attraction (21st). However, those expats who do arrive in Finland can expect world-class talent enablement and -growth.

Here are KDM Engineering’s infographics for the Nordic countries, showing how well they rank overall (next to country name), their top 5 feeder countries, as well as their performance along the four different dimensions; i.e. ability to enable, attract,…

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